Browse Exhibits (4 total)

Chicago Gay and Lesbian History 1924-1979


The 55 years between 1924, when Henry Gerber founded the first gay rights organization, to the 1979 March on Washington marked some signification events in "gay and lesbian" history both for Chicago and nationally.

This exhibit highlights some of these events in Chicago and national gay and lesbian history in the time span between 1924 and 1979.

Merchandise Catalogs

Whole Gay Catalogue 1986 2.jpg

An indispensable resource for researching history, catalogs provide a glimpse into how cultures form and change over time. From the products being sold, the descriptions that accompany them, and the physiques of the models, catalogs show what was popular and in-demand, as well as what was happening socially at that point in history.

This exhibit is a sample of merchandise catalogs from Gerber/Hart's collections.

Pearl M. Hart


...I defend the foreign born against the present deportation hysteria because of a consciousness that it was the foreign born and their children who built this nation of ours and who have been its most loyal partisans.

Pearl Hart from appeal presented in U.S. v. Witkovich
to the Supreme Court in 1957

The homosexual should stop viewing himself as a memer of a minority and assert the equal rights which are already his.

Pearl Hart from presentation at public meeting
of Mattachine Midwest, July 1965

She was a tough lady. The tougher it got, the tougher she got. And the tougher she got, the better she served her own commitment.

David Rothstein, National Lawyers Guild
at Pearl Hart's memorial service in 1975.

It's funny how history catches up with Pearl....  Her mission was always to defend the underdog--in a sense recognizing the illness of the overdog as well. Pearl Hart is certainly dead. Shie is dead becuase she first lived.

Studs Terkel
at Pearl Harts' memorial service in 1975.

Queer Zines

Pansy Beat.jpg

The term “zine” refers to any homemade, noncommercial, small-circulation publication of original or appropriated text, image, and collage. Profit is generally not the intent of the publication, as topics are less mainstream, and more marginal or underground than corporate magazines. Zines are a mode of expression for those who do not have access to mainstream media representation and self-reflection.

This exhibit is a sampling of Gerber/Hart's zine collection.