June is Pride Month, but Special Collections & Archives celebrates LGBTQIA+ history every month with the GLCCB Collection!
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland Records (GLCCB) came to the Special Collections & Archives at UB in 2013. In preparation of the 2014 move from their longtime organizational home, GLCCB volunteers formed an archives committee and sought a community partner to help safeguard their collection of historically important records. That partner became the UB Special Collections and Archives!
The archival collection offers a unique view into the history of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland and its work. The Center has been offering services and programs for the LGBT Community since its founding in 1977. The GLCCB collection contains the Center’s organizational records, photographs, memorabilia, program files, GLCCB photographs and large posters, Pride festival planning records and ephemera, and artifacts from the former community center and The Hippo nightclub. The collection also includes a near-complete set of Baltimore’s “Gay Life” newspapers spanning from 1979 to 2014.
Archives patrons have benefited greatly from researching in the collection over the years. In 2017, the Special Collections & Archives hosted a class of Johns Hopkins University students as they used the Gay Life newspapers in the GLCCB collection for their January-term course. Read more about the research and presentations from the class in this 2017 blog post! In 2018, the JHU class returned for a second year, and a new group of students researched in the collection to learn about Baltimore’s “gayborhoods.” Read more about the class’s activities in this 2018 blog post! And check out JHU’s 2018 Hub news article featuring the class here!
Just this past semester in April 2019, Dr. Kyle Meikle brought a class of University of Baltimore graduate students from the Visual and Verbal Rhetoric course of UB’s Publication Design Program to visit the Special Collections & Archives and use the GLCCB Records. Students had the chance to view examples of oversize posters in the collection for a unit focused on posters as instances of visual and verbal rhetoric.
During their visit in Spring 2019 the UB students toured the archives with Fatemeh Rezaei, Archivist, and Aiden Faust, Head of Special Collections & Archives and they learned about the many resources at the Special Collections & Archives including the GLCCB Records. The students were visiting to specifically study the GLCCB oversize posters and to learn how to approach the materials as a visual resource. They quickly became interested in the history of the LGBT community in Baltimore and in the items they saw during their tour. Aiden and Fatemeh were pleased to talk to the class about the history of the collection and the archives’ strong relationship with local community organizations. The GLCCB materials sparked an engaging and exciting discussion on cultural stewardship and community-based cultural heritage for the class that lasted beyond the initial visit to the archives.
It’s always exciting when we can work with students and connect them with the collections in the UB Special Collections & Archives. Connecting researchers and students with all aspects of Baltimore’s history is what the archives are all about! As archivists, we strive to connect people with history, information, and learning opportunities. Pride month began as a way to commemorate the Stonewall riots of June 1969 and it has become a celebration of history and culture across the country.
Join the archives in celebrating LGBTQIA+ history this month and every month and learn more about the GLCCB Collection!