YOU are the Donor! This means you are an important part of our shared history and have a story to tell. This story consists of your memory but also the materials that you have created, bought, or collected that reflect your life as an LGBTQ person. Invisible Histories works with you to capture this story (your family, your coming out, your activities) and gather and organize the materials you have preserved.
Locating new collections is the number one priority for Invisible Histories so we want to make sure that you have all the information that you need. On this page you will find information and documents to make sure that you can begin to locate the types of materials we are looking for, to show you how the process of donation works, and our desire to work with you at your own pace to preserve this important and vanishing history.
This step-by-step process is here for you and no matter if you are an established group or an individual person, everyone has important materials Invisible Histories would like to preserve and make accessible to the community. If you have any questions, please reach out to Invisible Histories at [email protected].

How it Works

  • Connect virtually or over phone
  • Set up in-person meeting
  • Send Paperwork: Archiving from Home, Deed of Gift, & Biography Sheet
  • Collection of materials
  • After Action Report & Database
  • Collection pre-processing, evaluation, & inventory
  • Connect with repository
  • Scanning & Social Media posts

How We Use Your Collections

  • Creating a searchable database on our website for people to search
  • Digitize materials for use by community & academic researchers
  • Providing opportunities for students to work with LGBTQ archives
  • Completing oral history interviews to add more depth to collections

Why You Should Work with Invisible Histories

  • Legal agreements with repository partners to protect collections
  • We work with you to find a home for your materials
  • Your materials are protected for the life of the donation, if any attempt is made to limit access to them, Invisible Histories can intervene to fix this problem
  • Invisible Histories has a large network across the South of other LGBTQ archives & partners

Donor Checklist

  • Completed Bio Form
  • Look over and sign Transfer of Gift
  • Locate physical & digital materials
  • Discussed repository options with Invisible Histories
  • Created list of important people Invisible Histories to reach out to

What We Are Looking For

Starting the process of building a collection can seem difficult, so look at this list to get started. This list is not exhaustive, just a way to get you started.

Physical pictures, electronic photos, negatives, various older formats can be digitized, photo albums
Paper items related to your individual life or organizations, electronic files in various formats, estate papers, papers with personal information can be redacted or disposed of if necessary
Letters, cards, emails
Family memorabilia:
Pictures of entire family (chosen & biological), items from trips, marriages, deaths
T-shirts, matchbooks, buttons, give-away items, bar membership cards, any items you have collected from LGBTQ events
We are looking for local examples of each of these, regional examples from the South, and/or local authors (National papers or mass-produced books about LGBTQ life may be considered.)
Examples of events, festivals, fundraisers, and other LGBTQ activities
Group Records:
Meeting minutes, documents related to founding of group, photos of events and members, board membership lists, financial records, filings, t-shirts, giveaways, emails (If there are confidential documents, they can be kept out of circulation if necessary.)
Banners, t-shirts, drag dresses, Mardi Gras costumes, various types of clothing from events or marches, quilts, handmade items
Various types from public events or personal life events
Tapes, audio, visual, CDs, DVDs, reel-to-reel tapes, LPs/vinyl, digital files, oral histories
Other Items:
Invisible Histories is open to various types of documents/items including art of various sizes, research materials, and other things. Check with Invisible Histories and we are happy to help make decisions. The golden rule? When in doubt, include it!