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.

To view all full-text content currently available online, visit:

https://libguides.dickinson.edu/lgbthistory

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Joseph W. Burns donated these materials in 2013 as the first contribution of historical documents to the LGBT Center of Central PA History Project.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...

Sam Deetz with Pink Triangle pin, 1976
1975-1976

These materials were donated by Sam Deetz, founder of Susquehanna Valley Gays United in Northumberland, PA in 1976. The scrapbook contains newspaper clippings documenting gay rights issues and activism primarily in the Sunbury, PA area from 1975-1976. This collection also includes Deetz’s appointment letter to the Governor’s Council for Sexual Minorities in 1976 and photographs of Deetz and...