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Durham and Local History at the Rubenstein Library

This guide will help you research Durham history using primary source materials held at the Rubenstein Library

Organizational Records

Front Page Records, 1975-2004 

Founded by Jim Baxter, The Front Page is a newspaper devoted to gay and lesbian issues in North and South Carolina. Collection consists of materials used in production of the newspaper, specifically a large clippings file, flyers, newsletters, press releases, book PR, incoming correspondence, a "Kill" box file, some clippings organized by subject, papers centered on Lee Mullis and Jim Duley, a reader survey, faxes, some submissions, and a large number of other gay and lesbian publications.

North Carolina Lesbian and Gay Health Project Records, 1983-1996

The NCLGHP was founded in Durham, NC in 1982 to challenge homophobia in existing health care institutions, to provide information and support to individuals, and to coordinate grassroots activism around gay and lesbian health issues with other area organizations. Administrative files, case files, board minutes, and newsletters document organization and activities of the NCLGHP.

Common Woman Chorus Records, 1985-2010

Lesbian feminist choral group established in the Durham-Raleigh-Chapel Hill area (N.C.) in 1983. The Common Woman Chorus records contain material dating from 1985 to 2010. The records primarily comprise sheet music, concert programs, publicity, correspondence, and administrative records. Although the records contain mostly print material, they also include some color photographs, audiocassettes, videos, electronic word documents, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. 

Lesbian Health Resource Center Records, 1987-2005

Durham-based community organization that provided health advice and workshops for lesbians. Successor to the North Carolina Lesbian and Gay Health Project, founded in 1982. The LHRC opened in 1996. Collection includes administrative materials, grant and funding applications, volunteer orientation agendas, and a resource library maintained by the LHRC during the 1990s. Topics include mental and physical health for lesbians, in particular HIV/AIDS prevention, breast cancer prevention and screenings, and safe sex practices.

Our Own Place Records, 1986-2007

Organizational records of a Durham, N.C. lesbian community group.

Triangle Business and Professional Guild Records, 1970-2006

The Triangle Business and Professional Guidle Records aims to establish a network of business and professional resources, to encourage fellowship and support among businesses, professionals, and charitable pursuits, and to provide and promote positive role models in the gay and lesbian community, particularly in the Triangle (Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham) area of North Carolina. This organization was founded in the early 1990s and is based in Raleigh.

OutRight Records, 1990-1998

Triangle-area organization founded in 1990, now disbanded; provided support for gay youth and other young people with questions about their sexual orientation.

Triangle Community Works Records, 1974-2008

Triangle Community Works! was formed in 1994 and consists of a coalition of groups, including ASPYN (A Safer Place Youth Network), The Gay and Lesbian Helpline, P-FLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), and RRNGLE (Raleigh Religious Network for Gay and Lesbian Equality). Collection includes historical documents from several groups in Triangle Community Works!, including ASPYN, RRNGLE, and the Gay and Lesbian Helpline. Materials date from the 1970s to 2008.

Southerners on New Ground records, 1993-2003

Southerners on New Ground (SONG) currently works to build, connect, and sustain those in the South who believe in liberation across all lines of race, class, culture, gender and sexuality, through a membership of 600 primarily LGBT people. The collection includes recordsl stemming from retreats, training, workshops, and community events sponsored or promoted by SONG. The accession also includes SONG materials from the Bayard Rustin project, People of Color activities, Pride at Work, and the Highlander Economy Educational Institute, among others.

Papers of Individuals

Catherine Nicholson Papers, 1897-2005 

Lesbian feminist writer and magazine publisher, resident of Durham, N.C.; co-founder of SINISTER WISDOM, a multicultural lesbian literary and art journal. The Catherine Nicholson papers contain materials dating from 1897 to 2005, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1974 to 2005. Materials in the collection primarily document Nicholson's directing and theatre related activities, her work on Sinister Wisdom, and her membership in the group Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC).

Minnie Bruce Pratt Papers, 1870-2005

Award-winning poet, professor and activist; partner of transgender activist and author Leslie Feinberg. Pratt was actively involved in Feminary, an editorial collective based in Durham that published a local feminist newsletter that evolved into into a quarterly journal, as well as the group Triangle Area Lesbian Feminists (of Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh, NC) which published The Newsletter.

Mab Segrest Papers, 1967-2002

Author, teacher, feminist, gay activist, publisher, editor, and leader of various social justice and activist organizations. Segrest received her MA and PhD from Duke University in the late 1970s and during this time became active in lesbian-feminist political and cultural work in North Carolina and nationally.

Lightning Brown Papers, 1983-1985

Gay rights activist and the first openly gay candidate for public office in North Carolina, resident of Chapel Hill, N.C. Collection contains materials primarily related to the 1984 elections. They include correspondence with public officials (among others), articles, and studies. The materials reflect Brown's interest and involvement in the Democratic Party, national legislation, and issues regarding gay rights.

Mandy Carter Papers, 1970-2013

Mandy Carter is a self-described "southern out black lesbian social justice activist." Since 1968 she has been involved in peace, social, racial and LGBT organizing at the local, state, regional, and national levels. She has been based in Durham, N.C., since 1982. The Mandy Carter Papers span the dates 1970 to 2013 and include files related to her work as a grassroots organizer and multi-issue social justice activist.

Lisa Garmon Papers, 1980-2007

Lisa Garmon, longtime resident of Chapel Hill, NC, was a multi-issue activist, organizing for women's rights, LGBT/queer rights, Latin American rights, and a defender of the environment. Collection contains personal/professional correspondence, subject files, and audiocassette and videocassette tapes of Lisa Garmon, writings and other materials related to the publication of the feminist zine HA!, and a zine collection.