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LGBTQ History Month: A Spotlight on New Collections

As part of our celebration of LGBTQ History Month this October, we are showcasing a few recent acquisitions on LGBTQ culture and history in Missouri by Special Collections at Washington University Libraries.  

Janey Archey Papers

Janey Archey is an activist, organizer, and educator in St. Louis focused on many intersectional topics, including poverty, anti-racist political education, police brutality, the death penalty, and lesbian-feminist rights. Janey reflected on what motivated her to prepare her materials for the archives. 

Grey box with paper folders in multiple colors. Lid reads: Janey Archey’s intersectional LGBTQIA Collection 1980s-2020
Files from Janey Archey, prepared for transportation to the archives.

“I have been documenting my activism and organizing journey for 40 years… events, meetings, actions, protests, arrests, political education, membership in various organizations, and coalitions from the early 1980s through the present.  Maybe the pandemic of 2020, or just being tired of carrying around all these momentous memories for so long, spurred me to finally pull it together.”

Special Collections is proud to help preserve these documents of LGBTQIA history in St. Louis. 

Chris Jackson Papers

Chris Jackson, a Washington University alumnus (1981), authored and produced numerous musical shows and productions in St. Louis, the Midwest, and New York. His theatrical work drew heavily on his own life experiences, with an emphasis on St. Louis. By the mid-1980s, more of his productions began to focus on LGBTQ topics, such as Three Boys staged at St. Marcus Theater.  A prolific composer, many remember Chris for his popular cabarets, including Normal Is The Setting On My Dryer held in 2000 at Balabans. Many productions were offered as fundraisers for St. Louis Effort for AIDS (EFA) and similar organizations.    

A close friend, Ed Golterman, salvaged and saved Chris’s materials after his death in 2007, and we are grateful for his efforts to ensure that this history of LGBTQ culture and musical theater is preserved.

Seven paper posters on a wall. For theatrical productions of The Captain’s Boy, Saugatuck, The Rivals, Suburbia, Through the Woods of Normandy, Do You Have a Piano?, and A Really Big Snow.
Posters advertising some of Chris Jackson’s productions through the years.

Barb Goedde Journals

WashU alumna Barb Goedde (’73, ’75) is an educator, artist, and sports enthusiast. She donated eight journals, all created while a student at WashU. Full of sketches, paintings, and personal reflections, these volumes document her experience as a young lesbian in college in the midst of the “gay liberation” movement. Barb also contributed her artistic skills to the lesbian-feminist publication Moonstorm in the 1970s-1980s, as well as producing posters and flyers for the women-run Tiamet Press in St. Louis. 

We are thrilled to help preserve these one-of-a-kind documents about both WashU and St. Louis history. 

About the Archives

These collections and others at WashU were collected as part of our ongoing effort to ensure that local LGBTQ+ history is preserved and available for study. Over the next months, these materials will be organized and a description added to the online archive catalog, ArchivesSpace. All researchers, regardless of university affiliation, are welcome at Special Collections. Please contact us at spec@wumail.wustl.edu for more information about accessing collections.

If you have files, photographs, recordings, or other items that document LGBTQIA+ life in the St. Louis area, contact Miranda Rectenwald at mrectenwald@wustl.edu to talk about ways this history can be preserved for future generations.  

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