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Maria Helena Dolan papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS1196

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials collected by Maria Helena Dolan that document her work in LGBTQ+ and feminist organizations, her personal life, events she attended, her work at MARTA, as well her various other interests, including gardening, arts, and travel. Specific causes documented include AIDS awareness and safe sex, domestic violence, civil rights, and LGBTQ+ rights. Organizations represented include Atlanta History Center, Charis Books & More, Pride, ACLU, and Atlanta Lesbian and Gay History Thing, amongst others. Types of papers in this collection include correspondence, periodicals and articles, business records, and organization and event ephemera. Dolan saved drafts of articles she wrote for local publications, the bulk of which she submited to Southern Voice. Of note are agendas from the Cobb County Board of Commissioners when Cobb County was planning to hosts events for the 1996 Olympic Games. LGBTQ+ organizations that Dolan was involved with, including Cobb Citizens Coalition, fought to convince Olympic organizers not to hold events in the county in response to existing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.


  • 1970-2007, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

LGBTQ+ and feminist rights activist Maria Helena Dolan (1954- ) was born to Helene Nina Esposito Dolan (1935-2010) and Larry Joseph Dolan (1933-1994). In 1978 Dolan was a leader of the approximately 2,000 picketers who protested Anita Bryant, an anti-LGBTQ+ activist, when she spoke at the Southern Baptist Convention at the Georgia World Congress Center. Dolan was also one of the featured speakers at the rally. She served as an Automatic Train Control Foreman and then as a Safety and Quality Assurance Engineer with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). Additionally, Dolan was the Southern Regional Organizer for the first and second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979 and 1987. In 1995 she served as the Atlanta Pride Grand Marshal. Dolan is a supporter of feminist and lesbian arts and helped to found the Mother of the Sisters of No Mercy theater troupe and Mother of Lucina Music. She was also a member of the gardening group Digging Dykes of Decatur. A prolific columnist, she wrote articles for the Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance ALFA newsletter; Gabriel; Gazette; Cruise; Etc.; and Southern Voice. Other organizations Dolan helped establish include Southern Ladies Against Women (SLAW), Georgia Lesbian EcoFeminists for Animal Rights, and Triangle Video. She served as an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia board member and co-chaired the Privacy and AIDS committee. In the 1990s Dolan helped found the Atlanta Gay and Lesbian History Thing, a nonprofit group that worked to preserve LGBTQ+ history in Atlanta; documents collected and generated by the project were donated to the Atlanta History Center.


4.587 linear ft. (11 document cases, four oversize folders, 5 cassettes, one reel-to-reel, and one 3 1/2" floppy disk)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Audio recordings were made on cassettes, 3 1/2" floppy disks, and reel-to-reels and can be made accessible only through conversion to digital surrogates. Patrons who request access to the audio content in this collection are responsible for digital conversion costs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1999, with subsequent additions

Related Archival Materials

Visual material has been separated from the collection. Please contact an archivist for access to these materials.

Atlanta Lesbian and Gay History Thing papers and publications, MSS 773, James G. Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

Maria Helena Dolan papers, Q134, Gender and Sexuality Collections. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2020.

Maria Helena Dolan papers
Leah Lefkowitz
February 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305