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November 9, 2012 3:45 p.m.

Event spotlights UCI Libraries' efforts to document local LGBT history ยป

LGBT exhibit
A reception and exhibit viewing will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, in Langson Library's Caroline A. Laudati Conference Room 570 to highlight the UCI Libraries' ongoing efforts to document the history of Orange County's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities for scholarly research. Barbara Muirhead and Brad Brafford, who donated funds and materials to help establish the LGBT Archive at the UCI Libraries, will speak at the reception. The collection documents gay rights activism in Orange County as early as 1971, only two years after the modern gay liberation movement was sparked by the Stonewall riots in New York. Newly revealed are the stories of how community activists came together in conservative 1970s Orange County to organize such services as discussion groups and hotlines - and to fight against a state ballot proposition in 1978 that would have encoded discrimination against gay men and lesbians. Also well documented is the response by activists to the devastating AIDS crisis in the 1980s through volunteer-based peer education initiatives. In addition, the collection includes materials from the 1990s and early 21st century on events such as lawsuits over the right of lesbians to demonstrate publicly in Costa Mesa. "The archive offers rich evidence of the achievements, struggles and culture of LGBT individuals and groups in Orange County over the past four decades," said Michelle Light, head of Special Collections & Archives and digital scholarship at the UCI Libraries. "Historical photographs, fliers, letters and much more tell a variety of stories." An exhibit (pictured) called "LGBT Communities in Orange County: Highlights from the Archival Collections" is on display in the Special Collections & Archives lobby on the fifth floor of Langson Library through Dec. 14.

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