Celebrating The Past / Creating The Future

Person holding a sign saying "Happiness is an uncensored library"

The Hormel Center’s archival holdings are the least visible, and also the most important for potential researchers. Passionately acquired and patiently processed, the papers, photographs, correspondence, ephemera, and realia, are being preserved and accessible to future generations. Here's an opportunity to peek into the acid-free boxes to discover the Center's unique holdings.

  • Lesbian Literary Love includes rarely seen materials from the personal papers of Celeste West, Ann Bannon, Katherine Forrest, Barbara Cameron, Jewelle Gomez, Michelle Tea, as well as Feminist Bookstore News organizational records and the Barbara Grier/Donna McBride/Naiad Press collection. Their voices provide insight into the relationships among the pioneering women of lesbian publishing.

  • How We See Ourselves includes examples of alternative gender expression of Verasphere (David Faulk & Michael Johnstone) and Chloe Atkins' photographic oeuvre.  Original drawings by Tom of Finland and Allen ("A. Jay") Shapiro, and vintage physique photographs of Tony Sansone are contextualized by community-based photographs of and by Rick Jasany and Eddie Van. The artwork of Lynn Ludwig complements important “Bear” iconography of the late photographer Chris Nelson. The recently digitized materials from the Frameline Film Festival Collection continue this investigation of visual self-representation.

  • How We Come Together demonstrates the importance of community in many manifestations.  Materials from the Claudia McEvoy, Grace Miller, Rikki Streicher & Mary Sager, and Jack McGowan document various aspects of the bar scene with a nod to its attendant sports teams, as well as Trannyshack's years of gender-bending performance. Community groups are represented by images of the Court System (from the collections of H.L. Perry, Mike Housh and Eddie Van), New Leaf Outreach to Elders, the Nomenus Radical Faerie Archives, Society for Individual Rights, and the Federation of Gay Games. Performance showcases ephemera from Pomo Afro Homos, Lynn Brown’s photographs, Kreemah Ritz's and Peter Mintun’s donations of material about Sylvester and the Cockettes, and Robert Berner and William Heintz’s materials documenting Bill Colvig and Lou Harrison.

  • How We Effect Change investigates activism including Doug Emerson’s Mobilization Against AIDS, Rest Stop drop-in center for PWAs, ACT UP posters, OutPost’s Absolutely Queer/Absolutely Het poster campaign and Fabled Asp's advocacy for lesbians with disabilities. Individuals represented include Harvey Milk (politics), Eric Rofes (education), David Cameron Strachan (intersex), Patti Roberts (legal), Debra Chasnoff (film), Howard Wallace (labor), Allen Klein (LGBT rights) and Molly McKay and Davina Kotulski (same-sex marriage).

  • Projects From the Archives offers selections of books, websites, films using archival resources.

  • Hormel Center Public Programs and Exhibitions showcases the vibrancy of the past two decades.