Become a member of The Dallas Way
Ours is a rich history. Our dream is that our history be preserved for future generations. Since The Dallas Way’s creation in 2011, thousands of pages of LGBT historical archives have been preserved, digitally processed, and finally uploaded to The Portal To Texas History at the University of North Texas, permanently preserved as an important part of the history of our state. Today, thousands more such archives, carefully collected and screened documents, memorabilia, and photographs, are awaiting their turn in that painstaking and expensive process.
Will you join with The Dallas Way and help make that possible?
Join The Dallas Way at the Student level - your gift would have the potential to scan and make available approximately 1 page of our history in the UNT archives. A one year membership.
Join The Dallas Way at the Scholar level - your gift would have the potential to scan and make available approximately 2-3 pages of our history in the UNT archives. A one year membership.
Join The Dallas Way at the Librarian level - your gift would have the potential to scan and make available approximately 10-12 pages of our history in the UNT archives. A one year membership.
Join The Dallas Way at the Curator level - your gift would have the potential to scan and make available approximately 25 pages of our history in the UNT archives. A one year membership.
Join The Dallas Way at the Archivist level - your gift would have the potential to scan and make available approximately 125-150 pages of our history in the UNT archives. A one year membership.
Join The Dallas Way at the Historian level - your gift would have the potential to scan and make available approximately 250-300 pages of our history in the UNT archives. A one year membership.
WHY WE NEED, AND ASK FOR, MONEY
We sometimes hear: “We are thrilled about all The Dallas Way is doing to preserve the history of the LGBT community of Dallas over the last several decades, but how does that cost money? How is the money collected by The Dallas way to be spent?
Those are actually good questions, because the biggest need for donations is not for something that’s visible, today, by the public - - but it will be soon, and it’s huge.
Yes, we need money for costs of our website, our invitations to events - - all the day-to-day operating expenses incurred by any active organization.
Yes, we need money for high-quality video and audio recording equipment, which is a bit expensive - - but it’s so important to be able to assure you that the oral histories we record, both video recordings and audio recordings, are the highest, production-ready quality work products.
But by far the biggest need we have for funding is a thing called DIGITIZATION !
As you might know, The Dallas Way and the University of North Texas have entered into a contractual relationship -- a kind of partnership – in which The Dallas Way acts as a very pro-active “collector” of all kinds of archives . . . old newspaper articles, legal documents, court pleadings, personal correspondence, notes, journals, memoires, publications of LGBT organizations, and hundreds of priceless photographs covering the events and people of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s . . . all the way to today. We collect these priceless archives from donors, inventory them, and then assign them to UNT where there will be preserved (virtually) forever.
But if that’s all we did, it still wouldn’t be all that expensive.
It’s not “all we do” - - and that’s because we MUST make all of those priceless archives available to the world through the Internet. Otherwise, all we’ve done is to create a closed library containing our history – but locked away. “Safe” but “inaccessible” in every practical sense.
We need that history to be accessible - - to you, to researchers, to teachers, to historians, to anyone with a desire to learn about our history.
To make our thousands of photos and documents “searchable” (so that their contents can be located and pulled up by simple search engines from any computer anywhere in the world) . . . the scanning at UNT must not only be “visual” but also “word-searchable” . . . and with unique “metadata” applied to each page or photo. That’s a time-consuming and very expensive process that must be done in the secure archiving department of the UNT Library System.
In 2014 The Dallas Way gave $15,000 to UNT for purpose of beginning this important work. In 2015 an additional $5,000 was given to fully fund “Stage 1” of the project (which includes the employment of two UNT students to work for two full semesters on the scanning and metadata-input for the documents TDW has already deposited with UNT (for example: the Texas Human Rights Foundation and Dallas Gay Alliance archives, plus the archives of the Stonewall Democratic Caucus and Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, as well as the extensive personal files and memos of Dennis Vercher, the former editor of the Dallas Voice). This project is now well underway, but we still need to raise another $15,000 this year, if at all possible, to continue this work into the future.
Our donations have now been expanded to cover the archives of Bill Nelson, Don Baker, Jack Evans and George Harris. And we want to continue to collection historical archives from as many other individuals and organizations as possible. So the list is growing. We expect it to continue to grow as word gets out that here, with this TDW/UNT project at last, we have a place to permanently preserve, and make available to the world, the complete LGBT history of Dallas. That is our mission.
There was an old saying in the 1980s that “While the GLBT communities of other cities get worried ... the Dallas GLBT community gets busy.” That has always been “the Dallas way.”