Matthew Shepard Web Archive, 1998-2008

Overview of the Collection

Matthew Shepard Web Archive
1998-2008 (inclusive)
70 websites, 1.9 million documents
Collection Number
Collection includes websites related to Matthew Shepard and the issues surrounding his murder in 1998.
American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming
American Heritage Center
University of Wyoming
1000 E. University Ave.
Dept. 3924
Laramie, WY
Telephone: 3077663756
Access Restrictions
Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes, and the collection is open to the public.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, was beaten and left to die in a field outside Laramie, Wyoming, sometime during the night of October 6-7, 1998. Born on December 1, 1976, Shepard was 21 years old when he died. On October 6, 1998, he left a local bar with two Laramie men, Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney, who later claimed they had intended only to rob him. The crime escalated when they tied Shepard up and beat him fatally. On October 7, 1998, another University of Wyoming student found Shepard tied to a fence. Shepard died at the Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 12, 1998.

October 2008 marked ten years since Matthew Shepard's death. This collection documents the impact that his murder had on people around the world, evinced in web pages, blogs, video clips, online memorials, and the websites of several organizations. It can also be accessed through Archive-It.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The 70 websites captured by the web-crawl reflect a broad and in-depth coverage of the Shepard murder, memorials, and efforts that address inequalities based on gender and sexual orientation. These include sites such as the Westboro Baptist Church that protested at the University of Wyoming following Shepard's death and condemns homosexuality. There are also blogs written by friends, family, reporters, and people who did not know Shepard. Also included are sites of organizations related to Matthew Shepard and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender issues. Additionally, the websites of films, books, and music about Shepard's life and his murder were included in the website harvest. Finally, media coverage that only existed on the Internet was included.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright Information

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Preferred Citation

Preferred Citation

Item Description, Box Number, Folder Number, Collection Name, Collection Number, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The websites are organized into six series within this finding aid.

Related Materials

Related Materials

See also the Matthew Shepard collection located at the American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Acquisition Information

Acquisition Information

Websites in this collection were captured in October and November, 2008 using the Internet Archive's Archive-It service. Creation of this web archive was made possible by a grant funded by the University of Wyoming's President's Advisory Council on Minorities' and Women's' Affairs.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series V. University of Wyoming SitesReturn to Top

Description Dates

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Civil rights -- Gays -- Wyoming.
  • Gay rights -- Wyoming.
  • Gay rights.
  • Gays -- Crimes against -- Wyoming.
  • Hate crimes -- Legislation -- Wyoming.
  • Political activists -- Gays -- Wyoming.

Personal Names

  • Shepard, Matthew, d. 1998.

Corporate Names

  • Matthew Shepard Foundation.
  • University of Wyoming -- History.
  • Westboro Baptist Church (Topeka, Kan.)

Geographical Names

  • Wyoming -- History -- 1946-

Titles within the Collection

  • Laramie Project (Made-for-TV movie)