Trexler Library’s Rare Books Exhibit Room on Level B provides a space to showcase Special Collections and Archives materials. Once or twice per year, exhibits rotate, sometimes telling stories from the College’s history through archival material, and sometimes thematically highlighting treasures from our other collections.

HIV and AIDS in the Lehigh Valley: 40 years of Advocacy and Activism

Through Jun 30, 2022 — Rare Books Exhibit Room, Level B

The way AIDS was initially described in established Lehigh Valley local media in the early 1980s made it seem an issue far away in both distance and impact. However, local publications geared toward the LGBT community, like the Le-Hi-Ho News, show a rapidly growing concern for and realization that AIDS was already impacting the Lehigh Valley. In the months and years after AIDS and then HIV were identified, a growing community of Lehigh Valley advocates and activists formed organizations to care for people with HIV and AIDS, keep communities informed, and work to increase acceptance and rights for people with HIV and AIDS. Local organizations featured in this exhibit include Fighting AIDS Continuously Together, or F.A.C.T., and Latino AIDS Outreach.

This exhibit shares a snapshot of instances of activism in the Lehigh Valley, including those at Muhlenberg College, using collections and oral histories held by Trexler Library. We thank the many people who have shared their stories with the archives. Many of these materials are a part of the Lehigh Valley LGBT Community Archive, a program of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in partnership with Trexler Library.

For more information, contact Susan Falciani Maldonado at susanfalciani@muhlenberg.edu or Rachel Hamelers at rachelhamelers@muhlenberg.edu.