Northwest Lesbian and Gay History Museum Project

Northwest Lesbian and Gay History Project
Publishes Historical Map of Seattle

We are pleased to
announce the publication of

“Claiming Space:
Seattle's Lesbian and Gay Historical Geography.”

Claiming Space

The map charts sites of historical importance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) folks over the Twentieth Century in Seattle. It features nearly 200 venues that include bars, community groups, religious congregations, protest sites, and early group homes and apartments. “Claiming Space” illustrates the shift of the community from Pioneer Square towards Capitol Hill and beyond, but also includes insets on other areas such as Queen Anne Hill, Wallingford, and the University District. The map illustrates both the concentration and dispersion of LGBT experience in the city, demonstrating how the geography and history of this community are thoroughly intertwined. Those who think the geography of gay Seattle is confined to Capitol Hill will be surprised by this map.

“Claiming Space” was produced through a participatory GIS (geographic information system) method between the Northwest Lesbian and Gay History Museum Project (NWGLHMP or “The History Project”) with Professor Michael Brown of UW and Professor Larry Knopp of the University of Minnesota-Duluth. The NWGLHMP is a non-profit organization that researches, interprets and communicates the history of LGBT people in the Pacific Northwest for the purposes of study, education and enjoyment. Recognizing that the history of this vibrant community has been sparsely and inaccurately recorded, the History Project collects oral histories; locates photographs, ephemera, objects and documents; works with archives to insure the preservation of these materials; and creates public programs such as exhibits, publications and presentations. Drs. Brown and Knopp are geographers who research the relations between sexuality, space and place, and who volunteer with the organization.

The data for “Claiming Space” came from the History Project’s archives, oral histories, new research, and a smaller 1996 version of the map. The scholars worked with the NWGLHMP to create a flexible, expandable database of relevant sites. They then used the GIS to plot the venues and design a high-quality map to be used by members of the community, scholars, and local officials. This database will be a repository for future information, and it can be used to make thematic maps for specific interests.

Map Sample

Mail-in order form

Claiming Space is made possible by a grant from the Arcus Foundation of the University of California, Berkeley.

Printed by Girlie Press of Seattle.

You can be a part of our history.

Your tax-deductible donation to the Northwest Lesbian and Gay History Museum Project will help ensure that the stories of our lives, our struggles, and our successes will be preserved to inspire future generations.

1122 E. Pike St., PMB #797
Seattle, WA 98122

Thank you!


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