This dissertation explores the ways sexual identity and culture are produced, imagined, performed, shaped, re-shaped, and deconstructed in LGBT archives in the United States. While a great deal of research has been conducted within the past two decades on LGBT historiography, there has been a dearth of studies examining the archival sites from which histories of LGBT identity are being written. This dissertation reveals that the construction of non-heterosexual sexual identities has been a conscious, careful process - borrowing from established historiographic, feminist, and colonial and postcolonial theories to establish archives of LGBT history and culture counter and in relation to dominant heteronormative narratives. There are times, however, when every archive fails to capture the complexity and diversity of LGBT experience. Rather than see these moments as failures, I "read" them as queer opportunities to rethink and reposition identities which may have become politically and socially stagnant. In each chapter, I focus on a particular archive and a specific individual (an archivist or a collector) who helped make it. The first chapter explores W. Dorr Legg's efforts in the 1950s to establish the discipline of homophile studies through the ONE Institute in Los Angeles as a way of creating a historical and archivable past for a collective homosexual minority that was just beginning to take shape. Chapter Two focuses on the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn and Joan Nestle's radical reimagining of what an archive could be through the lens of 1970s lesbian separatist feminism. Chapter Three looks at the acquisition and organization methods of Jean Tretter of the Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies at the University of Minnesota as a way of describing the queer possibilities of encountering the unexpected in an archive. The fourth and final chapter theorizes what a queer archive might look like, grounding this theorization in the collection of 1960s performance artist Jack Smith, which has recently been acquired by the Gladstone Gallery in New York.