LGBTQ Columbia History Initiative

Historic Columbia, in Columbia, SC, in collaboration with the University of South Carolina Libraries, will launch the LGBTQ Columbia History Initiative on October 21, 2021 in conjunction with South Carolina Pride weekend festivities. Through oral histories, digital archives, virtual tours, and more, this initiative will amplify the diverse, complex past of a community that has, for far too long, been relegated to the margins of history. SC Humanities supported this project with a Major Grant.

The LGBTQ Columbia History Initiative is designed to ensure the preservation of the community’s memories, both collective and individual. They will partner with the South Caroliniana Library and the Department of Oral History at USC to record and transcribe 30 oral histories, which will be preserved by the Department of Oral History and made accessible to the public through a UofSC-based website. They will also work with the Department of Oral History to create further access to oral histories recorded more than a decade ago, and they will fully process and make accessible the 70+ box “South Carolina gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer collection” held by South Caroliniana Library, and create a digital collection comprised of key documents and ephemera contained within. The resulting finding aid(s) and digital collection will also be made available through the aforementioned website.

Like the other Connecting Communities Through History programs offered by Historic Columbia, this one will include guided and self-guided tours in digital and walking/driving formats, interactive maps, and public programs. 

Learn more about the initiative at

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 21-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.