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  SOUTHERN COMFORT

University Of North Texas Housing Southern LGBT Archive

The University of North Texas will house a new LGBT archive of the South after Resource Center Dallas donated more than 400 boxes of material to the university’s libraries.

The donation was four years in the making and the school will begin processing it next month, which should take an additional year.

“From an academic perspective, this is extraordinary,” UNT’s LGBT Studies co-director Mark Vosvick told Pegasus News. “No one has published on any kind of LGBT stuff in the South. No one in the whole world.”

The archive will include newspapers, photos, political papers and more relating to the LGBT community in the Dallas-Fort Worth area dating back to the 1950s, as well as collections from influential gay architect local activist Phil Johnson.

“You name any aspect of political, social [or] historical stuff that happened in the LGBT community, there is a very good chance that there is something in this archive that is going to document that stuff,” Vosvick added.

According to UNT’s head of Archives and Rare Books, Morgan Davis, the acquisition is part of the university’s attempts to bolster its Latino archives, as well as its LGBT resources: “We are serious about collecting these materials,” she said. “We are serious about preserving this history and also getting the word out to people in that community that their history is important.”

The archive will also be digitized, making it available to the UNT community and the LGBT community at large.

Update: According to one of our readers, Rob Faubion from Austin On Stage Magazine, this actually won’t be the South’s first and only LGBT archives:

The Happy Foundation in San Antonio has been the leading Texas GLBT archive for more than two decades, with a wealth of documents, photos, publications and recordings dating back to the 1950s.  The archive has been open to the public for many years and is a leading research source for Texas GLBT history.

And the Austin History Museum started a GLBT archive several years ago to preserve the Central Texas GLBT history. Not to mention all the holdings of GLBT authors, filmmakers, actors and entertainers at the Ransom Center at UT-Austin.

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Sep 7, 2012
Tagged: , , ,

  • 11 Comments
    • Neo
      Neo

      I see protests in the future.

      “What yuh serveing berks fur, dems ony fur burnings”

      Sep 7, 2012 at 7:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • austinonstage
      austinonstage

      Not actually factual – the Happy Foundation in San Antonio has been the leading Texas GLBT archive for more than two decades, with a wealth of documents, photos, publications and recordings dating back to the 1950s. And the Austin History Museum started a GLBT archive several years ago to preserve the Central Texas GLBT history. Not to mention all the holdings of GLBT authors, filmmakers, actors and entertainers at the Ransom Center at UT-Austin.

      Sep 7, 2012 at 11:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • smartguyd
      smartguyd

      Also don’t forget the collection of materials at Texas A&M University, both their gay student group and their LGBT resource center collects LGBT materials relating to the campus and the state as well as housing a large collection of LGBT Films and Books.

      Sep 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stephen
      Stephen

      @Neo You’re thinking about the South, methinks. This is Texas. We’re actually not as ignorant as assholes like Perry and Bush make us seem to be, thank you very much, and have a strong LGBT community here.

      Sep 7, 2012 at 7:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwrappaport
      jwrappaport

      There’s a University of North Texas? Is there, uh, a Central University of North Texas?

      …boom. Also, kudos to UNT!

      Sep 7, 2012 at 8:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merv
      Merv

      I agree with Neo. It seems a little irresponsible to house any gay archives in the South. It’s only one sermon-frenzied mob or one wingnut election victory away from a bonfire.

      Sep 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GeneElder
      GeneElder

      HI: Gene Elder here. I am the Archives Director for the HAPPY Foundation. We are located in the Bonham Exchange Building next to the Alamo. We started the archives in 1988 after Happy Veltman died of AIDS. We are very lucky that the Bonham Exchange, a popular gay disco, helps the project happen. And I am glad to see that universities are getting involved. But don’t think that this archiving and saving our history only happens at the higher education level. We all should be saving pieces of history in our homes, even if it is pictures in a shoebox in the closet. And know that you will leave your files to one of the GayBLT archives. Do your part and support archiving. The American Revolution was not fought by George Washington alone. We need a complete picture of our history and it is bigger than one person can do. I am doing my part, and I could use some help.
      But if you need some info, I am here to search though my files.
      HAPPY Foundation hours are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, noon to 4:00 and the number there is 210 227-6451. The mailing address is 411 Bonham, SA, TX 78205
      But I can be reached at my home phone anytime. 210-732-3238.
      Gene Elder
      Your VERY Friendly Clip and File Queen.

      Sep 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cristan
      Cristan

      Also, don’t forget the Trans Archives in Houston, Texas. It’s open to the public M-F and has everything from fine art and artifacts thousands of years old to modern stuff from the last 50 years from across the globe.

      Sep 8, 2012 at 10:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • afterhourskpft
      afterhourskpft

      There is also the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum of GLBT History in Houston, Texas. They are working on a brick and mortar museum but is available at http://www.gcam.org

      Sep 9, 2012 at 4:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Riedel
      Brian Riedel

      Congratulations to UNT on the expansion of its holdings! However, there is some inaccuracy to the statement: “No one has published on any kind of LGBT stuff in the South. No one in the whole world.”

      James Sears notable book, “Rebels, Rubyfruit and Rhinestones: Queering Space in the Stonewall South” published in 2001 by Rutgers University Press would be a good start.

      Please also feel free to visit http://houstonarch.pbworks.com for additional insights.

      Sep 10, 2012 at 11:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • morgan_UNT
      morgan_UNT

      Hi all– I am the Head of Archives and Rare Books at UNT. Please allow me to apologize for the many inaccuracies of this article. The original article was written by a student reporter for the NT Daily who unfortunately got some important facts wrong. We are excited about our new acquisition but we realize that we are among many great LGBT archives in the South and certainly not the first. Check out this article in the Dallas Voice for more information on the Resource Center Dallas collection http://www.dallasvoice.com/resource-center-dallas-transfers-lgbt%E2%80%88history-library-unt-10123450.html

      Anyone working with LGBT archives or interested in talking about collaborations is welcome to contact me anytime! morgan.davis at unt.edu

      Sep 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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