History Project is a volunteer-driven organization focused
several important initiatives:
The History Project
— established in 1980 by a group of historians, activists
and archivists — is the only group focused exclusively
on preserving the history of Boston’s LGBT community,
and on making that history accessible to future generations.
This research and preservation is of paramount importance
for the LGBT community, which is often excluded from history.
In fact, some historians —whether deliberately or negligently—
have taken steps to hide or obscure the nature of those contributions.
Since the documentation of the gay and lesbian experience
is fragmentary and scattered, it has remained largely inaccessible
to researchers, educators, the general public, and even the
gay community itself. Through its mission, THP seeks to provide
an accurate portrayal of the contributions our community has
made to the political, cultural and economic life of the region.
To this end, The History Project produces or participates
in 15-20 events or projects per year. Our audiences range from
a few dozen people for our Out of the Archives series to the thousands of people who have purchased
and read our full-length book, Improper
Bostonians (Beacon Press).
THP also collaborates with different organizations that need
information regarding Boston’s LGBT community. In recent
years these groups have included Northeastern University,
Speak Out, GLSTEN, the American Historical Association, BAGLY,
Boston GLASS, and Prime Timers, as well as other groups and
individuals. We make frequent appearances at conferences,
meet with individual historians about Boston’s LGBT
history, and answer inquiries from the general public related
to our archives and our ongoing research.
THP is led by an all-volunteer board, currently co-chaired
by Joan Ilacqua and Andrew Elder. In the absence of paid staff,
board members and volunteers are responsible for all aspects
of operations including administration, fundraising, program
development, research, and archiving.