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Maria Helena Dolan photographs

Collection number: ahc.VIS423

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials collected by Maria Helena Dolan that document her personal life and Atlanta LGBTQ+ community activist meetings and events such as Black Pride, sponsored by In The Life Atlanta (ITLA). Of special note are images related to a Forsyth County protest in response to the Ku Klux Klan's attack on civil rights marchers a week earlier during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. Also included is an image of Ray Kluka, Chris Hagen, and Gil Robison as recipients of American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) Martha W. Gaines Award.


  • 1954-2003, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This material is protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Biographical / Historical

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.


42 image(s) (34 color photographic prints, six black and white photographic prints, and two color images)




This collection is arranged alphabetically by titles supplied by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1993, with subsequent additions

Related Materials

Maria Helena Dolan papers, MSS 1196, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

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

Atlanta Lesbian and Gay History Thing visual arts materials, VIS 412, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2022.

Maria Helena Dolan photographs
Kate Daly
January 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305