History Harvests offer chance to share LGBT stories, artifacts

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    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A University of Louisville research team needs people to share a little heritage this week during History Harvest receptions in Lexington and Louisville as part of the Kentucky LGBT Heritage Initiative.

    Historians will conduct interviews and scan or collect artifacts 5:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at The Plantory, 501 W. Sixth St., Lexington, and 2-5 p.m. Jan. 31 in the Williams-Nichols LGBT Archives in UofL Ekstrom Library’s lower level.

    The statewide effort, which also included a History Harvest in Hindman earlier this month, is to learn more about the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and places that have been significant to them during the last century, particularly before 1980.

    Catherine Fosl, director of UofL’s Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research, is the lead researcher on the project, and UofL history students Wes Cunningham and Kayla Reddington will assist.

    “We are collecting memorabilia, documents and oral histories from LGBTQ Kentuckians and their friends who can help us understand more about 20th century life in Kentucky because there is a lot more to it than bullying, living in the closet or even struggling for social justice or for the right to marry,” Fosl said.

    Artifacts can be contributed to an archival collection in Kentucky or items can be scanned and returned to participants on the spot. Researchers are looking for historic posters, letters, newspaper articles, buttons, banners and other artifacts as well as personal stories.

    The project is part of a 2015-16 initiative promoted by the National Park Service, Fosl said.

    Lexington Fairness is co-host of the History Harvest there. The Louisville event is co-sponsored by the Fairness Campaign and UofL’s LGBT Office. Other partners include the UofL LGBT Alumni Network, the UofL Archives and Special Collections, Kentucky Heritage Council, State Historic Preservation Office, National Park Service and Preservation Louisville.

    For more information, contact Fosl at 502-852-6142 or catherine.fosl@louisville.edu.

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    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.