St. Louis History

Election year fodder: Letters from the front lines of the St. Louis LGBTQ struggle for equal rights.

In honor of National Coming Out Day (October 11) and  LGBT History Month this post explores the the correspondence of Tom Miles, a St. Louis native and leader among allies of the LGBTQ community, provides an intimate window unto the LGBTQ rights movement of the 1990s and early 2000s. Miles, who w...

Project Update – Fall 2016

By Miranda Rectenwald on September 26, 2016

The Mapping LGBTQ St. Louis Project is happy to welcome three new undergraduate researchers to our team –  Kristi Hagen, Molly Brodsky, and Jennifer Chen. Our semester’s work began September 23 with an orientation session at Olin Library.  Ian Darnell presented on the overall story of...

The Adventures of Ian and Karisa

By Karisa Tavassoli, WU Class of 2016 & undergraduate researcher for Mapping LGBTQ St. Louis on August 25, 2016

Reflections of a summer research assistant I started working on Mapping LGBTQ St. Louis in a post-graduate flurry of emotions and tasks, excited to be done with undergrad but nervous as to how I would manage the world of ‘non-studenthood’ into which I was thrust. I knew little about G...

Still Documenting Ferguson: WU Libraries Offer Resources Related to 2014 Events

By Julie Hale on August 9, 2016

The WU Libraries’ efforts to preserve the voices, perspectives, and materials related to Ferguson are ongoing. On the second anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, we offer new resources and information. Our new LibGuide spotlights the work of the Regional Collecting Initiative on Ferguson and inc...

“In This Part of the City, All the Fellows Are Gay:” Exploring the History of LGBTQ Nightlife at St. Louis’s Grand and Olive [3/3]

By Ian Darnell, PhD candidate University of Illinois at Chicago & graduate researcher for Mapping LGBTQ St. Louis on August 3, 2016

[continued from part 2] The 3500 block of Olive flourished as a LGBTQ nightlife destination in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. At around the same time that Dante’s Inferno closed, several new lesbian and gay establishments opened on the block.  During this period, the nearby Central West End also so...

“In This Part of the City, All the Fellows Are Gay:” Exploring the History of LGBTQ Nightlife at St. Louis’s Grand and Olive [2/3]

By Ian Darnell, PhD candidate University of Illinois at Chicago & graduate researcher for Mapping LGBTQ St. Louis on August 2, 2016

[CONTINUED FROM PART 1] Several factors probably played a part in the appearance of an LGBTQ nightlife venue near Grand and Olive in the 1930s. The social makeup of the neighborhood had been changing. In earlier decades, the part of the city to the west of Grand—the West End—had been a relatively...

“In This Part of the City, All the Fellows Are Gay”: Exploring the History of LGBTQ Nightlife at St. Louis’s Grand and Olive [1/3]

By Ian Darnell, PhD candidate University of Illinois at Chicago & graduate researcher for Mapping LGBTQ St. Louis on August 1, 2016

Probably no single city block in St. Louis has a longer or more consequential history of LGBTQ nightlife than the 3500 block of Olive Street. From the mid-1930s to end of the 1970s, there was an almost continuous presence of lesbian and gay establishments here. For generations of LGBTQ St. Louisa...