Since the archive debuted in July 2016, over 70 community members have visited with more than a dozen contributing over 70 cubic feet of personal papers and organizational records, and an additional 3 GB of electronic records.
It is an honor to be trusted with leading the effort in preserving the rich and vibrant history of LGBTQ+ community members in the greater Omaha area.
The last year has seen the oldest material donation – dating back to the 1960s – to one of the largest collections, issues of the GayZette. Published from 1999 to 2016 with over 400 issues, the GayZette was the longest running LGBTQ+ publication in the state.
The collection’s photos, scrapbooks, posters, correspondence, videos, newsletters, and other historical material have been supplemented by oral history interviews conducted by UNO Associate Professor, Dr. Jay Irwin and students in his Introduction to LGBT Studies course. With the passing of longtime community members each year, oral history interviews are integral in capturing the voices of Omaha’s LGBTQ+ communities and ensuring they are available for the future.
The majority of the collections can be viewed in Archives and Special Collections’ reading room, including thousands of books and magazines, made possible by the donation from the libraries of Dr. Meredith Bacon and the Rainbow Outreach GLBT Resource Center. A significant amount of materials have been digitized and are available online.
In addition to partnerships with cultural heritage organizations, the Queer Omaha Archives also works with employee and community organizations on programs and events. Community members, UNO students, local middle and high school students, and researchers working on book projects have been using the Queer Omaha Archives in its first year. The archives have also provided specialized tours to community members and organizations and any individual or organization may request a personalized tour or talk. Contact the Queer Omaha Archives to inquire about a tour, joint project, or to learn more.
The archives welcomes hearing from community members who may have materials documenting the region’s LGBTQ+ history. Whether it is photos, newsletters, or memorabilia from your basement or sharing your experiences through an oral history interview, UNO Libraries is interested in learning about and preserving your personal history. Learn more about donating materials and supporting the Queer Omaha Archives here.
The Queer Omaha Archives is part of UNO Libraries’ Archives & Special Collections and officially launched in 2016. The Queer Omaha Archives collects and preserves materials relevant to the LGBTQ+ community in the region. Archives & Special Collections' material is available for the university community and general public at both the Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library and online.
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