Browse Exhibits (9 total)

New By Nadia


New By Nadia comes out every Friday

Windy City Performing Arts

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Windy City Performing Arts (WCPA) is a not-for-profit musical organization whose lesbian, gay, and lesbian-and-gay- sensitive members join together for the purpose of making an artistic and social statement through musical excellence.

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Unboxing Queer History


Unboxing Queer History is a podcast from Gerber/Hart Library and Archives.

Each of the 8 episodes in Unboxing Queer History focus on a different story from the LGBTQ history inside of Gerber/Hart’s collections and archives. The episodes range from discussions of the importance of a LGBTQ circulating library to Chicago drag history and include interviews with community leaders, volunteers, researchers, and local historians. 

Nationalizing Gay Rights

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LGBTQ people experienced discrimination throughout the twentieth century. There were many efforts to combat this discrimination, but one key strategy was the development of a language of rights to present to people in power. From the mid-1960s to the late 1970s, various contingencies in the homophile and gay liberation movements struggled to develop a common language with which to argue for rights for homosexuals. Part of this struggle was the inclusion of lesbians under the term “gay.” This exhibit chronicles the efforts of three national groups to develop a language of gay rights between the mid-1960s and late 1970s in the United States. It also highlights how these various groups used that language to express their desire for change on a national level.

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.

LP's for Liberation


During the “Gay Liberation” era of the 1970s, there was a growth in music written and performed by openly gay men and lesbians that affirmed and celebrated their liberated identities.

The following exhibit highlights some of these artists and thier music.

Many songs listed on the albums featured in this exhibit (beyond the ones embedded in this exhibit) can be found from basic internet searches.

Queer Zines

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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.

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

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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.