On October 27, 2015, David Williams was honored with the State Historical Records Advisory Board’s (SHRAB) Certificate of Merit for Notable Service to and Advocacy for Archives in Kentucky by a private citizen in a celebration with friends and colleagues outside Rare Books, in the Ekstrom Library.
David Williams began collecting the history of the LGTBQ community in the early 1970s and in 2001 established the Williams-Nichols collection at the University of Louisville. The Williams-Nichols collection was Kentucky’s first institutional archives designated to support LGBTQ research and study. David continues as donor, researcher, and passionate advocate for LGTBQ history.
Chad Owen, Archivist for Records Management nominated David for the award and served as MC for the presentation.
Dean Bob Fox praised David as donor and friend of the University Libraries. He provides a link between the University and the community. Dean Fox thanked David for his support of LGBTQ resources in the Libraries’ circulating collections even beyond Archives and Special Collections, helping us be sensitive and effective in making resources available for students. David is a consciousness raiser for us all.
Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman emphasized David’s connections to the community and the importance of preserving its history.
David outlined the history of collection, dating back to 1982, and thanked many people who had donated materials over the years and otherwise supported the collection. He acknowledged his husband Aaron Bingham, and thanked him for patience.
Mary Margaret Bell, JCPS Coordinator, Archives and Retrieval Systems and member of the SHRAB Board, spoke of the importance of community collaborations and collecting underrepresented communities in archival collections. She and fellow SHRAB Board member Jim Cundy presented the award to David Williams.
A small exhibit for the event contained items from the Williams-Nichols Collection and included the first edition of Oscar Wilde’s Portrait of Dorian Gray; court papers of the Sam Dorr discrimination case (Louisville’s Stonewall) which helped raise awareness of gay rights issues; photos and buttons from of New England Lesbian community activists; and first issues of The Ladder and Mattachine Review.
And we had cake!
The Kentucky Women’s Book Festival endeavors to foster a deeper interest in Kentucky women writers and encourage beginning writers to continue their work and strive to grow with each new venture. Kentucky writers include those born in Kentucky but now living elsewhere, if they wish to be identified as Kentuckians, as well as those who, although not born here have made Kentucky home.
The Kentucky Women’s Book Festival is held on the 3rd Saturday of May. This year it marks the 8th annual festival and will be on May 17, 2014 in the Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville. The event is free and open to all. If you would like to purchase a lunch, please call the Women’s Center by May 13 (502) 852-8976 by May 13. (The lunch is $16 and catered by Masterson’s. Those who do not wish to purchase a lunch may still come to the reading.)
Doors open at 9:00 with refreshments and discussion, then the speakers begin in the Elaine Chao Auditorium at 9:30 with George Ella Lyon who will discuss and read from her new book of poetry: Many-Storied House, followed by Bobbie Ann Mason who will read from her latest novel: The Girl in the Blue Beret. There are three consecutive morning sessions: Sonja de Vries, a poet; Alison Atlee, an author; and Jannene Winstead & Leborah Goodwin who have compiled a cookbook with a bit of Louisville history: Recipes and recollections: from the houses Samuel M. Plato Built. Holly Goddard Jones will do a lunchtime reading from her novel The Next Time You See Me. After lunch is a presentation by Sena Jeter Naslund entitled “Knowing the Self Through Knowing the Other,” which will feature the research for her latest novel The Fountain of St. James Court; or Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman, then two more consecutive sessions: Mariam Williams will discuss “Black Arts Movement Pride, Walker’s Womanism and Hillbilly Sisterhood: the African American Women’s Literary Series in the 1990s” and Playwrights Nancy Gall-Clayton & Kathi E. B. Wlllis will present “When Characters Speak.”
Through photographs by Robert Doherty and James N. Keen
March 5, 1964
On March 5, 1964, close to 10,000 people from in and around Kentucky gathered at the state capitol for a peaceful civil rights demonstration which has become known as The March on Frankfort, one in a series of civil rights marches lead by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Allied Organization for Civil Rights (AOCR) coordinated this effort. Among its members were Officers Frank Stanley, Jr., editor of The Louisville Defender; Dr. Olof Anderson, Synod Executive of the Presbyterian Church; and a young Georgia Davis Powers. Powers, who later became the first African American and the first woman to be elected to the Kentucky State Senate in 1967, states this was the beginning of her civil rights activism.
Key speakers were Ralph Stanley, Jr.; the Rev. Dr. D. E. King, pastor of Zion Baptist Church in Louisville from 1946 until 1963; The Rev. Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, Martin Luther King, Jr’s close associate and friend; Jackie Robinson, major league baseball legend who broke the color barrier; and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Folk singers and civil rights activists Peter, Paul and Mary performed.
Robert Doherty founded the University of Louisville Photographic Archives while a professor in the Allen R. Hite Art Institute. Also an active photographer, Doherty documented Louisville scenes, political rallies and events, prominent Louisvillians, and important visitors to the city. His photographs of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Louisville and at the 1964 march on Frankfort have frequently appeared in print. In 2010 Doherty received a Doctor of Fine Arts honoris causa degree from the University of Louisville.
James N. Keen was a photographer for the Chattanooga News, Dayton Journal-Herald, Associated Press, Acme Newspictures, and for twenty-six years, with the Louisville Courier-Journal and Louisville Times. His work appeared in Life and U.S. Camera Annual, and he won numerous national awards for photojournalism. His subjects include celebrities such as Martha Graham and Orville Wright, as well as political figures including Winston Churchill and several presidents. Keen also photographed local landmarks events such as the Kentucky Derby.
Governor Breathitt fought hard for the public accommodations bill. And although it was unsuccessful in 1964, in 1966 the Kentucky General Assembly passed the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. Dr. King called it “the strongest and most comprehensive civil rights bill passed by a Southern state.” The law prohibits discrimination in employment and public accommodations and empowers cities to enact local laws against housing discrimination. [A Kentucky Civil Rights Timeline, http://www.ket.org/civilrights/timeline.htm]
See the exhibit in the Photographic Archives Gallery, Lower Level Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville. Open Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.