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Gerber/Hart Library History of LGBTQ Activism lecture and other dates

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A four-part series of talks on the history of LGBTQ activism will be given by LGBTQ historian John D'Emilio on the four Thursdays of February, 6:30-8:00 pm at Gerber/Hart Library and Archives.

The first talk, on Feb. 7, will cover the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, when government persecutions were at their height, and "homophile" organizations began to form.

The second talk, on Feb. 14, will cover the period from the Stonewall Rebellion in New York in 1969, which gave birth to a liberation movement, until the onset of the AIDS epidemic at the beginning of the 1980s.

The third talk, on Feb. 21, will focus on the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and early 1990s, and the profound impact it had on LGBTQ life in the U.S. as well as on activism.

The final talk, on Feb. 28, will deal with some of the key issues in the more recent period, since the mid-1990s. There will be time for comments, discussion, and questions in each session. Each session is independent, free, and open to all.

John D'Emilio, the current president of the Gerber/Hart Library board of directors, has written several books on LGBTQ history and the history of sexuality, and taught LGBTQ studies at UIC for 15 years.

Donate Books for the Booksale

The annual Gerber/Hart booksale will be happening in the late spring—the specific date has not yet been set. Now would be the time to take a look at your books and see if you want to donate books that you may no longer need. We accept donations of LGBTQ books and non-LGBTQ books ( we do not take multi-volume encyclopedias ). If needed, LGBTQ items will become part of the library collection. Items that do not end up in the collection will be sold at the booksale. The booksale supports Gerber/Hart's general operations expenses.

Trash or Treasure Thursdays

Follow for weekly highlights of items from the collections and/or for Tille Tuesdays which features photos from the archive collection of Miss Tillie, now there is another reason. We are starting "Trash or Treasure Thursdays," which features lesbian pulp novels from the 50s and 60s. Most of these novels were written by men for a predominately heterosexual male audience. In the late 1960s, the editors of lesbian magazine The Ladder came up with a ranking system for all books with lesbian content ranking them from "A" ( major lesbian content ) to "T" ( Trash ). Most of the pulps were trash titles. On Thursdays a cover ( front and back ) of a pulp from our collection will be posted and you will be able to guess if it's Trash ( T ) or Treasure ( A ). For those who know lesbian fiction, this one is easy.

Archive Collections Finding Aids Project

Thanks to the seven person finding aids work group, a first group of archive collections, Finding AIDS, is now accessible from . New Finding AIDS archive collections will be added as they are completed. With over 150 collections, which represents 981 linear feet of materials, this will be an ongoing project for the next few years. Through the end of July this project is being funded in part by the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board.

Note: Will the donation of the records of your group/organization/business be the one to push us over 1,000 feet of archive collections?

Current Exhibits

The City That Werqs

A History of Chicago's Drag Revolutionaries

While Chicago has the reputation as one of the most segregated cities in the country, the drag scene in Chicago has always held within it a diversity of performance and style. From anarchists and vaudeville queens at the Dil Pickle Club and the legendary Finnie's Balls to the racially integrated club scenes of the 1960's to the rise of the Miss Continental competition in the 1980's and into the vibrant scene of today. The exhibit chronicles the drag scene through photographs, newspaper articles and performance attire. Chicago is the city that works, because Chicago is the city that werqs. The exhibit is in the Norman Sandfield Gallery and runs through April 2019.

Gay is Good

Homophile Activism before Stonewall

When we think of LGBTQ activism in the United States we often think of the Stonewall Riots of 1969 as the spark that created a movement. In reality the events at the Stonewall Inn were an explosion of radical activism that has been building in the country since the 1920's and had already become a national movement. These pre-Stonewall activism organizations are called homophile groups. The "Gay is Good" exhibit details the beginning of homophile movement in the US, its peak during the ECHO and NACHO conferences, and the eventual decline after the Stonewall Riots. The exhibit runs through May 2019 in the Howard Brown Health Clark Waiting Room.

Red Ribbon for AIDS Awareness Stamps

The US stamp was released 25 years ago. More than 87 other countries and the United Nations have issued stamps with HIV/AIDS Awareness, prevention, and treatment themes. The exhibit contains many of these stamps and original stamp art work. The exhibit opens on December 13 in the library reading room and will run through February 2019.

Red Ribbon Pins

On display in the Walgreens Pharmacy waiting area is a selection of Red Ribbon for AIDS Awareness pins. These include Hard Rock Cafe pins, cultural and religious pins, and fantasy pins. This exhibit will run through February 2019.

Permanent Displays

Library Reading Room has two permanent displays. One on Henry Gerber and Pearl Hart. The other, It's Not Against the Law, highlights the 1961 non-criminalization of sodomy in Illinois and 2013 legalization of same-sex marriage in Illinois.

Exhibits in Howard Brown waiting room and Walgreens are viewable during their open hours: Mon-Thur 9 am—6 pm, Fri 9 am—5 pm, and Sat 9 am—3 pm


Wednesdays: 6-9 p.m.

Thursday: 6-9 p.m.

Friday: Noon-4 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m.-

4 p.m.

Queer Genre Fiction Book Group: 2nd Fridays, 7-9 p.m.

BTQ Book Group: 3rd Fridays, 7-9 p.m.

Gerber Hart Library and Archives

6500 N. Clark St

Chicago, IL 60626

—From an information release

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