Lehigh Valley LGBT Community Archive

The Lehigh Valley LGBT Community Archive exists to collect, preserve, and provide access to the rich LGBTQ community history of the Lehigh Valley. The archive is a program of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center offered to the community in partnership with Trexler Library at Muhlenberg College. This collection documents local and regional LGBTQ life and activism. It includes publications, organizational records, personal papers, oral histories, and artifacts.

lehiho_library.jpgToday, the archive includes 17 collections:

  • Above Ground Magazine
  • Gaydar Magazine and papers of its publisher Stephen Libby
  • Valley Free Press / Valley Gay Press
  • Panzee Press
  • The Le-Hi-Ho library
  • Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center records
  • Pride of the Greater Lehigh Valley Valley records
  • Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley (MCCLV) records
  • FACT Lehigh Valley records
  • Pennsylvania Gay & Lesbian Alliance records
  • Pennsylvania Diversity Network records
  • A Chorus Celebrating Women (ACCO) records
  • Diamond Nite Club and Restaurant collection
  • Candida's Bar collection
  • The Charles Versaggi Campaign collection
  • The Harold and Roberta Kreider Collection
  • Papers from Adrian Shanker
  • Papers from Frank A. Whalen and Bob Whitman

For access to the archive, please contact Special Collections and Archives at [email protected]. If you are interested in donating materials to the Lehigh Valley LGBT Community Archive, please contact the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center at [email protected] or Special Collections and Archives at [email protected]


EXHIBITS

Le-Hi-Ho Library Ex-Libris Exhibit

Our newest digital exhibit from the Lehigh Valley LGBT Community Archive features materials from the library of Le-Hi-Ho (Homophile Movement of the Lehigh Valley), the first organized group for the LGBTQ+ community in the Lehigh Valley.


Pride in Print: Moving Above Ground and Embracing Our Gaydar

This digital exhibit focuses on two Lehigh Valley LGBT publications: Above Ground (1994-1998) and Gaydar Magazine (2005-2008). As historians of LGBTQ communities in the U.S. note, regional publications play an important role in addressing local politics and informing residents of national political struggles for equity. Further, local publications keep communities up to date on the regional social scene, community organizations, inclusive medical providers, and healthcare issues facing our community, among many other topics of interest to LGBTQ people.

“Pride in Print” explores two LGBT publications and showcases their value for reflecting on the history of our community at the turn of the century. You can view the virtual exhibit below or click HERE.


Resilience, Activism, and Community Reflection
40 Years of Public Health in the LGBTQ Community:
Collecting and Curating Local LGBTQ Health Experiences
From HIV/AIDS to COVID-19

This oral history collection weaves together 40 years of public health in the Lehigh Valley's LGBTQ community, reflecting on both the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic. You can view the virtual exhibit below or click HERE.

This project is sponsored in part by the Lehigh Valley Engaged Humanities Consortium, with generous support provided by a grant to Lafayette College from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Pride Guides and the Early Years of Lehigh Valley Pride

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For more than two decades, Pride festivals in the Lehigh Valley gathered community members together to celebrate LGBTQ culture, history, and visibility to advocate for LGBTQ regional and national policy changers; and to honor the ongoing work of local LGBTQ organizations and leaders. The exhibition Pride Guides and the Early Years of Lehigh Valley Pride looks at the first eleven years of Lehigh Valley's pride festivals (1994-2004) from the lens of the printed pride guide publications. 

This exhibit was organized by Mary Foltz, Malaika Gutekunst, Mel Kitchen, Robin Lee, Maggie Tarmey, and Alysse Weinberg and was sponsored by Lehigh University's Office of Creative Inquiry and Southside Initiative, Muhlenberg College's Trexler Library, and Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center.


STONEWALL MEMORIES PROJECT

Stonewall Lehigh Valley has been a place of connection and community for so many LGBTQ people for nearly 50 years. Its closure truly marks the end of an era.

As our community remembers good times at Stonewall, the Lehigh Valley LGBT Community Archive has collected several memories from the community to be sure that our local LGBTQ history is not lost. The memories will be displayed in a future public exhibit and in a special issue of The Gay Journal!

This effort has been co-chaired by Ariel Torres, Stephen Libby, and Emma Smith.


Collection Development Projects

Oral History Collection

In partnership with Lehigh University and Muhlenberg College, and with a grant from the Lehigh Valley Engaged Humanities Consortium, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center is collecting oral histories from LGBTQ older adult activists in the Lehigh Valley. This initial grant makes it possible for the center to collect ten oral histories.

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Digitization of Archival Materials 

Made possible by a generous individual donor and a Mountaintop Grant from Lehigh University, the archives are working to digitize print material to make materials available for online access for researchers, students, and community members.