Daring to Find Our Names: The Search for Lesbigay Library History

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James Vinson Carmichael (Jr.)
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998 - Education - 251 pages

Outlines theoretical and methodological problems in documenting lesbigay history generally (and specifically, the history of lesbigay professionals, particularly those in the feminized professions like librarianship). This book will appeal especially to historians of traditionally underrepresented populations (women, Native Americans, African Americans, lesbigays). In particular, chapters on methodological problems in lesbigay research, separatism, and biases created by gender bias will pull together for the first time integrated feminist/radical perspectives on library history. The authors call for more responsible treatment of such subjects as the outing of historical figures, and conversely, a more open approach to research on gender outlaws in the workplace.

Heralds a new era in historical research in which the collective subjective of a particular group of hidden minority voices is given front stage. Leading scholars from a variety of disciplines examine the theoretical and methodological problems of lesbigay history and apply them to librarianship, one of the despised feminine professions. Founders and early leaders of the Task Force for Gay Liberation of the American Library Association, the oldest professionally endorsed gay task force in the world, reflect on their early struggles to gain recognition, and describe how sexism, homophobia, and discrimination have taken a toll in their personal and professional lives.

These stories challenge the notion that libraries have unequivocally defended the intellectual freedom and integrity of all their citizens, and provide a poignant counterpoint to the culture wars and political correctness debates within the lesbigay community. Because of societal taboos, until recently, lesbigay history has been invisible to the majority of its participants. Directors and workers in some of the world's leading gay and lesbian archives also share their experiences in collecting and making acccessible ephemera and other partial historical remains to restore a heritage and identity to lesbigay citizens.

 

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Daring to find our names: the search for lesbigay library history

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The public library often plays the unacknowledged role of first sanctuary for many a young gay and lesbian person as they struggle to define themselves. So perhaps it is not surprising that the ... Read full review

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Contents

Makeover Without a MirrorA Face for Lesbigay Library History
1
Methodological Issues in Research with Lesbians Gay Men and Bisexuals
27
A Lesbigay Gender Perplex Sexual Stereotyping and Professional Ambiguity in Librarianship
37
Biographical Research on Lesbigay Subjects Editing the Letters of Lillian Smith
47
A Closet Curtained by Circumspection Doing Research on the McCarthy Era Purge of Gays from the Library of Congress
55
Queer HistoriesQueer Librarians The Historical Development of a Gay Monograph
65
Gays in Library Land The Gay and Lesbian Task Force of the American Library Association The First Sixteen Years
81
A Personal Task Force Scrapbook Incunabula 19711972 and After
95
Archivists Activists and Scholars Creating a Queer History
135
Building A Home of Our Own The Construction of the Lesbian Herstory Archives
153
An Accidental Institution How and Why a Gay and Lesbian Archives?
175
Safe Harbour The Origin and Growth of the Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand
183
Destination Library
205
Social Responsibility and Acceptable Prejudice
213
Out Publicly The Professional and Personal of Gay Public Librarianship
217
Index
233

Reclaiming a Founding
107
Librarians as Cultural Enforcers
113
The Gay Lesbian and Bisexual Task Force of the American Library Association A Chronology of Activities 19701995
121
About the Editor and Contributors
247
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

JAMES V. CARMICHAEL is Associate Professor, Department of Library and Information Studies, at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. /e

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