Princeton LGBTQIA Oral History Project

Get to know the archive: Audio Shorts

As part of our LGBTQIA Oral History Project programming, we have created a series of audio shorts exploring various themes related to LGBTQIA experiences at Princeton. The audio shorts, along with their respective transcripts, are provided below.

How can I access the full audio and/or transcripts from the archive?

The audio and transcripts are housed online through the Princeton University Archives’s website, click here to see the Princeton LGBTQIA Oral History collection. We are in the process of uploading additional audio and transcript materials: there are currently over 60 interviews available on the Archives website, and by March 2019 there will be over 100 interviews available.

I’m an alum--How can I get involved?

If you are interested in being interviewed for the project, please share your information here. Even if you were not out or did not identify as LGBTQIA while at Princeton we are still very much interested in interviewing you!

The first round of oral history interviews occurred in the summer of 2017. Interview locations were: Princeton University, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Florida, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The second round of interviews occurred in the summer of 2018. Additional locations may be added depending on concentrations of alums and funding, so please let us know if you are willing to participate in an interview regardless of where you live.

If you are not interested in being interviewed but want to help in other ways, we welcome your support in helping us to recruit interviewees and donating to the project to help us expand the project this year and going forward.

If you complete this form, you will be contacted by a Princeton LGBTQIA Oral History Project Advisory Board member with more information. We are excited to embark on this important project with you all! If you have any questions, contact LGBT Center Director Judy Jarvis at jj20@princeton.edu or call the LGBT Center: (609) 258-1353. 

I’m a student--How can I get involved?

Throughout the school year we will have a volunteer team working on multiple aspects of the project: transcribing, creating audio shorts, promoting the archive to academic departments and more. If you are interested in being part of the volunteer team, email lgbt@princeton.edu with your information and a note about what you are particularly interested in working on, and LGBT Center staff will follow up with you.

Why is this project important?

LGBT Center staff along with LGBTQIA faculty, alumni, archivists and students feel it is critical to expand Princeton’s LGBTQIA archive in order to help current students connect to LGBTQIA stories and experiences of the past as well as provide opportunities for scholarly research. This project has the potential to bring together Princeton’s LGBTQIA community across generations, with current students being trained to conduct interviews with alumni, faculty and staff.

Students can use the interview transcripts and audio for research projects, LGBT Center staff can use the materials to create multi-interview collages and hold storytelling events, and faculty can use the interviews for their own research. This project will have particular positive impact on student interviewers and listeners and alumni who have not previously felt connected to the University and those who are seeking to learn more about LGBTQIA life at Princeton through the last 50+ years.

Are there other campus groups working on projects related to Princeton’s LGBTQIA history?

The Princeton History Working Group (PHWG), as part of the Campus Iconography Committee (CIC), has created a set of walking tours as part of its (In)Visible Princeton series, which aims to illuminate lesser-known histories of the University. One of the stops on the “Stories of ‘Firsts’ at Princeton” tour features the stories of LGBTQIA individuals at Princeton. The stop, titled “LGBTQIA Community,” is located on the north side of Frist Campus Center. You can listen to the stories by scanning the “sidewalk sticker” in front of Frist (included below), or by clicking here. You can access the other tours in the (In)Visible Princeton series here.

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PRINCETON lgbtqia oral history project

The Princeton LGBTQIA Oral History Project launched in the summer of 2017 and is a partnership between by the LGBT Center, BTGALA/FFR, the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies and University Archives, with support from the Provost's Office's Princeton Histories Fund. During the summer, undergraduate and graduate students interview LGBTQIA alumni and current and former LGBTQIA staff and faculty to learn about their lives, particularly their experiences being LGBTQIA (out and not out) at Princeton, and their perceptions of the climate for LGBTQIA people at Princeton at different points in time. Students interviewers participate in extensive oral history methods training as a requirement for participating in the project and are paid research assistants. The project is coordinated by the LGBT Center and the Princeton LGBTQIA Oral History Project Advisory Board, whose members are:

Suman Chakraborty ‘97 (Board Co-Chair) 

Christina Chica ‘15

Gill Frank (Visiting Fellow at P’s Center for the Study of Religion)

Howard Gertler ‘96

Lelabari Giwa-Ojuri ‘14

Robert Gleason ‘87

Judy Jarvis (LGBT Center Director, Board Co-Chair)

Karen Krahulik ‘91

Tobias Rodriguez ‘11

Ruby Nell Sales *75