Preserving Gay and Lesbian History, at the Library

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in 1994 discovered to their happy surprise that there was an enormous archive of gay and lesbian social history in an elegant building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.

It was called the New York Public Library (and will soon be known as the Stephen A. Schwartzman Library as well).

The library’s exhibition on lesbian and gay life, “Becoming Visible: The Legacy of Stonewall” drew a record-breaking 17,258 visitors in its first week at the beginning of this month. One man, who cried as he walked through the Gottesman Exhibition Hall, said that such a show in such a setting made him feel he had “a place, a legitimate place, in the fabric of this country.” NYT Blogs.