The Chibbaro Files

Veteran Washington Blade reporter Lou Chibbaro Jr. donates the “Chibbaro Files” to George Washington University Library Special Collections Research Center

The “Chibbaro Files” gift facilitated and financially supported by The Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C.

(March 9, 2020) Lou Chibbaro Jr., veteran Washington Blade reporter, has donated 75 boxes of his reporter files—including thousands of pages of notes, hundreds of hours of cassette taped interviews and research materials—to the George Washington University Library Special Collections Research Center, it was announced today by Charles Francis, President of the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C.

“We call this amazing archival collection the ‘Chibbaro Files,’ seventy-five cartons of Lou Chibbaro Jr.’s reporting files which he kept meticulously covering three decades of LGBT politics, activism, culture and crime at the Blade,” said Francis.

Last October the Washington Blade celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1969 and its long held status as the nation’s LGBT community newspaper of record.

“We were honored to help facilitate Lou’s generous donation to GWU with a $6,000 donation from the Mattachine Society to support a student archivist who will help organize the collection and prepare a finding aid for researchers to access this historical LGBT Washington treasure,” Francis said.

Pate Felts, Mattachine Treasurer, said, “We want our gift to help students and researchers in future years understand what Lou’s beat at the Blade covered from local D.C. politics to crime. Lou Chibbaro Jr. would cover what the mainstream media would often ignore or ‘de-gay.’ Among much else, Lou covered the Washington gay ‘crime beat’ of muggings, ‘queer rolling,’ under-reported murders and hate crimes that plague our community to this day. Lou was there in the D.C. courtrooms when nobody else was,” Felts said.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. remembers, “The major papers often would not mention the victim was gay, so I picked up on reporting that and what really happened whenever possible without ‘outing’ or disclosing a victim’s identity as gay if that could lead to serious discrimination related consequences such as being fired from their job.”

Added Chibbaro, “I am very pleased that my papers will now be preserved at George Washington University library and available to researchers interested in our Washington LGBT coverage in the years to come.”

The Chibbaro Files will be housed and processed at George Washington University Special Collections and available later this year to researchers.

Yes, I would like to support Mattachine’s “archive activism”.

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Lou Chibbaro, Jr. and Pate Felts