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Discovering Stories of Extraordinary Lives

The LGBT History Project started in August 2012. The LGBT History Project collects and presents the stories of LGBT history in central PA as told by those who lived them, through written accounts, and video interviews. We also collect and present the photographs, documents and artifacts that illustrate and support these stories. We will weave these stories and materials together to create a historical timeline and narrative context for LGBT history in central PA. We will present this material on-line as a virtual archive, through exhibits and in presentations. We will also establish a permanent archive of the recordings and other materials.


To document, record, archive and present the history of the LGBT community of central PA, a history overlooked by mainstream society.

To locate individuals who have knowledge of the LGBT history of central PA and encourage them to share that history before they are no longer able to do so.

To encourage the LGBT community of central PA to learn about their history through presentations, exhibits and on-line virtual archives and exhibits that presents the stories and memories of the past. Knowing this history is important to the LGBT community because the evolution of civil rights is built on the successes of the past. Understanding the history of this struggle for equality helps put in perspective how the movement has developed and matured and provides both a sense of accomplishment and inspiration for future efforts.


Pennsylvania Rural Gay Caucus contingent poses with their banner at the Philadelphia Gay Pride Parade, 1976. Photo by Bari Lee Weaver.



For more information, to volunteer, or to request to be interviewed, contact Barry Loveland, chair of the LGBT History Project steering committee, at history@centralpalgbtcenter.org.


Share the story of your extraordinary life by becoming one of our narrators and being interviewed. We will schedule an interview with you at a time and location of your choice to create a video taped and transcribed archival record of the stories of your own extraordinary life. If you do not think your life is all that extraordinary, think again. Each of us has taken a unique journey and these different stories and perspectives all contribute to the understanding of our collective LGBT history. You do not have to be a native of central PA to be interviewed. People who have moved here, and people who have once lived here and have since moved away, are also welcome to share their stories.

Share your photos, documents and artifacts that help tell your personal stories and memories. The LGBT History Project is seeking archival material that supports and documents the history of the LGBT community in central Pennsylvania to enable research and presentation of this material to the community. Learn how to donate archival or artifact materials to the project. A Deed of Gift Form must accompany all donated materials.

Volunteer your services in support of the LGBT History Project by joining one of our project teams.

Donate money to the LGBT History Project to help us acquire items from our wish list and provide basic operating support.

Contact the LGBT History Project to help in any of these ways at history@centralpalgbtcenter.org. This is an ongoing project and there is no deadline to participate. Or download, fill out and email back our form to volunteer or become a narrator.


Lots of LGBT history projects out there! Here are a few to inspire us:

Retro-Scope: New Hope, PA
The History Project: Boston, MA
Latino GLBT History Project
LGBT History Project: Baltimore, MD
LGBT History Month
Wisconsin GLBT History Project
The Gay History Project iPhone App
Polk Street: Lives in Transition
The Long Beach LGBT History Project
Southern California LGBT History Project
Chicago Gay History
Oberlin College LGBT Community History Project
Northwest Lesbian and Gay History Museum Project
Grand Rapids LGBTQ People’s History Project
RICHES of Central Florida
GLBT History Museum of Central Florida
Philadelphia LGBT History Project
Committee on LGBT History, with the American Historical Association
Brooks Fund History Project: Middle Tennessee
Trans Oral History Project
Shoulders to Stand On Documentary Project Program of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley in Rochester, NY
Country Queers
Kentucky Equality Federation StoryCorps
Queer Appalachia Oral History Collection
LGBT Appalachian Oral History Project
Talking Across the Lines: GLBT Stories
StoryCorps Out Loud: Coast to Coast
Various projects listed at Rainbow Gray
Archive of Lesbian Oral History Testimony
UW Archives and Records Management: Madison’s LGBTQ Community


Once the LGBT History Project collects video/oral histories, photographs, documents, and artifacts, there are several ways we plan to use this material.

The first is setting up an archive for this material to be preserved for posterity. The original recordings, and donated archival and artifact materials will be entered as a collection into the Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections. A copy of the recordings will also be housed at The LGBT Center.

The Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections has developed online inventories of some of the archival and artifact collections donated to the History Project. Browse here. More of these will be added in the future as new donations are received and the collections are inventoried and published to the web.

We plan to develop virtual exhibits and virtual tours to present the materials and make them more accessible to the central PA LGBT community and the public at large.

And finally we hope to be able to develop traveling exhibits for display at the LGBT Center and other locations on various aspects of LGBT history in central PA. Materials may also be used in presentations and public programs about the LGBT History Project.


LGBT history in central Pa. celebrated in Dickinson College exhibit, PennLive.com

Book to tell story of LGBT community in Lancaster County, central Pennsylvania, LancasterOnline.com

Exhibit shows costume artistry of local designer Paul Foltz, PennLive.com

Theatre Harrisburg costume designer takes center stage in new exhibits, PennLive.com

Dickinson College documents LGBT history in central Pennsylvania, PennLive.com

Looking Back with Pride: LGBT History Project Earns Accolades from National Organization, Dickinson College

PA LGBT group wins national award, Philadelphia Gay News

Central Pa. LGBT History Project wins national archivist award, PennLive.com

LGBT History Project documents the growing legacy of civil rights advocacy, Carlisle Sentinel

1 Story at a Time: LGBT History Project re-creates an often-hidden past, TheBurg

J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award: The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center of Central PA History Project, Society of American Archivists

Bringing History Out of the Closet, Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine

Lancaster County’s LGBT leaders talk of community’s recent history, LancasterOnline.com


Consent Form
Equipment Setup and Checklist
Interview Guidelines
Interview Prompts and Log
Interview Checklist
Principles and Best Practices
LGBT History Project Team and Tasks
Volunteer Form
LGBT History Project Archives Donations Flyer
Deed of Gift/Accession Record Form
Instructions for Transcriptions
Instructional Video for Interviewers



Le-Hi-Ho (The Lehigh Valley Homophile Organization), Bethlehem, PA Records, 1960-2002 in Central Connecticut State University’s Elihu Burritt Library
Quist (LGBT history smartphone app)
Frank Pizzoli’s interview with LGBT historian Martin Duberman (Lambda Literary)
Article: The Next Chapter for LGBTQ Heritage
Society of American Archivists: Lavender Legacies Guide

A meeting of the Pennsylvania Rural Gay Caucus in Wilkes-Barre in 1975. Photo by Bari Lee Weaver. The Pennsylvania Rural Gay Caucus was a coalition of representatives from LGBT organizations from communities throughout central and eastern Pennsylvania in the 1970’s.

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