Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Hambleton Project Records

by Rachel Blume

The Hambleton Project Records have been recently processed and the finding aid is available here.

Hello readers, we are back again highlighting issues of diversity and inclusion within our archival collections! 

The Hambleton Project Logo and Sharon Hambleton
This week, Historical Collections & Archives is excited to spread the news about a recently processed group of records that document the work of the Hambleton Project. Based in the Portland, Oregon area, the Hambleton Project is a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide support to lesbian women with cancer and other life threatening conditions.

The organization began with Sharon Hambleton, who received help from a similar group in Washington, D.C. Impressed by the care given to her by that group during her treatment for cervical cancer, she was inspired to replicate that work in the Portland area. Unfortunately, Sharon Hambleton passed away from cancer in March of 1997 before the project could get off the ground, but the work she began was taken up and continued by her friends.
Buttons included in the collection

Because of prejudices at the time towards lesbians as healthcare patients, the Hambleton Project worked to guide and advocate for the patient, family, and friends of lesbians affected by cancer. The support of the group included providing services for individuals whose needs were not being addressed, bereavement groups for women who had lost a partner to cancer or illness, and outreach to the healthcare community in order to educate on serving these patients.

The Hambleton Project Records (collection number 2016-005) house records covering board and committee meetings, education and outreach events, and other related efforts from 1997 to 2007. Many types of textual documents are included in the materials, as well as some more unique items, such as DVD presentations, memorabilia, photographs, and a mammography comparison chart.
Hambleton Project Site

What is particularly exciting about this collection is the focus on revealing the specific experience of lesbian women with cancer and the struggle these women have had to receive quality healthcare. With in-depth documentation of committee work and events, researchers with interests in LGBT health and the changing perspectives and treatment of lesbians in healthcare will greatly benefit from these materials.