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The UCI Libraries have received two generous gifts from local activists to support the documentation of Orange County lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history. Barbara Muirhead and G.C. "Brad" Brafford have each pledged $10,000 to support a continuing project in the Department of Special Collections and Archives to arrange and catalog key collections and make them available for research.

Along with his pledge, Brafford also donated his own papers, which document his activism in Orange County for more than 35 years and include publications, meeting notes, ephemera, and other materials related to social gatherings, organizing, and political demonstrations. Among the activities represented in the papers is Brafford's work as a founding board member for the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center of Orange County (The Center OC). Established in 1971, the center provided an opportunity for the gay and lesbian community to come together in a safe environment to talk about topics such as religion, coming out, relationships, and the shifting political landscape. The Center OC continues to provide services and advocacy on behalf of the LGBT community and the Libraries have also acquired its records, which include reports, newsletters, memoranda, ephemera, training and educational materials, and videotapes.

As founder of the Orange County LGBT History Timeline Project, Muirhead has been a driving force behind the preservation of local community history. She and fellow activist Dick Hitt donated the timeline's research files to the Libraries in 2003, and these are already processed and available for research. The files include publication clippings, newsletters, correspondence, and ephemera highlighting important people, organizations, and events related to the Orange County LGBT community.

In addition to providing the resources needed to process the Brafford papers and the Center OC's records, the gifts will allow Special Collections and Archives staff to complete the processing of the papers of local transgender activist Patric A. Magee and a small collection of Hitt's files relating mainly to LGBT Disneyland employees. Collections will be available for research by July, 2011. Already available for research are collections documenting the work of local activists Patricia Callahan, Joan Ariel, and Robert R. Hodges.

For more information, please contact Dawn Schmitz, Archivist (schmitzd@uci.edu or x45753).

Above right: Ms. Barbara Muirhead and G.C. "Brad" Brafford with archivist Dawn Schmitz


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