“Queerolina” online exhibition presents oral histories of LGBTQIA+ Tar Heels

June 14, 2022

A new online oral history exhibition from the University Libraries shares the lived experiences of UNC-Chapel Hill community members who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Queerolina: Experiences of Space and Place through Oral Histories is a collaboration among the University Libraries, the Carolina Pride Alum Network and the Southern Oral History Program. The site presents and maps excerpts from oral histories that the partners have collected and archived through the project The Story of Us: Documenting and Preserving LGBTQIA Carolina History.

Black and white photo of a group of UNC students holding banner that says "The Southeastern Gay Conference"

Oral histories by LGBTQiA+ members of the UNC-Chapel Hill community are the centerpiece of a new online exhibition from the University Archives at Wilson Library.

Queerolina is the work of two student curators. Cassie Tanks MSLS ’22 worked as a Carolina Academic Library Associate in the University Archives at Wilson Library. Hooper Schultz is a Ph.D. student in the history department at UNC-Chapel Hill and was a Carolina Pride Alum Network Fellow.

The title Queerolina “aims to encompass the multiplicities of LGBTQIA+ identities while also holding space for the negative ways in which the word ‘queer’ has been used,” Hooper and Schultz write in an explanation that is part of the site.

The 31 stories included in the exhibition at its launch explore experiences in familiar campus locations, such as the Pit and academic buildings, as well as recollections that take place across the state and the country.

Queerolina and The Story of Us continue to grow as Tar Heels contribute their stories and the materials that document their experiences. To learn more, contact the University Archives at archives@unc.edu or complete an online oral history interest form.