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LGBT Botts Archive Sold To Anonymous Buyer

The following appears with permission of Brandon Wolf. Wolf has contributed LGBT material to the collection.

The nearly 32 year old Charles Botts Library at the Resurrection Metropolian Community Church has been sold by the RMCC Board to an anonymous buyer for an unspecificed amount of money and with no specific plans for it’s disolution.

GCAM (Gulf Coast Archive & Museum of GLBT History) have been named ‘representatives’ of the buyer. Despite their own press release saying this collection will be housed in Montrose, they will not divulge any details on the location, the buyer, or the price. Leif Hatlen, a long-time volunteer at the archive, and now the President of Botts Inc., has released this official response to the sale:

MEDIA RELEASE OF THE BOTTS COLLECTION OF LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER HISTORY, INC. The Botts Collection of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History, Inc. is a non-profit corporation which is separate from the Charles Botts archives located at Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church’s (RMCC). The Botts Collection of LGBT History has been formed by persons who have been involved with the saving, preserving and making available the material located at RMCC. In the past year they became aware that RMCC no longer wanted the archives. Thus the Botts Collection of LGBT History was formed. Attempts were made to negotiate with RMCC but were unsuccessful since RMCC was apparently following their own agenda.

It has come to our attention that many of the persons who lent and deposited materials to the Botts Library at RMCC over the years believed their historical papers were there for the purpose of serving the GLBT community and they are amazed and horrified that RMCC is now proposing to sell off these important historical activist documents to an anonymous buyer to be relocated to GCAM’s storage units where other important historical materials have been subject to severe damage in various storms and suffered from apathy and neglect. As to GCAM’s record of preserving GLBT history and making it available to the community and researchers, in the past 16 years few researchers have been allowed to access the material. Virtually no cataloging of individual items has been done. No data base exists. No connection to the internet exists. For this reason, the return of the materials currently at RMCC has been demanded by several of the parties and more requests will be forthcoming.

The Botts Collection of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History, Inc., which has made multiple requests to RMCC for stewardship of the materials to no avail, has a ten-year history of ceaseless work cataloging the materials in its care, the creation of a database and accessibility via the internet, with the ultimate goal of placing the thousands of historical GLBT documents at the disposal of historians, researchers and the public around the globe. It has created exhibitions for several years at a Gay Pride tent during Gay Pride Week as well as mounting other exhibits, and numerous researchers have found valuable resources easily at their fingertips. The Botts Collection of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History, Inc. most strongly opposes the transfer of the Botts materials at RMCC to an anonymous buyer and its relocation to the storage units of the Gulf Coast Archive & Museum of GLBT History.

More info and photos can be found here. The Resurrection MCC has a Facebook page.

March 7, 2015
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