The board of directors of Gerber/Hart Library and Archives hosted "Brick by Brick" on Nov. 4, its first fall fundraiser to expand the Midwest's largest LGBTQ archive.
Event co-chairs Bill Bergfalk and Roland Hansen brought the evening to life. Funds raised are set to be spent on increasing programs like book clubs and game nights, but also continuing the massive project of archiving the donation of gay trailblazer William B. Kelley's estate.
"The cataloguing that is going on is extensive," said president of the Board of Directors Carrie Barnett. "For the first time, we have complete finding aids for the everything in the archives. We've catalogued videos and periodicals, and the goal of all this is to make the materials more accessible to researchers and people who just want to come in and look at stuff."
Kelley's estate, including newspapers and flyers from the early days of Chicago's gay movement, had already been carefully preserved in acid-free boxes in temperature-controlled rooms, but cataloging and understanding the contents themselves remains a massive undertaking.
The evening included tours of the facility by the director of the library and archives, Wil Brant, and a silent auction featuring Patti LaBelle shoes and a signed copy of "Taking Turns," MK Czerwiec's acclaimed graphic memoir on serving in Chicago's HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371.
The Gerber Hart Library and Archives is located at 6500 N Clark St. Visit gerberhart.org to learn more about their events or to visit the facility.