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Botts Collection of LGBT History


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Finding Aid/Inventory

Ralph Lasher Collection

Eugene Harrington Collection

Unprocessed additions

Contact us about this collection

Botts Collection of LGBT History, 1973-2014 | University of Houston Libraries

By Maria Ferreira

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Collection Overview

Title: Botts Collection of LGBT History, 1973-2014

Predominant Dates:1985-2005

ID: 11/2015-017

Primary Creator: Botts, Charles

Other Creators: Criscione, Larry, Harrington, Eugene, Hatlen, Leif, Lasher, Ralph

Extent: 34.0 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 09/00/2015. More info below under Accruals.

Forms of Material: Correspondence, Photographs

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The processed portion of this collection consists of 11 boxes and includes Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church (RMCC) documents, as well as photographs and a film of Ralph Lasher. The collection includes RMCC’s financial and administrative documents, as well as flyers and advertisements. It also includes documents from religious conferences and exercises. The photo collection documents the lives of Ralph Lasher and his partner, as well as events at RMCC and in the Houston LGBT community. Also included are the awards and plaques of Eugene Harrington.

Series 3: Unprocessed additions contains an additional 23 boxes of materials belonging to the Botts Collection. 6 boxes are identified as accession #2016-037, while an additional 17 boxes are identified as accession #2017-010. For questions about unprocessed materials in this collection or to request access, contact curator Vince Lee velee@uh.edu .

Biographical Note

In the 1970s, Charles Botts began collecting, preserving, and archiving documents, publications, and other items  of historical significance to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities of Houston , southeast Texas, and the United States. He did so informally and eventually under the roof of the Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church (RMCC) of Houston, Texas. Mr. Botts amassed a significant collection of items related to the LGBT community and its history. Upon his death in 1994, a handful of dedicated volunteers continued Charles Botts’ work. Larry Criscione became active at this time and is primarily responsible for the expansion of the collection. A great effort was made to assure that the collection is accessible and useful to students, researchers, and journalists needing access to this unique body of information. The volunteers have also put together displays from the materials for numerous functions, in order to educate the public on different aspects of LGBT History.

In 2001 tropical storm Allison flooded large portions of Houston. The church library including the LGBT material collected by Charles Botts were affected as was everything in the church. It was after this storm that Leif Hatlen became involved with the collection. Due to water damage caused by the storm, some of the library materials was destroyed, much of the rest of the materials was water damaged and any system of filing or sorting was lost. Leif began to re-sort the materials, developing lists and indexes in the process. Later in 2005, Mike Kelley (now deceased) began to volunteer with the collection and developed computerized indexes that has been used for the magazines and to organize the individual collections.

In 2011, when it became apparent that Resurrection church’s goals and intentions with respect to the collection differed from those of the volunteers, Larry Criscione formed and incorporated the Botts Collection of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History, Inc. (Botts Collection). The organization moved to a new location and continues collecting and cataloging items of historical importance to the region’s LGBT community.

Administrative Information

Repository: University of Houston Libraries

Accruals: Additional materials will be donated to the collection.

Access Restrictions: The processed materials in this collection are open for research. Unprocssed materials from the 2016 and 2017 accessions may be restricted and not available for access. For questions about unprocessed materials in this collection or to request access, contact curator Vince Lee (velee@uh.edu).

Use Restrictions: Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.

Acquisition Method:

Donated by the Botts Collection of LGBT History, Inc., beginning in 2015.

An additional 6 boxes are identified as accession #2016-037 and are not yet fully processed.

An additional 17 boxes are identified as accession #2017-010 and are not yet fully processed.

Preferred Citation: The Botts Collection of LGBT History. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. To cite a specific item from this collection, please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Ralph Lasher Collection],
[Series 2: Eugene Harrington Collection],
[Series 3: Unprocessed additions],

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Ralph Lasher Collection],
[Series 2: Eugene Harrington Collection],
[Series 3: Unprocessed additions],

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