Documenting LGBT History in Orange County
An important library initiative to document the history of Orange County's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) communities was the subject of a special event held on November 15th in the Caroline A. Laudati Conference Room in Langson Library. To view the presentation and pictures from the event please click here.
Poster from exhibit.
The event highlighted the Libraries LGBT Archive and ongoing efforts to preserve and make available these historically significant materials for scholarly research. Attendees had the opportunity to view the exhibit LGBT Communities in Orange County: Highlights from the Archival Collections, which is on display in the Special Collections and Archives lobby in Langson Library until December 14.
Guests also heard remarks from supporters of the Archive who helped establish it at the UCI Libraries, and a presentation on the background and goals for the Archive by Michelle Light, Head of Special Collections and Archives.
“We’re not trying to write the definitive history of lesbian and gay history of Orange County, nor do we claim to be experts on it,” said Light. “But what we can do is collect, organize, preserve, and help people use this material. We want to make sure that new generations can tell a variety of stories — about the struggles and successes that individuals and organizations in Orange County had in forging new cultures, celebrating identities, lobbying for rights and services or forming new supportive networks.”
Orange County LGBT activists Barbara Muirhead and Brad Brafford, and community member Dick Hitt, were instrumental in getting the Archive established with financial support and donations of material.
Muirhead first became involved with preserving LGBT Orange County history when she started the OC Historical Timeline Project in 1995 in collaboration with Dick Hitt. The timeline is now a key component of the LGBT Archive and a great resource for community organizations and UCI's LGBT Resource Center.
Pride newsletter Oct. 06 - Jul. 07.
Brad Brafford, a gay rights activist and founder of the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center of Orange County (The Center OC), contributed files to the archive that document gay and lesbian political advocacy from 1972 to the mid-1990s. "I hope that our people and our students, now and in the future, will look at these papers and this collection and be able to get an idea of what things were like in the early days here in Orange County," Brafford said.
Guests were encouraged to help raise awareness about the Archive, to donate materials to enhance the collection, and to provide financial support to assist the Libraries with preserving and making accessible current and future materials.
If you would like to learn more about the efforts to grow the Archive and our collecting efforts, please call 949.824.4658. To support the LGBT Archive Fund please go to: http://www.uadv.uci.edu/LGBTarchive.
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