History of the city’s LGBTQ communities spotlighted in ‘Out in the Archives’ exhibition

Records, photographs, artifacts and oral histories from the Georgia State University Library’s  gender and sexuality collections will be the focal  point of “Out in the Archive,”  a new exhibition opening this month and continuing through September 2020.

A free kick-off event and reception will be Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 4 to 7 p.m. on the 8th floor of Library South in the Special Collections and Archives. A panel discussion will feature Pat Hussain, Julie Rhoad and Andrew Wood on the “Power of Protest.” Parking is available in the G deck on campus.

Atlanta INtown caught up with Morna Gerrard, Director of the Gender and Sexuality Collections is also a curator for the exhibit.

Can you tell us about the impetus for putting this exhibit together?
We thought this would be a great year to highlight the Gender and Sexuality collections because it’s the 50th anniversary of not only Stonewall, but also the raid on the Ansley Mall Mini-Cinema. A little more than a month after Stonewall, police raided a screening of Andy Warhol’s “Lonesome Cowboys” and that is what brought focus to the gay rights movement in Atlanta.

What are some of the items that will be displayed?
We have digitized over 2,000 items! Not all of them can be included in the physical exhibit, but most of them will be found in an online version of the exhibit. We will also host another version of the physical exhibit at GSU’s Clarkston campus library. The exhibit includes records, photographs, news clippings, flyers, publications, oral histories, and artifacts. The online version of the exhibit will include audio and video clips. We are hoping that members of the community who see gaps in the collection and history will help us fill those gaps with material and their oral histories.

Why is the collection important to scholars and to the community?
While this is far from an exhaustive and complete history of Atlanta’s LGBT+ communities, it does highlight some important moments and themes, and we hope that it will honor the communities and educate those who are interested in the communities.

For more about the exhibition and the opening event, visit this link.