Resource Center library receives grant to fund preservation efforts

Seeking to better preserve historic materials and artifacts of the North Texas LGBT community, Resource Center Dallas’ Phil Johnson Historic Archives & Research Library has received a Preservation Assessment Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The grant will fund a preservation site survey to begin later this year. The library, a program of Resource Center Dallas, officially began in 1994 with the donation of the personal papers and artifacts of longtime local gay activist Phil Johnson. Since then, many North Texas organizations and individuals have also donated materials. Until recently, these collections were not easily accessible to researchers seeking primary source materials.

"Last year, the library was fortunate to have two graduate students work on the archives and begin recording and surveying our materials," said Sandy Swan, librarian for the Phil Johnson Historic Archives and Research Library. "Through this initial survey, we concluded many of the materials needed protection from deterioration. This grant from the NEH will allow us to prioritize which materials are in most need of preservation and seek funds to do that."

The archives also hold the institutional records of Resource Center Dallas, which began in 1983 as the Foundation for Human Understanding. Holdings include not only personal and organizational papers and photographs, but also audiovisual materials including audiocassette and VHS video tapes; rare books and ephemera; digital materials; art works such as paintings and drawings; and, many cultural artifacts from LGBT and HIV/AIDS events, organizations and businesses. The library also includes the largest LGBT collection of books in North Texas.

Bryan’s House elects four new members to Board of Directors

Bryan’s House is pleased to announce the election of four members of the organization’s Board of Directors. The new board members are Julie Anne Chandler, Barbara D. Christian, Helen M. Dorsey and Christopher Williams (former board member). Each member will serve a two-year term with the nonprofit organization and will serve an important roles in guiding Bryan’s House in the areas of development, public relations and finance.

The mission of Bryan’s House is to respond to the needs of children and their families by providing medically managed child care, respite care, and community-based family-centered support services. In June 1987, Stefanie Held and nurse Lydia Allen recognized the need for care for children affected by HIV/AIDS. They created a non-profit organization called Open Arms Inc. and leased an old two-story home in Dallas. The board named the facility Bryan’s House after Lydia’s son, Bryan, who was one of the first children in the Dallas area to die from AIDS.­

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 8, 2010.
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