Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

South Caroliniana to open new GLBTQ Archive

Last night BC and I went to the Harriet Hancock Center (that's the GLBT Community Center) in Columbia to listen to a presentation by the Head Archivist, Head Oral Historian a Graduate Student (who originated the idea) and a Visual Media Archivist (one who handles photos) of the South Caroliniana Library.

This project has been a year in the making and made its official "Debut" at the Columbia Pride festival this past weekend. The South Caroliniana is starting a special archive that deals specifically with sexual orientation identity. They're requesting materials from GLBT persons and descendants of GLBT persons including letters, memorabilia, photos, unpublished works and they emphasized that from the older GLBT Community they'd like to get Oral Histories. I was nearly floored to find out that there's an organization for "Old Lesbians." These are Lesbians, obviously, who are 65+. One lady at the meeting said, because she's a member that she knows many septuagenarians and octogenarians who would feel honored to give their story.

I know, I know, should I be surprised? Well, honestly yes, if there's evidence that this is not a Phenomenon as we're told, that people have only been "gay" or in committed "gay relationships" for the past 40 years, basically since the sexual revolution of the 60's - doesn't this change everything?

This takes me back to the point about calling on descendants of GLBT persons donating to the collection. Apparently there's evidence provided by family members already at the South Caroliniana of persons who were in committed partnerships way back when - to even the 1860s. And we can call it a committed relationship no matter how veiled the relationship was because the evidence is there usually in the words of the person themselves.

Any who, it's a great project - I encourage anyone out there in South Carolina who knows someone of the older generation or they have memorabilia or materials - by the way this is a good point to interject that those materials don't have to be positive, they're also looking for detracting materials - to consider having them give an oral history or donate these items to the South Caroliniana.

I actually donated my "unpublished" Thesis for my Religious Studies Degree - it feels good to be a part of something dedicated to posterity to give a voice to our age for future generations and to help them understand who we are and where we are.

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