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Indiana LGBT Collecting Initiative

We Do Everyone's History.

The rich history, tradition and culture of the gay community in Indiana is now being collected and preserved by the Indiana Historical Society through our Indiana LGBT Collecting Initiative. History is written from the documentation which exists about a particular subject, and we are filling a gap in the historical record.

Phase 1 – Indianapolis and Central Indiana LGBT Oral History Project | Completed in 2015

  • Interviewed more than 50 people throughout Central Indiana from all walks of life – activists and community leaders to everyday Hoosiers
  • Transcribed and digitized oral histories for use in research
  • Made several new collections available, including the Mark A. Lee LGBT Photo Collection and Steven L. Tuchman Papers
  • Launched the Indiana LGBT Digital Image Collection
Phase 2 – Building the Collection | 2016 and on
  • Add Indiana LGBT-related books and periodicals
  • Collect personal papers from individuals in and connected to the LGBT community in Indiana
  • Gather records of organizations, businesses or public services within the gay community

Phase 3 – Going Beyond Central Indiana | 2016 and on

  • Take the Indiana LGBT Oral History project on the road to other cities and regions in the state
  • Transcribe and digitize oral histories for use in research

LGBT Marriage
Brittany Jones, left, and Alice Hoenigman tie the knot during a two-and-a-half day period of time when same sex couples were allowed to get married in 2014. (Mark A. Lee LGBT Photo Collection, IHS)

A Visual Journey: From AIDS to Marriage Equality is a traveling exhibit based on our popular gallery exhibit from 2015, featuring images from the Mark A. Lee LGBT Photo Collection. The gallery exhibit was the first to highlight our work on the Indiana LGBT Collecting Initiative we started in 2014. A Visual Journey documents more than 30 years of history in photos – both public and private moments – that take us from the AIDS epidemic through the fight for marriage equality.

Presented by Eli Lilly and Company and Cummins

You can find digital images from the Mark A. Lee Photo Collection and the Indiana LGBT Collection here

Indiana LGBT Collecting Initiative supported by the Efroymson Family Fund and a grant from The Indianapolis Foundatio, a CICF affiliate


If you’re interested in donating materials to the Indiana LGBT Collecting Initiative, contact Suzanne Hahn, vice president, Archives and Library, at (317) 234-0039. Donate funds to the Initiative here.

The Indiana LGBT Collecting Initiative is a special project funded through gifts and grants from individuals, foundations and corporations through efforts of the LGBT History Advisory Committee, which includes community members and IHS trustees. IHS is also forging partnerships with key community organizations to further these efforts and to provide broad public accessibility of the collections. We encourage donations of photographs and other original material as well. 

LGBT History Advisory Committee