The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is acquiring a significant number of objects related to LGBT history. Miami photographer, Silvia Ros, one of the premier documenters of the recent LGBT movement, has donated over 85 images to the collection.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has a long tradition of documenting the full breadth of the American experience and what it means to be an American. The LGBT narrative is an important part of that American story, and the Smithsonian has been documenting and collecting related objects for many years.
Ros, founder of the National LGBT Visual Documentation Project, began photographing LGBT events, activists, leaders and rallies in 2008. The photographs will now be a permanent part of the National Museum of American History Archives Center LGBT Collection.
“We’re extremely pleased to get this collection, which will be added to our Archives Center LGBT Collection [Collection No. 1146]. This collection draws a lot of researcher interest, and as rapidly as things are changing in various states around the country, I think interest will only increase,” said Catherine Keen, archivist.
Subjects include the National Equality March, which took place in Washington D.C. on October 11, 2009, featuring activists and celebrities and was attended by over 100,000 people. Activists included in the collection include Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Kate Kendall, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, David Mixner, Cleve Jones, Charlene Strong, Robin McGehee and many more. From San Francisco, Florida, and Washington D.C., protests and rallies, pride parades, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell forums, LGBT history has been documented and will be available to everyone at the Museum for American History.
Other acquisitions include Renee Richard’s tennis racquet, the official transgender pride flag, materials from the groundbreaking TV series Will and Grace and the diplomatic passports of the former U.S. ambassador to New Zealand David Huebner and his spouse, Duane McWaine.
The objects will be on view for media during the ceremony.