June 20, 2016

ONE Archives at the USC Libraries has completed a massive digitization project to put LGBTQ history online. ONE will be adding over 5,000 photographs and documents to the USC Digital Library to create one of the largest visual databases of LGBTQ materials in the world. ONE Archives has scanned a trove of historic photographs, flyers, letters, buttons, and audiovisual recordings to create one of the most complete and diverse online visual records of 20th century LGBTQ life.

Of particular note will be the seventeen digitized Carolyn Weathers photograph albums. A longtime Los Angeles activist, Carolyn Weathers has tirelessly spent the past two years adding detailed descriptions and anecdotes to the 750 digitized album pages. The result is a massive narrative account of over 2,000 images detailing her life in Texas, her move to Los Angeles, her battles in queer and feminist activism, her successful writing and publishing career, and the friends and loves that filled her life along the way. The individual images showcase some of the great moments in LGBTQ Los Angeles life, while the entirety comprises nothing less than a visual tome of one of the great activist lives of the late 20th century.

 

Brian Reynolds stands behind Pat Rocco as he films a scene. Brian Reynolds ran Bizarre Productions was Vice President of SPREE. circa 1969.

 

Brian Reynolds stands behind Pat Rocco as he films a scene. Brian Reynolds ran Bizarre Productions was Vice President of SPREE. circa 1969. Pat Rocco Photographs and Papers. ONE Archives at the USC Libraries

The Pat Rocco collection will also be featured, showcasing over 800 images of mostly gay life in 1970s Los Angeles. The documents cover the first post-Stonewall protests in Los Angeles, the early formative years of the Metropolitan Community Church, the first Los Angeles pride parades, and the whimsy and innovation of the Society of Pat Rocco Enlighted Enthusiasts (SPREE). Pat Rocco captured the ever-changing communities and cultures of LGBTQ life with the unflinching courage and exacting eye of one of the great activist photographers of his generation.

Over 100 collections will be represented at the digital library, showcasing the rich history and great diversity of the LGBTQ community as only ONE Archives can do. The new images will be visible online in August at here. Thank you to all the volunteers and donors who made this endeavor possible. The exhibit is a testament to your devotion and the great support of our amazing LGBTQ community.

 

Image: (Top) Carolyn and Brenda Weathers in a Tijuana restaurant. Brenda’s girlfriend had just dumped a plate of enchiladas on Brenda’s head and stormed out. In a flash, staff appeared, cleaned Brenda up and sent in the mariachis and free photographer. 1968. Carolyn Weathers Photographs and Papers. ONE Archives at the USC Libraries