Patrons gathered at the home of Annise Parker and Kathy Hubbard for the LGBT Research Collection Salon last week. Guests were given the rare opportunity to view a selection of the preserved and historically rich treasures in the collection and to celebrate its continued growth.
Parker and Hubbard are members of the Libraries Dean’s Campaign Committee and Cabinet supporting the LGBT Research Collection. In her welcome to salon guests, Parker stated that she and Hubbard are committed to the preservation of the history of the LGBT community. Dean of Libraries Lisa German thanked Parker and Hubbard for their generous support, spoke about the Libraries and its mission, and introduced colleagues in attendance, including head of Special Collections Christian Kelleher and curator of the LGBT Collection Vince Lee.
The LGBT Research Collection exists to collect, preserve, and make widely accessible original documents, publications, photographs, artworks, film and videos, and artifacts by and about the LGBT community. The scope of the material is largely representative of Houston, with a national and international reach. The collection grew out of UH Special Collections’ involvement with the Houston Area Rainbow Collective History (ARCH) and the leadership of community organizations and individuals. These include the Botts Collection, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM), the Banners Project, JD Doyle, the Transgender Foundation of America, and Rice University, among many others. Materials document the communities’ activist, cultural, social, and political activities, and the personal experiences of community members.
A few of the collection materials that were on display at the salon include:
- Issues of Montrose Voice/Houston Voice from GCAM
- Selection of books from the extensive Edward Lukasek Gay Studies Collection, an early cornerstone of the LGBT History Research Collection
- A rare copy of John Wesley Carhart’s 1895 novel Norma Trist, or Pure Carbon: A Story of the Inversion of the Sexes, published in Austin, that served as the basis for an artwork by Jake Margolin and Nick Vaughan exhibited earlier this year through Fotofest
- Rev Ralph Lasher’s sermon from Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church (RMCC) on his engagement and inclusion of Houston’s LGBT Community along with an early annual report/brochure of AIDS Foundation of Houston and their organized response to the HIV crisis
In addition to preserving the history of the community, the collection supports scholarship and teaching by serving as a tool for discovery, original research, and the development of critical thinking skills. Materials are not only available to UH students and researchers, but to the general public as well. Anyone can visit the Special Collections Reading Room to view the materials in person.