Our Mission
To document and preserve the history
of Boston's LGBT community, and
to share that information with the public.

Find out what we're doing...
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Watch a short movie about THP.

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The History Project's Events Calendar




WE'RE RUNNING OUR FIRST 5K...
HELP US MEET OUR GOAL!

Now through the end of September, when you donate to The History Project your gift will go twice as far!

Several generous donors have agreed to match all donations to The History Project in September, up to $5,000. That means that for every dollar you donate, another dollar will be donated. But — we need you to help us reach the full amount!

Visit our YouCaring page to learn more and donate without fees!




THE HISTORY PROJECT INVITES YOU TO
THE 2017 HISTORYMAKER AWARDS!

This October, The History Project honors
Larry Kessler — a monumental figure in Boston's LGBTQ community!
Please join us in honoring a leader who raised a beacon of hope
during one of the most challenging periods of our community's history.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 | 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Club Cafe | 209 Columbus Ave | Boston, MA 02116

Read more about Larry Kessler and get your tickets here!

2016 Honorees Susan Ryan-Vollmar and Corey Yarbrough with THP Co-Chairs Andrew Elder and Joan Ilacqua

2016 Honorees Corey Yarbrough and Susan Ryan-Vollmar
with THP Co-Chairs Andrew Elder and Joan Ilacqua


Sponsorship opportunities available.



The "Out of the Archives" Series

September 19: THIS TALK HAS BEEN CANCELED!


Due to unexpected circumstances, we've had to cancel the Sept 19 "Queerness before 'Queer"" talk by Sarah Prager.
 
Author sarah prager

 

October 23: Ria Brodell's Butch Heroes

6:00 to 8:00 pm, Monday, October 23, 2017

Boston-based artist Ria Brodell will discuss the research and process involved in the creation of the painting series "Butch Heroes." In this ongoing series of portraits, Brodell sheds light on gender nonconforming pioneers - real historic figures whose lives have been hidden, and whose stories demonstrate how our ideas of gender identity have evolved over hundreds of years.

This is a free event, but RSVPs are required via Eventbrite.

Read more about the Out of the Archives Series
 
Brodell's portrait of Clara, better known as Big Ben

 

November 7: Rebutting Flirtatious Girls: The Life of Ethel M. Kimball


On December 15th, 1922, James and Louise Hathaway were approached by Boston police regarding a possible attempted car theft. What followed was the unmasking of James's true identity: James was actually Ethel Kimball of Allston. THP co-founder and board member Libby Bouvier will talk about what we do and do not know of Ethel Kimball's remarkable story, including romantic adventures with women and multiple encounters with the law.

"Miss Kimball said that one of the greatest difficulties she found in posing as a man was in rebutting flirtatious girls..." — The Boston Globe, December 16, 1921

Read more about the Out of the Archives Series
 
Ethel Kimball


NEW & RECENTLY-PROCESSED COLLECTIONS


 
Fran's Place Collection

One of the oldest bars in Massachusetts, Fran's place had a long and vibrant life in the city of Lynn. The bar was a gathering place for the local LGBTQ Community, drawing a large lesbian crowd from the bowling alley next door. It is known as the first bar to host a fundraiser for HIV/AIDS research, the first bar to have a float in the Boston Gay Pride Parade, and the first to host gay weddings. Fran's Place closed in September 2016.

Read more about Fran's Place and view the finding aid
 
 
Men of All Colors Together/Boston Collection

Men of All Colors Together/Boston (BWMT/Boston; MACT/Boston), founded under the name "Black and White Men Together/Boston" in 1980 is the Boston chapter of the National Association of Black and White Men Together (known as the "International Association of Black and White Men Together" at its inception). MACT/Boston is the second-oldest national chapter and the oldest interracial gay group on the East Coast.
View digitized materials
 
 
Older Lesbian Energy (OLE) Collection

Older Lesbian Energy (OLE) is a social organization for lesbian women over age 40. Founded in 1980 by Toni Schiff and Anita Fast, OLE grew out of Schiff's 1979 master's thesis, "The Development of a Radical Lifestyle in Mid-Life." Schiff interviewed a number of middle-aged lesbians who told her they felt isolated and alone. In October 1979, Schiff invited these women and their over-40 friends to her home for a dinner party. Forty women showed up...
View digitized materials
 
 
Gays for Patsy Collection

Gays for Patsy (GFP) is a Boston-based, nonprofit, all-volunteer organization made up of Country/Western dance enthusiasts. They mission is to share the joy of country-western dancing while raising funds for groups serving those in need. View digitized materials
 
 
Black Gay and Lesbian Collection

In April 2017, an anonymous donor gave this collection to The History Project — left for us at an event at Fenway Health, in two cloth bags and three archival magazine boxes. The collection consists of a variety of printed media including newspaper articles, (original and photocopied,) brochures, flyers, magazines, and photographs, which documents Boston's black gay and lesbian history.
View digitized materials
 
 
Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project Collection

The Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project (LGBTQ-DVP) was founded in 1994, by a victim of domestic violence when he was repeatedly denied services by mainstream domestic violence shelters in his attempt to leave his abusive partner.
View digitized materials
 
 
The Charles Shively Collection

Charles "Charley" Shively, born in 1937, is a gay activist known for his 1977 Boston Pride keynote where he burned several documents, including his Harvard degree and pages from the Bible. He was founder of Fag Rag, a scholar of gay history, and a poet. The collection contains a variety of printed media including newspaper articles, (original and photocopied,) poetry magazines, serials, books, personal correspondence, and speeches.
View digitized materials



VOLUNTEER WITH THE HISTORY PROJECT!

There are many ways to volunteer with The History Project. You can help us to plan events like our HistoryMaker Awards or From the Archives series, work on processing archives & new collections, or help us with fundraising.

We send out a monthly email with specific volunteer opportunities, including dates and times. To receive this volunteer-specific email, contact Tony Grima.

We hope you'll join us!
 



Watch clips from interviews in
the Boston Deejay Project
 
We're collecting oral histories from deejays in LGBT clubs in the Boston area, past and present. We put the full interviews into our archives and present parts of them on YouTube. If you are or were a DJ in Boston's gay clubs - at any point in time - and would like to sit down with The History Project, please email Tony.

Right: Boston deejay Anthony Porter talks about his early years; going to clubs in early 70s to cruise tearooms and The Art Cinema; going to The Other Side at age 14 (1971); moving out to live on Beacon Hill at age 16; going to the 1270 in 1972 and noticing Jimmy Stuard's music.



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The History Project: Calendar




The History Project is a volunteer-driven organization focused on several important initiatives: 
  • Conducting research on lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people in Massachusetts
  • Preserving the documentary record of that community's social and historical contributions
  • Providing a forum for educating the general public
 

The Women's Theatre Project present
Silence is Never Golden (1994)



The History Project | 29 Stanhope Street, Boston MA 02116
617.266.7733 | info@historyproject.org