Frank Hermann ‘59, who attended the school more than a decade before Temple, shared very similar experiences. In direct response to Temple’s interview, Frank Hermann explains “I have a – gut feeling I might’ve helped wear out your carpet.” [17:00] Later in his interview, he voices his curiosity about what this bookshelf looked like. He remembers there being some books about homosexuality in the library at the time when he attended the school, but he couldn’t remember anything else about them.
This is where I came in. As an EXCEL Scholar working on the Queer Archives Project in Spring 2020, I was reviewing Frank Hermann’s interview before uploading it on this site. And because I was also struck by curiosity about the bookshelf in question, I decided to try to find some answers myself. Having read Temple’s interview previously, I had always been intrigued by the image of the worn-out carpet, and so I wanted to find out more about these books. What books about LGBTQ+ subjects were in the library, and when were they added? What were these books about? How did they frame the identities and experiences they included in these pages? It was with these questions in mind that I began this project.