In 2010, local LGBTQ+ community member Luke Hirst approached librarian Lynn Richardson about starting an archive of LGBTQ+ materials in the Durham County Library’s North Carolina Collection. This meeting kicked off a multiyear collaboration that has included a panel discussion on the history of Durham’s LGBTQ+ community, “collecting days” at the library during which people brought in materials to donate to the archive, an oral history program, the acquisition of numerous items for the archive, and this web exhibit.

Exhibit Curators

  • Joanne Abel

    One of the pioneers of Durham’s lesbian community and retired librarian, Durham County Library

  • Luke Hirst

    Initiator of and driving force behind the project

  • Kristen Merryman

    Librarian, North Carolina Collection

  • Lynn Richardson

    Senior librarian, North Carolina Collection

Feminary, vol. 9, no. 10 image
Feminary, vol. 9, no. 10. In 1973, the Feminist Newsletter began publishing every other week, changing its name to Feminary in 1974. North Carolina Collection, Durham County Library


This project would not have been possible without the support of many people in the community, including:

Donors of Funds

  • Joanne Abel
  • Jen Ansley
  • Ariyah April and Chanel Chambers
  • Victoria Bouloubasis
  • Linda Chupkowski
  • Meg Coward and Sarah Schwartz Sax
  • Tammerie Day
  • Andrew Bartlett Evans
  • Claudia Horwitz
  • Barbara Lau
  • Stacie Nagy
  • Tema Okun
  • Ian Pointer
  • Kari Points
  • Cris Rivera
  • Lanya Shapiro
  • Mig Murphy Sistrom
  • Allison Wallsh
  • Sylvia Williams and Helena Cragg
  • Cara Wittekind
  • Courtney Young

Donors of Papers

  • Joanne Abel
  • Carol Anderson
  • Nancy Blood
  • Betsy Barton
  • Meredith Emmett
  • Joseph Fedrowitz
  • Mindy Fraiser
  • Amy Glaser
  • Lucy Harris
  • Richard Dillwood and Carrie Hart
  • Meredith Heil
  • Luke Hirst
  • Holly Jordan
  • Collin Lee (on behalf of Queer Coalition)
  • Deirdre Lutz
  • Carol Place
  • Queer Coalition
  • Kym Register
  • Cris Rivera and Beth Stringfield
  • Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University
  • Steve Schewel
  • Allan Troxler
  • Jaye Vaughn

Oral Histories

  • Joanne Abel
  • David Anderson
  • Quinton Baker
  • Nancy Blood
  • Beth Bruch
  • Cathy Chandler from the Durham County Library’s Coming out in the South Panel Discussion
  • Alex Córdova
  • Lea Córdova
  • Helena Cragg
  • Sean Dillard
  • Joseph Fedrowitz
  • Vanessa Fixmer-Oraiz
  • Wanda Floyd
  • Amy Glaser
  • Lucy Harris
  • Patricia Harris
  • Arthur Herring
  • Mignon Hooper
  • Sherry Kinlaw
  • Connie Leeper from the Durham County Library’s Coming out in the South Panel Discussion
  • Erin Dawson Linn
  • Neeve Neevel
  • Madeleine Pabis
  • Rock Piquet
  • Janet Read
  • Cris Rivera and Beth Stringfield
  • Ed Swan
  • Boo Tyson and Laurie Hays Coffman
  • John Valentine
  • Mitchell Vann
  • Jaye Vaughn
  • Grover Wehman
  • Dale Wolf
  • Larry Wright


  • Betsy Barton
  • Nancy Blood
  • Mandy Carter
  • Dolores Chandler
  • Lea Cordova
  • Gail Crabtree
  • Helena Cragg
  • Meredith Emmett
  • Oscar Garcia
  • Barbara Lau
  • Dee Lutz
  • Rama Mills
  • Nan Pincus
  • Barb Smalley
  • Allan Troxler