Timeslines: A Publication of The History Project
In This Issue
Happy Birthday THP!
New England Queer History
Save this date for history
History Defies Easy Conclusions
Thursday evenings in the archives
The History Project's Anniversary Party

Thursday, June 3

Join us at the Bombay Club as we celebrate our 30th anniversary!

The History Project and Boston Pride
Visit The History Project's booth at this year's Pride Festival to share your stories about Pride!

And check out our "oh-so-abbreviated" history of Boston Pride in Bay Windows.

Love is all you need
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Dear Friend of The History Project:

In 2010, The History Project celebrates 30 years of documenting and preserving Boston's GLBT history. And from our extensive archives, to our publications and exhibitions, to our outreach activities, we have a proven commitment to sharing the stories of our community with the world.

To commemorate The History 30|2010Project's 30|2010 celebration, we've launched an initiative to raise $30,000 for a number of our current efforts in 2010. Please consider making a contribution today to help us preserve and share the histories, stories and  voices of our community.

The History Project's Archives is a vast and ever-growing resource for researchers and community members interested in the history of Boston's and Massachusetts' GLBT communities. In this issue of Timelines, one of our amazing volunteers, Mark Krone, describes his reactions to one particular archival collection that he spent time working with--the photograph collection of community member Tommy Tish. Included are some digitized prints from this collection of Stonewall-era history.

In this issue, you'll find information about our 2010 HistoryMaker Awards, held this year on September 30 at the Boston Athenaeum. We're thrilled to continue to recognize the history-making work of those in our community. Please remember to save the date!

Also, in this issue you'll learn more about our ongoing collaboration with Historic New England.

So far, 2010 has been quite a year. We worked closely with Sam Allis from the Boston Globe, who featured The History Project and images from our Archives in a recent issue. You can read that story and view those images here. For an article about Boston Pride, we were interviewed by Boston Spirit Magazine and a number of images from our archives were heavily featured in the May/June issue. You can read an online version of that story here. This Spring, we also presented on GLBT history for the New England chapter of the Point Foundation and, thanks to GLSEN, on the history of queer youth activism at the recent GLSEN/Join the Impact conference in Somerville. And just a couple of weeks ago, Andrew Elder (staff person for The History Project) was interviewed on the Dane Chenery Show for Brookline Access Television about the history of Boston Pride. This show is scheduled to air Memorial Day weekend.

The archives of The History Project is at the heart of what we do--from creating exhibitions on GLBT history, to assisting organizations and individuals working to understand their roots, to uncovering the ever-evolving nature of GLBT communities--locally, nationally, and internationally.

Want to learn more about what we do? Come by during our new Thursday evening hours.

All the best,

Andrea Still Gray
Board Member / Archives and Records
The History Project: Documenting GLBT Boston

Members of The History Project
march in Pride in 1981
The History Project

Thursday, June 3, 2010
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Bombay Club
1415 Washington Street
Boston, MA

Kick off Pride Week with The History Project!

Join us on Thursday, June 3 at the Bombay Club in the South End as we celebrate 30 years of documenting and preserving the history of Boston's GLBT communities.

In 1980, a group of activists, archivists and historians, formed The History Project to document and preserve the history of Boston's GLBT communities.

Thirty years later, The History Project remains a vital part of our community. From exploring our past to preserving our present.

Appetizers are on the house!

Suggested donation at the door: $20

Let us know if you plan to attend -- either on Facebook or by emailing andrew.elder@historyproject.org.

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The Otis House Museum
Otis House Museum

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Reception 6:00 p.m., lecture 7:00 p.m.
Otis House Museum
141 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA

Come to this lecture presented by Kevin D. Murphy, Professor and Executive Officer, Ph.D. Program in Art History, CUNY Graduate Center, New York.

At the turn of the twentieth-century as New England seacoast resorts became more socially stratified, renovated historic houses, or new residences in the style of the old, provided a refuge for the men and women whose loving relationships were not bound by the contemporary categories.

