The Minnesota Historical Society began actively documenting the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) community in the early 1970s. Since then, the Museum Collections Department has either added to or identified within its collection more than 200 artifacts that have GLBT association. This collection is destined to grow.
The artifacts in the museum collection reflect noteworthy events and people, but also the lives of ordinary people. Artifacts range from a guerilla theater costume used in a Twin Cities demonstration against a meeting of the Berean League in the 1980s to a business card from the local office of ACT UP. The collection includes dozens of buttons, promoting political campaigns and causes and celebrating or commemorating community events. A singular artifact in the collection is the symbolic "stone wall" erected at the State Capitol in 1989 during the "Stonewall to St. Paul: Celebrating the Struggle" rally.
The Minnesota Historical Society is making detailed information about its collections of historical artifacts, photographs and art works available via the Web. In the future, you will be able to search a database for a description of each item and view images of many.
The objects from the GLBT Collection represent a sample of the broad spectrum of items that will be available and are now accessible via PALS, the Society's online catalog. Each description contains a link to an image of the object.
Gay pride 1992 button. Made by the Athletic Supporter, Ltd. (1998.45.17)