Central Library Exhibit Showcases a Slice of SA’s LGBTQ History

(Courtesy photos)

To celebrate Pride month, UTSA Special Collections was invited to install an exhibit at the San Antonio Public Library Central Branch highlighting San Antonio’s LGBTQ history.

Queer Collections: A Portal to San Antonio’s LGBTQ Past showcases materials from the Lollie Johnson Papers. Johnson, a local business entrepreneur, owned and operated several queer clubs from the 1970s to the 1990s in San Antonio.

On display are objects from some of Lollie’s clubs including a faux stained glass window from the Noo Zoo Too, t-shirts, a pair of Lollie’s shoes, and photographs which capture the essence of queer bar culture over several decades.

The second part of the exhibit explores t-shirts as historical objects. We do not always recognize that graphic t-shirts stuffed in drawers or hanging in closets offer to clues to our personal past.

Some t-shirts and textiles shine light on cultural trends and local history in the LGBTQ community. The t-shirts on display are from the Lucy E. Duncan and Jill Zimmerman Lesbian and Feminist T-Shirt Collection and the San Antonio Lesbian and Gay Assembly Records.

The Queer Collections exhibit, curated by UTSA Special Collections Assistant Archivist, Melissa Gohlke, will be on display on the second floor landing (by the Chihuly sculpture) at SAPL Central Library through July 31, 2018. Many thanks to Matt Loaiza, Assistant Manager, Teen Library at Central for making the exhibit possible.

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