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New LGBTQ manuscript collections available for researchers

Rainbow Flag consists of six stripes, with the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet

Thanks to the work and dedication of talented summer intern Jon Faulconer, two manuscript collections documenting stories of the LGBTQ community in Richmond are now open and available for research. This work strategically aligns resources in support of VCU’s new LGBTQ Studies hiring initiative.

The Betsy Brinson collection of AIDS epidemic exhibit materials includes seven oral histories that have been digitized from their original format on audio cassette and carefully transcribed. In the oral histories, the interviewees share their experiences during the height of the AIDS epidemic in Central Virginia. Both the audio files and transcripts can be accessed online through the finding aid in ArchivesSpace.

The second collection is the Equality Virginia records, which consists of materials created and acquired by the local organization from its founding through 2008. The collection documents the administrative functions of the group, as well as its numerous outreach and advocacy initiatives aimed at securing equal rights for LGBT Virginians and their families.

The department truly appreciates all the excellent work Jon did this summer to get these collections arranged, described, and available. We all were impressed by his enthusiasm, professionalism, and diligence, and we wish him all the best as he moves forward in his pursuit of a career in the cultural heritage field. 

GuideStar pro trial runs through September

VCU Libraries is offering a trial of the new GuideStar Pro Library Services. GuideStar’s current free program is being revamped and soon will not be available for free after the fall. In its place will be a new commercial version, GuideStar Library Services (Pro). This advanced level of data will allow VCU researchers the ability to access to the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations featuring information on more than two million nonprofits, along with numerous filters to refine extensive search results.

The trial of this new Guidestar product runs from Aug. 28, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2017. You can access the site via www.guidestar.org.

Two online demos of GuideStar Pro Library Services will be available. One takes place Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 at 10 a.m. and a second one on Wednesday, Sept.  6 at 2 p.m. Users can sign up for either one 

Based on the results of the trial and feedback, it will be determined if the library will proceed with the annual subscription. Send your feedback to Pattie Sobczak. 

If you have any questions, please contact Pattie Sobczak at psobczak@vcu.edu.

By Patricia Sobczak, Business and Public Affairs Collections Librarian