The LGBTQ+ Collection, part of the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine, consists of collections of personal papers and archives of organizations active in the LGBTQ+ communities of Maine. The manuscript collections date from the 1970s to the present. There are also rare or unique print materials about the community (all 1970s or later), including a unique series of 42 newspapers by community groups around the state. The collection focuses on historical sources, excluding creative works of fiction or art, unless such works document the community.

For more information on our processed collections, please consult the Finding Aids

Digitized Items

Please click on the following headings to see digitized items from the LGBTQ+ Collection. Please note that digitization is ongoing. If you don't see what you're after, please contact us.

"Act Up Fight Back Take Pictures: Ten Years of Queer Activism in Maine" Annette Dragon Photographs

Annette Dragon moved to Portland in 1990, began work in a camera store, and started shooting photographs for the local gay paper – Our Paper – in 1991. She also became a key activist in ACT/UP Portland and co-founded the queer monthly APEX, which had much more radical content than the other local choices.

Betsy Parsons Collection

Betsy Parsons was a teacher in the Portland Public Schools and a Board member, GLSEN-Southern Maine (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network). She also served on the LGBT Advisory Committee for the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine at the University of Southern Maine and was involved with the Unitarian Universalist Church. She was the Southern Maine coordinator for the Marriage Equality Family Ambassador Project, a grassroots educational initiative to promote understanding of how marriage for same-sex couples will help Maine children, families and communities, supported by Maine Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and Equality Maine Foundation. The Collection consists of signs used in a Nov. 5, 2005 rally, organized by the Unitarian Universalist Church in favor of LGBT civil rights legislation, as well as printed material from the Maine Won't Discriminate campaign.

Beetle’s Lunch: An Oral History of the Early Food Adventures of Restauranteurs Norine Kotts and Cheryl Lewis

Norine Kotts and Cheryl Lewis are prominent restauranteurs and food consultants in Portland, Maine. Sociologist Janice Irvine presents their fascinating story in this recorded interview. Click to read participant bios and to hear the interview.

Charlie O. Howard Memorial Foundation Archives

The Charlie O. Howard Memorial Archives contains the records of the organization that sought to build a monument on the site where Mr. Howard died in 1984. Below you can view a film of the ceremony dedicating the memorial in downtown Bangor, Maine July 7, 2004.

Gay Side Story

In the summer of 1983 a group of young folks performed a parody of a certain well-known Broadway musical. Here you will find video, photos, a script and more from that once in a lifetime performance.

Interview With Ginny LaCrow

Audio and transcript of an interview conducted by Kat Hartford with founding member of the Maine Bisexual People's Network, Ginny LaCrow.

Interview With The Grandmas: 34 Year Herstory

Filmed interview of Rita W. Clifford and Sara Elliot, interviewed by Adriana Troxell Elliot, filmed by Elias Gilbert Elliot on July 3, 2015, in South Portland, Maine.

Northern Lambda NORD Archives

NLN began in 1979 as a support network for the rural LGBT community, located in Aroostook County, with members in Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. Digitization of this collection is ongoing.

OUT cast (podcast)

A half-hour talk show on WMPG hosted by a collective of local queer folks.

Maine LGBTQ+ Newspapers

Full ranges of LGBTQ+ newsletters and newspapers published in Maine from the mid-1970s to the 1990s.

Querying the Past: LGBTQ Maine Oral History Project

Collecting and preserving the voices and stories of members of the Southern Maine LGBTQ community. The oral histories are available to the public in an effort to enrich understanding of our community and will serve as an important resource for scholars working on LGBTQ history.

Robert Diamante Papers

View images by Robert Diamante. Mr. Diamante's collection includes candid and studio photos of the Portland queer community in the 1990s.

Sturgis Haskins Papers

Sturgis Haskins was a long-time activist in Gay and Lesbian communities, and was one of the organizers of the annual Maine Gay Symposium started in 1974 at University of Maine, Orono. These digitized items include gay community newspapers and publications from the Boston area. Digitization is ongoing and additional items will be added in the future.

Tom Antonik Papers

Click to view a selection of Tom Antonik's photographs.

Tr*nnychasers (film)

Two queer, androgynous best friends embark on a 5000-mile skateboard road trip across the Western United States in search of concrete bowls and what it means to be a queer skater in a deeply homophobic culture.

T-Shirts

The t-shirt is a method that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender communities use to identify themselves, to promote causes, and to spread information, and in general become visible to the community.

USM Lesbian and Gay Oral History Collection

This collection includes interviews with members of the Maine Lesbian and Gay activist communities. Some interviews were conducted by Madeleine Winter in 1999, and some were conducted by Howard Solomon in 2006.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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