LGBT Center of Central PA History Project Collections

The LGBT Center of Central PA and the Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections have partnered to document the stories and history of LGBT life and activism in Central PA. Below are guides to the collections of documents, images, and artifacts that have been donated to the LGBT History Project as part of this effort.

Research assistance is available by e-mail (archives@dickinson.edu), telephone (717-245-1399), and on-site. Visitors are welcome Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm, and on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 pm when classes are in session. Malinda Triller Doran, Special Collections Librarian, is Dickinson’s liaison to this project. It is recommended that you contact Malinda in advance of a site visit.

Members of the Pennsylvania Rural Gay Caucus with their hand-made banner at the Philadelphia gay pride parade circa 1976. Photo by Bari Lee Weaver. Sam Deetz on Gay Education Day in Harrisburg, wearing Pink Triangle button, March 1976.  Photo by Bari Lee Weaver. Fan button for the Harrisburg Hustlers volleyball team. Issues of the Lavender Letter newsletter (Harrisburg, PA) from 1998. Shadows bar (Harrisburg, PA) t-shirt. Letter sent to Joe Burns in 1969 from the Mattachine Society of New York in an attempt to establish a gay activist organization in the Lehigh Valley area.  Materials documenting activism in Lancaster, PA.
Mattachine Society Letter
1969-1996

Joseph W. Burns donated these materials in 2013 as the first contribution of historical documents to the LGBT Center of Central PA History Project. These materials reflect his involvement in gay rights activism in rural Pennsylvania, beginning with a 1969 letter from the New York Mattachine Society seeking to form a branch in the Lehigh Valley area. That effort resulted in the creation of the...

Pink Triangle Coalition
1975-2013

This collection documents LGBT activism in Lancaster County, PA.  The materials date from 1975 to 2013. They include publicity materials from events sponsored by local groups such as the Pink Triangle Coalition, promotional materials for March on Washington 1993, local newspaper clippings addressing LGBT issues in the Lancaster area and Elizabethtown school board debates, publications such as...

LGBT-003 document
2011-2012

This collection contains a campaign poster from John Campbell’s run for Harrisburg City treasurer as an openly gay candidate in 2011-2012.

Location: LGBT-003

Subject: LGBT History, Politics and Government

Format: Broadsides and Posters

Time Period: 2000-2019

Collection Inventory: LGBT-003 Collection Inventory

LGBT-004 documents
2013

This collection contains campaign materials from Chris Dietz's run for PA State Representative in 2012, including flyers, a campaign poster, and a campaign button. 

SCANN Annual Report, January 1995
1990-1995

Selected newsletters and annual report of South Central AIDS Assistance Network, 1990-1995.

Location: LGBT-005

Subject: Health and Medicine, LGBT History, Social Reform and Advocacy

Format: Reports

Time Period: 1980-1999

Collection Inventory: LGBT-005 Collection Inventory

LGBT-006 documents
1995-2005

This collection contains material related to the establishment of the LGBT Center of Central PA and the activities of the AIDS Community Alliance.  It also includes a 1995-1996 Gay and Lesbian Switchboard of Harrisburg directory, a flyer for the FAB Fall Achievement Benefit in 1996, documents from a 1999 LGBT civil rights program, and matchbooks from area gay bars.   

Location: LGBT-006

Subject: Health and Medicine, LGBT History, Social Reform and Advocacy

Format:

Time Period: 1980-1999, 2000-2019

Collection Inventory: LGBT-006 Collection Inventory

LGBT-007 documents
2013

Dan Miller ran for mayor of Harrisburg, PA in 2013.  While he was not successful in that election, he has held numerous positions of leadership.  At the time of the mayoral campaign, he was the Harrisburg City Controller and Harrisburg’s first openly gay elected official. He is a former member of the city council in Harrisburg.  He founded the Business Association of Gays and Lesbians in...

Here's How Newsletters, 1977
1978-1980

This collection contains issues of the Here's How newsletter from 1978 to 1980. This newsletter was distributed by the Homophiles of Williamsport organization. Dan Maneval, cofounder of the organization, donated these newsletters in 2013. The timeline housed in folder 2.1 was created by Joseph W. Burns to document LGBTQ activism in the Williamsport, PA area.

Location: LGBT-008

Subject: LGBT History, Social Reform and Advocacy

Format: Newspapers and Magazines

Time Period: 1960-1979, 1980-1999

Collection Inventory: LGBT-008 Collection Inventory

Lavender Letter Masthead
1995-2006

 This collection contains approximately 10 years worth of issues (1995-2006) of the Lavender Letter,  a lesbian newsletter published in Harrisburg, PA.   It also contains a small amount of documentation from the 1996 Central PA Pride Festival.

Location: LGBT-009

Subject: LGBT History, Social Reform and Advocacy

Format: Newspapers and Magazines

Time Period: 1980-1999, 2000-2019

Collection Inventory: LGBT-009 Collection Inventory

LGBT-010 documents
1972-2013

These materials document several gay bars that operated in the Harrisburg, PA area, namely The Archives Nightclub and Restaurant (1983), La Rose Rouge,(1978-1992), Neptune’s Lounge (1972), Paper Moon, and the Shadows bar (1980-1984).  These items take the form of bar memorabilia, photographs, and video recordings.  The donor of this collection, Larry Wilson, owned the Shadows Bar and The...

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