One year ago, after consulting with the Women who run the OLOHP project, we began a project to document Betty Neeley's life story. This website really began with Betty so it is appropriate that her story is the first one captured for OLOHP in St. Louis.
The Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project began in 1997 when Arden Eversmeyer started working with women she knew who were ill and dying in her area, Houston, Texas. She began collecting stories from friends as she traveled. And now, she and others are working to collect the life stories from Lesbians 70 and older wherever they are found and whenever they are willing to share them.
The project provides digital recorders and over the course of the spring and summer, I and four others conducted multiple interviews with Betty. Each interview was loaded on to the computer and sent to OLOHP. These digital recordings were then turned over to OLOHP professional transcribers.
We eventually received a copy of the transcript and reviewed for errors and such. We worked together to provide some footnotes on several important memories. We also digitally scanned a number of Betty's photos and memorabilia to send to the Project team. The final product, a nicely bound book was presented to Betty on April 3rd at Lily's Social House during a History discussion brunch she was hosting. A copy will also go to the Archives at Smith College, a copy will be maintained by OLOHP and a copy goes to the St. Louis LGBT History Project.
New OLOHP Website
St. Louis LGBT History Project