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“Live into who you are unapologetically. Find people who will support and care for you,” Joanne Brown, class of 1975, advises current Mount Holyoke students as part of her interview for the LGBTQ Alum Oral History Project with Archives and Special Collections. Brown’s interview, as well as others from this Project are now available online. There also is a detailed finding aid for the collection.

The LGBTQ Alum Oral History Project currently documents the campus experiences of alums from the Classes of 1971 through 2017, containing 47 interviews. Three faculty members also were interviewed.

The Archives and Special Collections staff are excited for the curricular use these interviews will have for Mount Holyoke students and faculty. Online access to these interviews also shares Mount Holyoke history more widely thanks to the alums who told their stories.

The Project began as part of an Archives and Special Collections departmental review of the archival holdings and in recognition of a lack of representation of LGBTQ student life in the historic collections. The Alumnae Association generously provided the initial funding that supported ASC student assistants to be trained in conducting oral history interviews, as well as funding for transcription services.

The Project has been led by Deborah Richards, College Archivist. We also gratefully acknowledge the work of the following ASC student assistant interviewers:

  • Maura Anderson 2017
  • Melina Baron Deutsch 2016
  • Megan Haaga 2015
  • Emily Isakson 2019
  • Jennie Ochterski 2015
  • Iris Parker Pavitt 2015
  • Carlin Ring 2018
  • Bennett Sambrook 2019
  • Samantha Snodgrass 2018
  • Brittnee Worthy 2017

Watch the video. (Note: the video will not be available until March 23)

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