Rainbow Triangle Oral History Collection, 1997-2006
Navigate the Collection
- Duke University. Center for LGBT Life
- The Rainbow Triangle Oral History Project was originally conceived in 1996 as a way to document the lives of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) people in the Triangle region in particular and central North Carolina in general. Ian Lekus became the Project Coordinator in 1996 and worked with a varying group of volunteers to acquire resources, conduct interviews, and ensure the preservation and access of the oral histories collected. More than 60 interviews were conducted between 1999 and 2004. The Rainbow Triangle Oral History Collection includes original oral history recordings, transcripts, biographical information on narrators, newsclippings, correspondence, and research materials.
- 4 Linear Feet
- Materials in English
- Collection ID:
- University Archives Record Group:
- 29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates > 03 -- Unknown Subgroup
- Scope and content:
The Rainbow Triangle Oral History Collection includes original oral history recordings, transcripts, biographical information on narrators, newsclippings, correspondence, and research materials. Oral history interviews are primarily sound recordings, covering a wide range of topics including the narrators' early lives, families and family relationships, education, social life, experience of their own sexual identity, experience in or work with the LGBT community (in the Triangle and elsewhere), activism, working lives, romantic partners, professional activities, and many other topics. Original recordings are primarily on audiocassette tapes. About half of the oral histories also include printed transcripts. A few oral histories also include additional biographical information about the narrator, much of it included on an information sheet created by the Rainbow Triangle project, but sometimes also including additional material such as news articles, correspondence, flyers, and other items. Also included are materials related to the planning and development of the project, including correspondence, drafts, notes, and background research into LGBT life in the Triangle and oral history as a documentary form, as well as several years worth of the Pink Triangle issue of the local Independent Weekly.
- Biographical / historical:
The Rainbow Triangle Oral History Project was originally conceived in 1996, by then-Director of Duke's Center for Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Life (later the Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Life, now the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity) John Howard, who suggested the project to Ian Lekus, then a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History and a member of the Duke University Task Force for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Matters.
The project was envisioned as a way to document the lives of LGBT people in the Triangle region in particular and central North Carolina in general, with the additional goals of exploring the idea of community identities and formation, breaking down barriers between the University and the local community, and documenting the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Triangle.
Lekus became the Project Coordinator in 1996 and worked with a varying group of volunteers to acquire resources, conduct interviews, and ensure the preservation and access of the oral histories collected. From 1996 to late 1997, Lekus worked with others at Duke and elsewhere to develop forms and processes, conduct training workshops for interviewers, and establish how interviewes would be used and preserved. Anne Valk, a visiting professor at Duke, and Patrick Toal and Parker Doig, graduate students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, were other active project leaders at this time. In February 1998, the project was officially launched during a talk by author and activist Mab Segrest on the Duke campus, but the first group of interviews were conducted in late 1998 and early 1999.
Dr. Karen Krahulik became the Director of the Center for LGBT Life in 1999 and continued support for the project. In Fall 2000, Dr. Krahulik and Ian Lekus co-taught a class called American Communities: Gender, Sexuality, and Oral History, presented by the Women's Studies Program and the History Department, and sponsored by the Center for Documentary Studies. As part of this class, students conducted oral history interviews that focused on gender and sexuality in the lives of the narrators, and several of these interviews were conducted as part of the Rainbow Triangle project. Ian Lekus taught this class again in 2004, and additional interviews from this class became part of the project.
Narrators are generally residents of the Triangle region, many of them with a connection to Duke or Durham in particular. Narrators include both LGBT people and heterosexual people who have been involved in LGBT issues in some way. Interviewers include Duke staff or volunteers for the Center for LGBT Life, Duke students, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students, and others.
- Acquisition information:
- The Rainbow Triangle Oral Histories were received as a gift in 2003, 2006, and 2016.
- Processing information:
Processed by Tracy M. Jackson, March 2016.
Accessions described in this finding aid: 2003-0095, 2006-0121, UA2016-0020.
The collection is arranged into three series: Oral Histories, Project Materials, and Newspapers.
- Rules or conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
- Oral history interviews
Gay college teachers -- United States
Gay activists -- North Carolina
Gay community -- North Carolina
Gay couples -- North Carolina
Lesbian community -- North Carolina
Lesbians -- Health and hygiene
Lesbian couples -- North Carolina
Lesbian couples as parents
Gender identity -- United States
Sexual minorities -- North Carolina
Coming out (sexual orientation) -- United States
- Duke University. Center for LGBT Life
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Brantley, Bill, -2002
Dennis Eileen, Sister
Giles, Donna Lee
Gilkeson, William R.
Herzenberg, Joseph A., 1941-
Johnson, Kristina M.
Mason, Jo Ellen
Taylor, Doris A.
Teasley, Alan B.
Using These Materials
- Using These Materials Links:
Using These Materials
Use of audiotapes and videotapes from this collection requires the creation of reference copies. Reference copies for some materials may have been made, and if a reference copy exists, it is noted in this finding aid. To arrange for the creation of reference copies of other items, please contact University Archives staff. Although these recordings are now stored in a stable environment, their condition and playback quality is unknown.
Portions of this collection are restricted by the request of the donor or narrator of an interview.
Portions of this collection are restricted due to the absence of a release form from the persons interviewed.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
- Terms of access:
Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
- Before you visit:
- Please consult our up-to-date information for visitors page, as our services and guidelines periodically change.
- Preferred citation:
[Identification of item], Rainbow Oral Triangle Oral History Collection, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.