Late in December 2018, Preservation Maryland was awarded a substantial research grant from the Maryland Historical Trust in the Department of Planning to begin a first-of-its-kind in Maryland project to research historic places across the state important to LGBTQ history.

The funding from the Maryland Historical Trust’s Non-Capital Grant Program will support groundbreaking work in collecting, organizing, and analyzing the major historic themes for Maryland’s LGBTQ community. There exist several databases of properties, primarily in the hands of individuals and some organizations, likely important to LGBTQ history. One of the goals of this project is to collate and standardize this list of diverse properties. Those evaluated properties will be added to an interactive digital map created by the National Park Service called LGBTQ America hosted on the HistoryPin website. This will be one of the first steps towards official state inventory forms and possible historic designations.

Dr. Susan Ferentinos

In addition to property-based research, Preservation Maryland will retain Dr. Susan Ferentinos, an expert in LGBTQ history to research and develop a comprehensive context study of LGBTQ life in Maryland. This report will utilize Dr. Ferentinos’ prior research for the National Park Service and other entities. She is the author of “Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites,” that was recognized with a Book Award by the National Council on Public History.

Preservation Maryland has made LGBTQ history and preservation a priority for the organization through our Six-to-Fix program and leads the Maryland LGBTQ History Collaborative that includes many municipalities and organizations in a statewide strategy to discover LGBTQ history and present it in the historic record.

UMD students at LGBTQ lecture, 2018.

UMD students at LGBTQ lecture, 2018.

Prior to this announcement, Preservation Maryland partnered with the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation during a studio semester class under the direction of Dr. Jeremy Wells. The studio class focused on LGBTQ life in Baltimore City and developed a toolkit for other students or community members to conduct similar introductory historical research. Copies of this report will soon be available for free online shortly and used by Preservation Maryland to encourage additional community participation.

Preservation Maryland is actively seeking applications for a LGBTQ History Research Intern in support of this project. Additionally, the public can suggest locations and share stories directly to the LGBTQ America map and website.

Learn more about this project

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