$10 per person, includes reception. Presented by
The History Project and Historic New England.

Space is limited. To reserve your ticket, email andrew.elder@historyproject.org or call 617.266.7733.

More information about this event is also available from Historic New England.

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HistoryMakers logo
Thursday, September 30, 2010
6:00 - 8:30 PM
Boston Athenaeum
10 1/2 Beacon Street
Boston, MA

Remember to save the date for The History Project's 2010 HistoryMaker Awards.

This year, our HistoryMaker Award will be presented to an organization and a collection of people that gave voice to GLBT concerns when few within these communities felt they had one: Boston's very own Gay Community News, and the writers, editors, photographers, and artists who made that publication possible for 25+ years.

This year's Lavender Rhino award, recognizing an emerging history-maker in Boston's GLBT community, will be announced soon.

Keep checking www.historyproject.org and our page on Facebook for updates.

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Images from The History Project's Tommy Tish Photo Collection, circa 1971
Tommy Tish Photo Collection

by Mark T. Krone

As a volunteer at The History Project, it's a privilege to sift through the treasures of the generous donors who let us into their lives. I can think of no other field where the axiom "the personal is political" is truer than GLBT history. By illuminating the struggles, triumphs, celebrations and ordinariness of everyday life, our donors come out to history.

The tender care of The History Project ensures that these individuals and the artifacts of their lives will never be pushed back into the closet. The very existence of these artifacts--from bar matchbooks to political manifestos--is a loud reminder that we were and are everywhere. That Boston's GLBT history is often neglected does not make it fringe history; it is Boston's history. But it is the neglect of many mainstream historians that adds a feeling of urgency to the work I do. No matter how simple or mundane the work is, I always feel honored to do it.

Recently, I was asked to sort through a collection of photographs from the late-1960s/early-1970s given to The History Project by Tommy Tish. The goal was to determine which photos belonged together. Whether they were taken on the same night? Were the same people in different photos? Did background interiors provide clues to location or time? Fortunately, many displayed the month and year they were developed on the photograph's white borders, a common practice at that time. The largest group of photos was taken at a bar on Halloween. That year, Halloween fell on a Friday, which no doubt added to the celebratory mood.

By current standards, the bar would probably not pass muster. The walls were wood paneled in some areas, making it look like a 1950s rec room. Wallpaper covered other areas. Cool in its day, the wallpaper depicted road signs: STOP!, SLOW DOWN!, DEER CROSSING.

There were no light shows, no monitors, and no DJs.

In a nod to Halloween, a few orange and black balloons hang on the walls. A few men are in drag, which looks sophisticated and adds to the festive atmosphere. The drag seems to me somehow more earnest than comedic. A shirtless, hunky young man with a mustache sits at a table with a trophy in front of him, apparently a contest winner.

The modest decorations and appointments of the bar suggest a simpler, more closeted bar scene. However, the open, exuberant sex depicted in some of the pictures portrayed a more libertine time, reminding me that history defies easy conclusions.

Either way, the photos capture the warm, amber glow of a Boston bar on Halloween in the early 1970s, where a group of men enjoyed a night out.

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California-based filmmaker Stu Maddux worked with History Project staff and volunteers for several days to acquire footage, photographs, and other materials for use in Gen Silent
Stu Maddux in the Archives

Join us in the archives every Thursday evening for The History Project's new evening hours.

Explore our collections, meet interesting people, and learn more about Boston's GLBT history!

If you'd like to stop by, try to let us know beforehand so we can best plan for your visit.

Email andrew.elder@historyproject.org or call 617.266.7733 to let us know you're coming by!

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THP Launch Party
You Make History. We Preserve It.

The History Project: Documenting GLBT Boston
29 Stanhope Street  |  Boston, MA 02116
617.266.7733  |  info@historyproject.org

The History Project is sponsored in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council

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