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
We appreciate your support of the LGBTQ+ Collection. If you are in a position to give, please visit our page on the USM Foundation website.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The Howard Solomon Collection documents the art, activism, and scholarship of Howard Solomon, spanning the late 1960s to 2017.
Audio and transcript of an interview conducted by Kat Hartford with founding member of the Maine Bisexual People's Network, Ginny LaCrow.
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.
Lawrence (Larry) Bliss is a former Democratic Maine state Representative and Senator, and LGBT rights activist. Digitized material includes material from the Maine Gay Symposium.
Full ranges of LGBTQ+ newsletters and newspapers published in Maine from the mid-1970s to the 1990s.
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.
A half-hour talk show on WMPG hosted by a collective of local queer folks.
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.
View images by Robert Diamante. Mr. Diamante's collection includes candid and studio photos of the Portland queer community in the 1990s.
Steve Bull is a lifelong LGBTQ+ and civil rights activist of Maine and California. Digitized items include material from the Wilde-Stein Club and the Maine Gay Symposium. Digitization is ongoing and additional items will be added in the future.
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 student club materials, Maine Gay Symposium material, and gay community publications from the Boston area. Digitization is ongoing and additional items will be added in the future.
Click to view a selection of Tom Antonik's photographs.
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.
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.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Browse the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer+ Collection
- "Act Up Fight Back Take Pictures: Ten Years of Queer Activism in Maine" Annette Dragon Photographs
- Apron from marriage equality campaign charity fundraiser
- Betsy Parsons Collection
- Charlie O. Howard Memorial Foundation Archives
- EqualityMaine Archives
- Gay Side Story
- Howard Solomon Collection
- Interview with the Grandmas: 34 Year Herstory
- Janice Irvine Oral History Project
- Jean Vermette Papers
- Larry Bliss Collection
- Lois Galgay Reckitt Papers
- Maine Bisexual People's Network Interview
- Maine LGBTQ+ Newspapers
- Northern Lambda NORD Archives
- OUT cast
- Querying the Past: LGBTQ Maine Oral History Project Collection
- Robert Diamante Papers
- Ryan Conrad Collection
- Steven G. Bull Papers
- Sturgis Haskins Papers
- Tom Antonik Papers
- Tr*nnychasers: A Skateboard Roadtrip (2006)
- USM Lesbian and Gay Oral History Project