What have we done in a year?

We realize it’s been a full year since our last blog post – yikes! It’s not because the Archives has been inactive. In fact, we’ve been neglecting the blog precisely because we’ve had so much going on this year and we’ve been too busy to write about it. Here are a few of the things we’ve been working on

  • Nancy and Phebe seated at a table with an assortment of archival materials laid out.

    Our table at the GLSEN Youth Summit

    October 2015: Workshop at GLSEN Youth Summit. Every year, GLSEN Greater Cincinnati holds an amazing summit to give LGBTQ youth an opportunity to meet each other and learn about their community. In 2014 we hosted a table to let attendees know about the archives. This year, we decided to take it a step further and hosted a workshop for youth about the OLA and local LGBTQ history. Between 15 – 20 teens attended and got a taste of queer history. We even brought a box of duplicate books for them to take home – those certainly didn’t last long!

    Three copies of a newsletter on lavender and purple paper with "Golden Threads" in large type.

    Golden Threads newsletter

  • February 2016: Golden Threads Showing with Senior Action Group. All year long, we’ve been working hard on creating an inventory of the Lesbian Periodicals collection (scroll down for more updates). In the process of going through this collection, we’ve discovered so many fascinating publications, both local and national. One that really caught our eye was Golden Threads, a correspondence newsletter designed specifically to connect lesbians 50 years and older. A little research showed us that there was a documentary about the publication and its creator. The Archives decided this was the perfect opportunity to partner with Cincinnati’s LGBT Senior Action Group, and we hosted a showing of the film in February. About 30 women joined us for this beautiful exploration of aging and community.
  • March 2016: Workshop encore for GLSEN Youth Group. GLSEN asked us to hold an encore of our October workshop for their weekly Youth Group. Phebe and Annabelle joined about 20 young people at Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church for another discussion of the Archives, which even generated interest in some youth potentially volunteering with us!
  • July 2016: Visit from UC History Class. In early July, we hosted a summer class from UC exploring local history and different archives in the area. The five students in “Local History Research Methods” got a taste of our collections, what it is like to do research here, and what it takes to maintain an archive. Their local history work will culminate in each of them writing text for an Ohio Historic Marker.
  • Phebe and Anthony stand next to each other leaning against the shelves

    Phebe and Anthony in the archives

    July 2016: Visit from Gay Ohio History Initiative. Anthony Gibbs, from the Gay Ohio History Initiative and the Ohio History Connection paid us a visit to talk about “GOHI” and statewide efforts to preserve Ohio’s LGBTQ history. Anthony brought resources with him and we showed him the archives and discussed ways we might be able to collaborate.

  • August 2016: Completed Lesbian Periodicals Inventory!!!! We have been working for over a year on creating an inventory of the Archives’ Lesbian Periodicals collection. The goal is to document exactly what the Archive has both for our own records and to make the information available to the public and to researchers. In early August, we finally made it to the end of the alphabet and documented all of the various lesbian newspapers, newsletters, and magazines – 3 full filing cabinets’ worth of materials. Now all we have left is to edit the document and we will be able to make it available at the archives and through this website for people interested in researching in our collection. We plan to have it edited and available for browsing online this fall.
  • August 20, 2016: Ohio History Connection LGBTQ Community Day with GOHI. Our last hurrah of the summer was to travel up to Columbus for LGBTQ Community Day at the Ohio History Center. Phebe and I gave a talk on the archives and we saw two other presentations: a talk on LGBTQ history projects by Stonewall Columbus and a living history interpreter speaking as Natalie Barney, “that Wild Girl from Cincinnati.” It was great to be able to share our work and connect with others around the state.

4 comments on “What have we done in a year?

  1. KATHLEEN says:

    Dear Nancy,

    Thanks for your blog and for the work that you do for Ohio Lesbian Archives.

    I lived in Cincinnati for 33 years (1976-2009), taught at the College of Mount St Joseph all of those years–came out their in my 19th year when I started initiating diversity panels re lesbians and gays. I had the good fortune of facilitating the free, weekly Tuesday Night Coming Out Group from 1992-2007 (the first 12 or so of those year at Crazy Ladies).

    I retired to the Seattle-Tacoma area…it’s the Grammy effect. I have two grandkids here, Stephanie and Nicholas, now 14 and 11. And discovered the amazing lesbian community here. Started a biweekly Coming Out Women group in 2011.

    For a couple of years I’ve been interviewing for the Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project (OLOHP) founded by Arden Evermeyer (houston) in 1998. Now much of the work is centered in University Place, WA, south of Seattle, as Margaret Purcell here She is Project Managerl she created our website this spring. If offers much information on the two anthologies of Old Lesbian Herstories and the new 60-min DVD that we produced this year with Pride Foundation support and collaboration with the university of Washington, Tacoma..

    The Project continues to digitally interview old lesbians over 70. To date, more than 500 Herstories have been collected. The interviewee receives (at no cost to her) a copy of her book compiled with photos and other documentation of her life. A copy of every Herstory is archived in the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College, Northamptom, MA.

    For the past two years I have returned to Ohio to conduct interviews there. I will be coming back again for a week from Sept 13-20. I have wanted to interview Phebe Beiser and eventually Vic Ramstetter about their work with the OLA. I’m thinking Phebe might be close to 70.

    Would you please forward my email to Phebe and Vic–and to any other old lesbian you believe might want to be interviewed by the OLOHP. I will be staying half of the week just north of 275 with my long time friend Ruth Benton (we are both 73), and half of the week with Denise Taylor whom I taught at the Mount 24 years ago and she’s a long time member of MUSE. I can be readily contacted by email or my cell phone.

    The OLOHP website describes the two OLOHP anthologies and our DVD, Our Stories, Our Voices: The Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project, including clips of voices of some of the 37 women whose Herstories are excerpted on the DVD. Margaret and I wrote a Companion Guide to help presenters of screenings of the DVD facilitate discussion with old lesbians; care providers (or students in related fields) to old or older lesbians; and with the general public (as at churches, temples, libraries, senior centers) to foster creating more welcoming environments to isolated, vulnerable old lesbians.

    The website: http://www.olohp.org

    Thank you.


    Kathy Prezbindowski


    (h) (253) 268-0098 (c/t) (253) 284-6099

    http://www.olohp .org http://www.psoloc.org http://www.comingoutwomen.org


    Lots of great work accomplished! Congratulations!

  3. Gay says:

    I think it’s great that you are so used to lesbian and gay. Unfortunately, the topic in Germany is still not as far as you 😦
    In Germany, everything is still very restrained

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