Help preserve the untold stories of the Stonewall Riots by donating personal photos, letters

Posted On Thu, June 21, 2018 By

Posted On Thu, June 21, 2018 By In Greenwich Village, History

Via Wikimedia

Did you participate in the Stonewall Inn Riots of 1969 and the period of LGBTQ activism in New York City between 1968 and 1971? Do you know someone who did? If so, consider contributing pride memorabilia from that moment in history to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, which is compiling a collection to preserve the history of Stonewall. The project, Stonewall Forever, launched last year after Google granted the LGBT Center $1 million to preserve oral histories and experiences of those present during the riots.


Stonewall Inn in 1969 via NYPL

While the protests outside of Stonewall following violent police raids during the summer of 1969 have long been recognized as one of the catalysts for the national gay rights movement, it took 47 years for the area to be recognized as a national monument. In 2016, President Barack Obama formally recognized Stonewall Inn and surrounding area as a National Historic Monument, the first National Park Service unit dedicated to the gay rights movement.

The following year Google’s $1 million grant to the LGBT center helped jumpstart the Stonewall Forever project. And another half-million granted this month by tech-giant will help preserve this important history even further.

Submitted photographs, letters, diaries and protest material will be considered for an online collection, available publicly at Google Arts & Culture and the center’s national history archive. If you would like to contribute your historical materials, fill out a form found here.

Ultimately, the project will culminate in a digital archive in time for Pride 2019, the 50th anniversary of the riots. Focusing on the time before the riots and the impact of them on the LGBTQ community today, the collection will be an interactive extension of the Stonewall National Monument.

If interested in learning more, sign up for this walking tour by the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, aimed at uncovering the city’s lesser-known LGBT history. The hour and a half tour takes you through Greenwich Village, starting at Christopher Park and ending with a drink at Julius’ Bar, considered the oldest operating gay bar in NYC. Sign up here.

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