Saturday, June 15, 2019

11 a.m.

Randall Gallery
On Saturday, June 15, Holly R. Cashman, associate professor of Spanish and Women’s Studies at the University of New Hampshire, will talk about the oral history project she is conducting in the NH Seacoast LGBTQ+ community. She will include excerpts from oral histories, identify some themes that have emerged, and discuss concerns related to methods and preservation of these stories. Her talk is from 11 a.m. to noon.
The purpose of oral history is to preserve the stories, perspectives, and experiences of individuals and communities who participated in events of interest or time periods of the past. Oral history is the oldest kind of research — listening to other people’s stories. Participants have the option to remain anonymous, share their full name, or choose a pseudonym; participants may opt to only make the transcript of their interview available, the audio recording, or a video recording. All oral histories, in whatever form, will be archived in a publicly available website.
Many themes have emerged from the interviews including: what Portsmouth was like in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s (gay-owned or gay-friendly businesses, etc.), what it was like to live in the closet, reflections on differences between “then” and “now”, coming out, lessons learned, nostalgia and regrets, and hopes for the future and the next generation. Participants have identified locations that were meaningful to them and their lives, such as gay or lesbian bars, organizations that served the community, and gay-owned businesses.

So far, the Seacoast NH LGBTQ+ History Project has collected interviews from individuals who lived in the Seacoast region in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, but the project has only just begun. If you or someone you know would like to be interviewed, reach out to Holly Cashman (
Space is limited. To reserve a seat for the talk, please call the Athenaeum at 603-431-2538.

In this month’s “At the Athenaeum” in the Portsmouth Herald, editor Sherry Wood discovers the story behind the “Sagamore Republican Club” sign, a last-minute addition to the exhibit Seacoast LGBT History: 50 Years of Rainbow Reflections.

Click here to view the article on