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Collections of college and personal papers, as well as a select number of individual documents, have been briefly described in entries available for browsing and searching on this site. All collection and document descriptions contain a representative image and a summary of the contents. 

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LGBT History Project Logo
March 29, 2015

Louie Marven moved to central Pennsylvania from his hometown of Wappingers Falls, New York to attend Messiah College in 2003 and has lived in the Harrisburg area ever since. The school’s conservative values and prohibition of “homosexual behavior...

LGBT History Project Logo
March 29, 2015

Laury was born in New Port Beach, California on March 20, 1961. She is the middle child with two brothers from a Presbyterian home. Laurie and her current partner Jan are not married and do not live together. She currently resides in Harrisburg,...

LGBT History Project Logo
March 29, 2015

Cindy Lou Mitzel was born in April of 1942 in York County, Pennsylvania as the youngest in a big family. Growing up, Cindy knew that she felt attraction towards women but married a man just after graduating from high school and had three children...

LGBT History Logo
April 6, 2015

Eva O’Diam was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1953 to her mother, a school teacher, and her father, an engineer. Growing up in conservative, rural Ohio, Eva lost her father at the age of 12 and moved to Covington, Ohio where she graduated from high...

LGBT History Logo
April 9, 2015

Dr. Eric Selvey was born and raised in Harrisburg, PA. He attended optometry school in Philadelphia, but returned to the Harrisburg area after graduating. In his interview he discusses his relationship with his mother and grandmother — and coming...

LGBT History Logo
April 14, 2015

Ray Davis was born on April 30th, 1954 in Bethlehem, PA. After attending Catholic school, Ray went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture from Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, PA. After moving to Harrisburg in 1986, Ray...

LGBT History Project Logo
March 24, 2015

Joy Verner was born in 1963 and grew up in Franklin Pennsylvania near Erie, Pa. Joy was one of three children and a mother and a father. She relocated to central Pennsylvania during graduate school where she attended school near Shippensburg. She...

LGBT History Project Logo
April 29, 2015

Joy (Ufema) Counsel was raised in Altoona, Pennsylvania. After completing high school, Joy began studies to become a nurse at the Altoona Hospital, and later completed a nursing program at Harrisburg Area Community College. Joy worked in numerous...

LGBT History Project Logo
April 20, 2015

Lori Hatch-Rivera was born in Rockville Central, New York on Long Island in 1958. After Lori’s family moved to South Florida, Lori enrolled into what is now Palm Beach Atlantic University and graduated in 1989 with a degree in history. After...

LGBT History Project Logo
July 24, 2015

Daniel Maneval was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on October 3, 1947. In this interview, Daniel speaks frankly about his experiences growing up as an only child, homophobic violence he has experienced, and the gay organizations he has lead...

LGBT History Project Logo
August 3, 2015

Shaka Hudson was born in 1949 in Harrisburg as the middle of five children. An artist his whole life, Shaka attended John Harris High School and Penn State University before unenrolling in college and leaving Harrisburg to join the Washington D.C...

LGBT History Project Logo
October 28, 2015

Lorraine Kujawa was one of the co-founders of the Lavender Letter in Harrisburg during the late seventies and eighties. The Lavender Letter was created to provide events for the lesbian community to attend in Pennsylvania. She started the...

LGBT History Logo
November 11, 2015

Cathy Nelson was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to Staten Island, New York, at the age of two with her strict Italian-Swedish family. As a child, Cathy loved music and did well in school. She also participated in Catholic youth group...

LGBT History Project Logo
November 19, 2015

Gretchen Little was born on October 26, 1958 in Elmira, New York. As a child, Gretchen was interested in sports and experimented with wearing women’s clothing in the home. While studying Media Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas,...

LGBT History Project Logo
November 19, 2015

In this oral history, Anonymous_001 starts off discussing his family life. He states that his family life was not the best but not the worst, however after his mother left and his father developed borderline personality disorder, he decided to...

LGBT History Logo
November 23, 2015

Benjamin Dunlap was born in Lancaster County Pennsylvania on December 23, 1957. He was born to a family with a mother, father, and sister ten years older than him. Throughout his life he was highly involved with LGBT community life and in...

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November 24, 2015

Don Haines was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and grew up there. In this interview he discusses his experience in Lancaster County as a gay man. He also discusses his experience in Columbia, PA and the acceptance that he has from his family and...

LGBT History Project Logo
December 16, 2015

John Barns was born in Perry County, Pennsylvania. He comes from a family of farmers and is Pennsylvania Dutch. He grew up on a farm, joined the military during Vietnam, and then worked for the Pennsylvania government for 30 years. He discusses...

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January 16, 2016

Nancy Helm was born in Lancaster Pennsylvania and graduated from Manheim Township High School in 1981. After graduating she worked for a printing company and did other odd jobs before opening a hair salon with her partner. Not long after that she...

LGBT History Logo
May 5, 2016

Amy Skillman talks about her childhood growing up in Michigan in a large Episcopalian family and the influence of spirituality in her life, both as a teenager and an adult. Amy went to an all-girls school where rumors circulated about certain...

LGBT History Project Logo
April 9, 2016

Sabrina Valente was born in Baltimore, MD and lived most of her childhood and adolescence in Littlestown, PA in Adams County. She attended Eastern University for an undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies and Wagner College for a Master’s degree...

LGBT History Logo
July 20, 2016

Mark Segal is a gay rights activist, author, and journalist for the Philadelphia Gay News. In this interview, Mark discusses his political involvement in the gay rights movement in Pennsylvania in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Particularly, he focuses...

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August 22, 2016

Jude Sharp was born in November of 1947 in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania and graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She then attended the Tyler College of Art and studied the art of making jewelry. When she was 21, Jude married...

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September 21, 2016

Anthony Silvestre was born in 1946 in the Bronx in New York. He grew up in a working-class, Italian neighborhood and is familiar with stigma. He began identifying as gay in the sixth grade, but went through school still in the closet. After high...

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October 9, 2016

Nikki Knerr was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1945 and attended York College and Pennsylvania State University where she studied mass communications. In 1967, Nikki opened her first graphic design business which ran for 25 years in Camp...

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