The following information has been taken from the Library Company of Philadelphia events and home page. I shall admit while getting lost in the abyss of the Internet I found this institution. I have lived in Philadelphia for a decade and had never heard of the Library Company. Join me June 30th for the reception of the exhibit, That’s So Gay: Outing Early America.
SAVE THE DATE
Monday, June 30, 2014
Reception at the Library Company with an opportunity to view the exhibition “That’s So Gay,” followed by a concert by Philadelphia Voices of Pride at the William Way LGBT Community Center. Philadelphia Voices of Pride is a vocal ensemble devoted to promoting a positive image of the LGBT community. The concert will draw inspiration from the Library Company’s sheet music collection. In addition, the tap dancing group Men on Tap will perform their hit number “Light in the Loafers.”
THAT’S SO GAY: OUTING EARLY AMERICA
(February 10 – October 17, 2014)
The exhibition That’s So Gay: Outing Early America will show that – like African Americana and women’s history – the abundance of resources documenting homosexuality at the Library Company merely needs to be revealed. To paraphrase the late gay activist Harry Hay (1912-2002), history knows more about gay people than it knows it knows.
How can we know whether someone was gay? There are many answers to that question, but ultimately we cannot know whether a person who lived in the past would be called lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender today.
That does not mean that we cannot study gay history. Individuals took part in same-sex relationships, wrote poems and novels celebrating such relationships, deviated from gender norms, and suffered for transgressive behavior in ways that are well-documented in the historical record. Gayness can also be considered a shared cultural experience based on an intrinsically gay outlook on the world.
“That’s So Gay” Exhibition Open in the Evening, June 9-13, 2014
To celebrate Gay Pride Month, the Library Company will extend the hours for its exhibition gallery until 8 p.m. the week of June 9th. Come see “That’s So Gay: Outing Early America.” No reservations required.
The Library Company of Philadelphia is an independent research library specializing in American history and culture from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Open to the public free of charge, the Library Company houses an extensive collection of rare books, manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera, prints, photographs, and works of art. Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, the Library Company is America’s oldest cultural institution and served as the Library of Congress from the Revolutionary War to 1800. The Library Company was the largest public library in America until the Civil War.
The mission of the Library Company is to preserve, interpret, make available, and augment the valuable materials in our care. We serve a diverse constituency throughout Philadelphia and internationally, offering comprehensive reader services, an internationally renowned fellowship program, online catalogs, and regular exhibitions and public programs.