Stonewall Library & Archives

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Stonewall National Museum and Archives (SNMA) is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c) (3) that promotes understanding through preserving and sharing the proud culture of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their significant role in society. SNMA is one of the only museums in the United States dedicated solely to LGBT history, civil rights, art and culture. The museum features three gallery spaces with changing monthly and bi-monthly exhibits, and includes a permanent timeline of American LGBT history.

History[edit]

The Stonewall Library & Archives was founded in 1973 by members of the Stonewall Committee in Hollywood, Florida and was first directed by Mark N. Silber. The collection remained open only to a select group of colleagues until 25 May 1985. Five years later, the library merged with the Boca Raton-based Southern Gay Archives and they formed Stonewall Library & Archives, Inc. In 2001, the library and archive moved into the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida at 1717 North Andrews Avenue.[1]

The center, however, is slated for demolition, so Stonewall began looking for other options. They were approached by Broward County, who offered the collection space at the Fort Lauderdale branch of the Broward County library, which already includes tenant ArtServe. The Broward County Commission approved the move in a 9-0 vote on 10 June 2007.[2][3] The new location opened in February 2009 at 1300 East Sunrise Blvd in Fort Lauderdale Florida

Mission[edit]

Stonewall National Museum and Archives (SNMA) is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c) (3) that promotes understanding through preserving and sharing the proud culture of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their significant role in society.

Controversy[edit]

On 10 July 2007, the Fort Lauderdale city commission also voted, on a 3-2 vote, to allow the library to occupy a space in the building that is city owned, but under long-term lease to the county. Before the vote, mayor Jim Naugle denounced the library, claiming that it contained pornographic materials.[4] Executive Director Jack Rutland noted that the three titles singled out by Naugle were all part of the library's non-circulating archive of 7000 titles, maintained for historical and research purposes only.[5] The dispute was another round in a stormy relationship between the city's large gay community and Naugle, who has repeatedly made statements that are perceived as anti-gay.[6]

Items in Collection[edit]

The circulating library currently has over 25,000 books and 1,000 DVDs, with new titles are added every week. The library also offer over 60 national and regional periodicals in their John Graves Reading Room.[7]

The archives currently contains more than 5,000 items. The collection has been professionally catalogued and is maintained according to strict conservation standards. Among the 5,000 items is their extensive pulp fiction collection, organizational records of local, national and regional LGBT organizations, their large serials collection, personal records of local and national personalities, the Joel Starkey Collection, gay erotica - pictorial works, and LGBT ephemera, film, audio and oral histories.[8]

The Stonewall Museum includes a permanent timeline of American LGBT history as well as changing history exhibitions. One of their prized possessions is the gavel that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" back in 2010. According to Huffington Post, it was donated to Stonewall by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who had received it from Pelosi. Museum president, Bryan Knicely, said "if I didn't work here, I would think it belonged to the Smithsonian." The Smithsonian has actually contacted Stonewall about borrowing it. The piece is just one of many of the LGBT artifacts that Stonewall has.[9]

Visitor Information[edit]

Permanent Address: 1300 East Sunrise Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

Telephone Number: (954) 763-8565

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday: 11:00am–8:00pm, Saturday: 10:00am–5:00pm

Library Card Services:

Student Member (with ID): $25

Individual Member: $35

Family Membership: $50

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Searcy, Fred (Winter 2001). "Stonewall Library and Archives Moves into the New Millennium". The Florida Archivist 17 (1): 2–3. 
  2. ^ Mayo, Michael (19 July 2007). "Fort Lauderdale mayor turning into his own worst enemy". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2007-07-23. 
  3. ^ Rutland, Jack (19 July 2007). "New facility offers public local resources". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2007-07-23. 
  4. ^ Martinez, Ani (11 July 2007). "Mayor takes new jab at gays as library is OK'd". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 2007-07-17. [dead link]
  5. ^ Wilcox, Barbara (12 July 2007). "Naugle notwithstanding, Fort Lauderdale to get new LGBT library". The Advocate. Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  6. ^ "Homosexuality is a sin, mayor says". WTVJ. 13 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-17. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Stonewall National Museum & Archives - About the Library". Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "Stonewall National Museum & Archives - About the Archives". 
  9. ^ Lilly, Christiana (June 4, 2012). "Stonewall National Museum & Archives Stores America's LGBT History". Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 

External links[edit]