At last week’s Missouri Conference on History in Kansas City, Tracie Gieselman-Holthaus spoke on how seemingly unrelated collections can be used to understand and interpret historical events. Using materials from the Ozarks Jewish Archives (OJA) and the Ozarks Lesbian and Gay Archives (OLGA), Tracie discussed the Interfaith AIDS Network, a community-wide faith-based organization. This group provided support to the AIDS Project Springfield (now AIDS Project of the Ozarks) during a tumultuous time in Springfield’s history. The Interfaith AIDS Network came together in 1990, shortly after the contentious production of “The Normal Heart” at Missouri State University’s campus. The history of the reaction to the AIDS epidemic in this Ozarks community is gleaned from a variety of collections.
Tracie Gieselman-Holthaus is the Archivist at Missouri State University. For more information on these collections or others, please contact her at 417.836.4298 or TGieselmanHolthaus@MissouriState.edu. You can also start your research at https://libraries.missouristate.edu/Archives.