May 9, 2014: The Project thanks Gina Gatta, President and Editor-in-Chief of Damron, Inc., for proviidng scans of St. Louis' Damron listings from 1965-1979.
In 1964, Bob Damron published a book of all the gay bars he knew from his constant travels across the United States. This book fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. Despite its petite size, this book was an impressive accomplishment. Each one of the listings he had visited himself. Today Damron is a world-wide resource regarding LGBT events and travel.
The donated Damron listings provide a rare glimpse into LGBT life before you could just turn to Google for travel advice. The Project is analyzing the St. Louis listings to see which locaitons it has in its database, and for unknown ones. Information from the St. Louis pages will be posted to the Project's website in the near future. Thanks again to Gina Gatta and Damron for this important donation.
April 29, 2014: The Project has received a donation of more than 100 rare national and regional lesbian and gay magazines/periodicals dating from the 1960s to the 1990s. The important collection comes from Nan Sweet and Martha Ficklen.
They had loaned the items to the Gender Studies Program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The Program felt the items should be stored in a safe archival environment that would still be accessible to researchers.
The Project will scan the items for use on our website and for displays. The orignals will be housed at the Missouri History Museum - one of our archival partners. Both Sweet and Ficklen have been generous donors of artifacts to the Project for several years.
The Project will also be working with the UMSL program to create student educational activities to be held in conjunction with LGBT History Month in October. Thanks to Nan, Martha, and the UMSL Gender Studies Program for your support.
April 23, 2014: Like most parts of the United States, Missouri has long been home to a thriving—if largely hidden—LGBT population. Yet, it has been only recently that formal attempts have been made to capture and preserve that history.
Efforts in Missouri's three largest cities—St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield—have yielded not only a wide-ranging trove of remarkable historic value but also distinct approaches to building these archival collections.
At the Midwest Archives Conference to be held in Kansas City, MO April 24-26, representatives from each repository will discuss their techniques for reaching these communities, what they’ve been able to collect, and how they make it available to their users. From arrests of pre-twentieth-century female impersonators to Hollywood film stars speaking out against hate to magazines published by rural lesbian separatists, these collections run the gamut of Missouri’s LGBT history and are as varied as the state in which they were created.
Perhaps most importantly, these materials meaningfully enhance and purposefully augment the long-standing coastal orientation of American LGBT history.
April 13, 2014: Magnolia'a Bar served its last drink and played its last dance tune on April 4. Mag's opened in 1985 and was a popular LGBT nightclub. Special thanks to owner John Knowles for allowing the Project to help preserve the bar's history. John donated bar posters, artwork, trophies, menus, disco balls, drag queen dresses, and other artifacts that will keep Mag's memory alive. The building the bar was housed in has been sold and will be renovated into retail and apartments. Thanks for the memories.