Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Invisible Histories Project

aka Invisible Histories Project

Birmingham, AL


The invisible Histories Project is designed to be a connection between Queer communities and local repositories for the preservation of the history of LGBTQ life throughout the American South. The archive will preserve, collect, and protect the living history of the diversity of the Queer community and experiences both urban and rural.. iHP is a community driven project that seeks to engage Southern Queer people, local universities, libraries, and archives in the process of protecting the vanishing LGBTQ history of our region.

Notes from the Nonprofit

We are a very young organization, but the planning and organizing for this has happened over several years. We have seen unbelievable growth and excitement around our project since we officially began collecting in February, 2018. We are asking you to help us preserve these invisible and quickly disappearing histories of LGBTQ in the South. We have the energy, the knowledge, and the ability, we are asking you to help us with the financial needs of such a large scale project. Thank you for supporting this work!

Ruling Year


Principal Officer


Co Principal Officer

Joshua Burford

Main Address

PO Box 101672

Birmingham, AL 35210 USA


lgbt, lgbtq, gay, history, lesbian, queer, trans, transgender, archive, archiving, community organizing, research, community, grassroots, higher education, us south, south, southern, alabama, deep south, rural





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Historical Societies & Historic Preservation  (A82)

History Museums (A54)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

LGBTQ history is highly underrepresented in mainstream culture, public education (at all levels), and even in LGBTQ communities. This is especially true regarding the US South LGBTQ history. Most of LGBTQ history centers around large cities on the East and West Coast. Additionally, LGBTQ history is often lost with the death of an LGBTQ individual as their biological families all too often destroy or rewrite their histories. In order to ensure that our histories are protected, preserved and researched and to make sure that LGBTQ Southerners can feel connected to and empowered by our own histories, the Invisible Histories Project is working across the South to identify materials repositories, preserve new collections, identify and make accessible current holdings, develop experiential learning and research projects for undergraduate and graduate students, and create a connected timeline for each state around its LGBTQ history.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Invisible Histories Project

Where we workNew!

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of organizational partners

Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Invisible Histories Project

New Collections

Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Satelite Sites

Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

In addition to preserving the rich history of LGBTQ Southerners, The Invisible History Project’s goals are to: 1. Create a timeline of LGBTQ history in each IHP site state 2. Develop experiential learning opportunities for students in archives, preservation, grant writing, community outreach, and research 3. Provide research, teaching and partnership opportunities for faculty across the state through the establishment of an archives network and a campus consortium 4. Connect campus and community partners to increase collaborative engagement 5. Establish a centrally located institute to display and study these histories 6. Partner with other state universities and colleges through consultation and the implementation of a Queer History South Network

We are currently working with several state universities who are providing partial funding and in-kind donations. We are also working with numerous students to ensure the scale of the project remains manageable and efficient.

Currently, there are two full-time staff members, one undergraduate research intern, one graduate intern (running our Queer History South Network), and one graduate scholar working on the project. At this time, we are trying to grow our operational funding in order to hire more staff to support the scale of the project.

We mark our progress by the partnerships with organizations and the relationships with community members we make. Overall, we have set 3, 5, and 10 years plans to measure our central goals while each site (based on state) sets individual goals for their community. For example, how many unique collections they want to locate within a year.

We are in the final stages for a grant that will allow us to meet some of operational costs (salaries mostly) and expand into Mississippi and Georgia. This grant should be available in late spring to early summer 2019. Since February 2018, we have archived over a dozen new collections in Alabama and are in the process of having one of the largest collections of lesbian and LGBTQ People of Color materials in the South. We have also become the head of Queer History South which is a network of historians, librarians, preservationists, students, researchers, faculty, and historians from all 12 US South states working on LGBTQ history and archiving. With this group, we are holding the first ever conference in Birmingham, AL in March, 2019.

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Sexual Orientation

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Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity