The Story of how the NHC History Archive came to be.
The New Hope Celebrates History archive was first developed in 2013 by NHC Founders Daniel Brooks and Sara Scully. Originally named Retro-Scope, it provided a means to capture the fading stories of our LGBTQ+ community. Since that time, New Hope Celebrates has added the NHCH Archive to its umbrella of programs, products, and events. The Intelligencer published an article Tuesday, July 26th 2016 where Mr. Brooks explained how the “Retro-Scope” NHC History project was born.
Out of The Past – Article Excerpt
Members and friends of the LGBTQ+ community document an untold side of New Hope’s history.- By Gwen Shrift, Staff writer – Bucks County Courier Times
Daniel Brooks watched sadly as his late neighbor’s relatives threw away pieces of New Hope history. Boxes of photos taken over the lifetime of a gay man landed in the dumpster as his family cleaned out his home. To Brooks, the pictures of the man and his friends represented lost knowledge of a personal kind, rooted in the particular role New Hope plays in the region. Books have been written about New Hope, but “Nobody’s done anything on the influence of the gay community in Bucks County. It’s just memories that float out into nowheresville,” he said.
He climbed into the trash bin and salvaged the mementos. Confident that there were many more stories to be told and lives to be recorded, Brooks, Founder of Celebrate New Hope, launched Retro- Scope, an online repository by, for, and about the LGBTA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allies) community.
“It’s a crowd-based archive, anybody can participate”, he said. “There’s so much history that involves the gay community, but there’s nothing to keep it alive. We need to be able to have that happen. The project has been active for a few years, but recently, “Interest in Retro-Scope has really started to gain momentum”, said Brooks. “There’ve been individuals who have been seeking out ways to put pictures online, they’re doing it on Facebook. They turn into these little mini-blogs. What I want to do is incorporate that stuff into Retro-Scope as well. We want to do a more comprehensive timeline, so we have more of an idea of the progression”.
The public interface of Retro-Scope is a small desk in the Free Library of New Hope and Solebury, where an iPad is dedicated to the Retro- Scope website. “It’s really the first time in Bucks County that anybody has devoted any space to LGBT history”, said Brooks.
What you will discover in our History Archives
Our NHC History Archive is composed of community Biographies and Categorized Collections. We feature images of physical artifacts, articles, photos, stories, maps, news clippings, music references, and more. Discover items of interest from New Hope’s LGBTQ+ past.
We are continually seeking materials to fill particular gaps in our archives that help document New Hope’s “GAY” life from the late 60’s – the late ’90s and contemporary history late 1990s – 2020.
Biographies by Category
Artists & Performers
Our Artists and Performers section features Actors, Musicians, Painters, Poets, Comedians, etc. from New Hope and surrounding areas. Some who have visited or performed here have made a lasting impression or impacted in our community in some way.
A collection/archive of people who have contributed significantly to the community or have in some way made the community a better place by changing policies through their nonprofit work or support of programs.
A collection of local people who have made a significant impact on the lives and culture of New Hope – our friends and family that have gone before us. “We will never forget you, for you will always be in our hearts and in our minds. For your individual contributions to our community, and most importantly for being our most fabulous friends, brothers, sisters, and partners; we love you, and you will be missed.”
A collection of our Allies – supporters, and friends that have significantly impacted the LGBTQ+ community of New Hope or surrounding area. The criteria to be included are as follows:
• Have shown extraordinary support of the LGBTQ+ community
• Have lived in New Hope or the surrounding area at some point
• Contributed to the community through philanthropy and had an effect on local social change -Created or changed political or governmental policies
Divas & Queens
A collection of local and visiting Drag Queens, Pageant Personalities and Female-Male Impersonators. In New Hope, drag exhibited the art form, which often extended into elaborate sketches, scenes, and whole musicals. Local pioneer drag queens—such as Monica Rey, Josie “Mother” Cavellucci, Danee Russo, Ricki Paris, Michael “Pumpkin” Gardner, Erika Kane, Berrie Lyndon, Jasmine Brooks, Vera Charles, Phoebe Mantrappe, Victoria Lace and many more have become legends through their performances, which were mostly done to raise money for local charities or ill members of the community.
Collections by Category
Here you will find complete photo albums submitted by individuals. These albums represent a physical photo album. It may contain various photos from different times and places, scrapbooks,news clippings, letters and announcements.
An archived collection of news articles, advertising from print, posters, printed magazine & newspaper clips.
New Hope Celebrates History has exhibited many live gallery events, LGBTQ+ educational exhibits that promote equality over the past several years. Notable exhibits include “The Door Exhibit” and Equality Exhibit hosted by The Bucks County Visitors Center. We were the first to offer an LGBTQ+ book section and kiosk at the New Hope Solebury Public Library for all to enjoy.
An archived collection of physical items, furniture, paintings, drag fashions, bar Items, table tents, coasters, matchbooks, napkins, shirts, match packs, clothing, furniture, etc. Items are digitized and stored on our site. We often receive donated physical artifacts that are stored in a safe storage location and occasionally exhibited.
NHC LGBTQ+ History Timeline features important dates and events in Gay history, both in New Hope, PA, and nationwide that took place simultaneously from the 1960’s – today. Our goal is to see what culture and lifestyle parallels were taking place through the decades. See how individuals in New Hope’s “Gay” community interacted with their friends, allies, and artists. To better understand how one community lived will shed some light on why New Hope was and still is such a unique community.
“Hangouts” our custom google map displays popular Gay Hangouts from the ’60s- 2000. A brief description of important GAY places in our community both past and present. These places have had a significant impact on the lives of everyone within our community and have helped to shape our history.
We record a history of annual and year-round events and exhibits including activities for LGBTQ+ and Ally friends and families. Events include dances, parties, comedic performances, and an exciting, colorful, and dynamic parade that has been twice marshalled by the Governor of Pennsylvania and three times by a US Congressman. The Pride Parade is the cornerstone event of PrideFest held in New Hope each May.
Gossip & Stories
Enjoy glimpses of New Hope as it was via stories and gossip from current and former area residents. The stories range from poignant to funny, celebrating the unique character of Gay New Hope.
A collection of videos from New Hope’s past, events and photomontages as well as historic LGBTQ+ newsreels from our YouTube Channel.
Discover links to other LGBTQ+ National & Global Archives where you can search for helpful information. Also links to historic LGBTQ+ newsreels from our YouTube Channel.
The New Hope Celebrates Team
NHC History Committee
Daniel Brooks, Director
NHC Executive Board Members
Matthew Hanson – President
Roger Green – Vice President – Governance
Kevin “Coco” Galownia – Secretary
Melissa Patterson – Treasurer
Jennifer Wohl – Vice President
Gordon Pulaski – Creative Director
NHC Board Members
Lydia Thomas McAllister,
Special History Exhibit Committee
Gordon Pulaski – Creative Director
Sandy Santello – Photography, Marketing
Sharon Kiser – Communications & History
Cora B. – Writer
Daniel Gramkee – Photo Archive
Eric Rounds, Website Technical Advisor
Philip J Nicolosi
Gordon Nieburg – Bucks County Herald
“An Enlightened Community”
Book Committee: Friends of The New Hope – Solebury Free Library
New Hope Celebrates History, PO Box 266, New Hope, PA 18938
New Hope Celebrates History, formerly known as Retro-Scope is powered by New Hope Celebrates, Inc.
NHC Executive Board of directors will oversee funding and expenditures to the New Hope Celebrates project based on recommendations from the NHC Board of Directors and History committees. All requests must be in writing and adhere to the guidelines set forth in our program directory.