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.