The Kentucky LGBTQ Heritage Context Study illustrates the promise and challenges of early investigations into LGBTQ history in a state in which queer life has rural and urban dimensions. In 2015–16, researchers from the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research at the University of Louisville partnered with an LGBTQ-equality organization to examine the history of LGBTQ people in Kentucky. Outcomes included the nation’s first statewide LGBTQ context narrative, amendments to two National Register of Historic Places nominations, and new attention to underrecognized dimensions of LGBTQ experience. The project demonstrates the importance of existing relationships with LGBTQ communities and the difficulty of collecting archival material within the time constraints of a grant-funded project.

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