Retro-Scope was first developed in 2013 by NHC Founder Daniel Brooks and Sara Scully as a means to capture the fading stories of our LGBT community. Since that time New Hope Celebrates has adopted Retro-Scope to its umbrella of programs, products and events. Still in its infancy RS will undergo a transformation and redevelopment which will update its shell and core to better suite todays changing technology. The Intelligencer published an article Tuesday July 26th where Mr. Brooks explains how Retro-Scope was born.
Out of The Past – Excerpt
Members and friends of the LGBT community document an untold side of New Hope history.
By Gwen Shrift, Staff writer
Daniel Brooks watched sadly as his late neighbor’s relatives threw away pieces of New Hope history. Boxes of photos taken over the lifetime of a gay man landed in the Dumpster as his family cleaned out his home. To Brooks, the pictures of the man and his friends represented lost knowledge of a personal kind, rooted in the particular role New Hope plays in the region. Books have been written about New Hope, but “Nobody’s done anything on the influence of the gay community in Bucks County. It’s just … memories that float out into nowhereville,??? he said.
He climbed into the trash bin and salvaged the mementos. Certain that there were many more stories to be told and lives to be recorded, Brooks, founder of Celebrate New Hope, launched Retro- Scope, an online repository by, for and about the LGBTA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allies) community.
“It’s a crowd-based archive, anybody can participate,??? he said. “There’s so much history that’s involved the gay community, but there’s nothing to keep it alive. We need to be able to have that happen.??? The project has been active for a few years, but recently, “Interest in Retro-Scope has really started to gain momentum,??? said Brooks. “There’ve been individuals who have been seeking out ways to put pictures online, they’re doing it on Facebook. They turn into these little mini-blogs. What I want to do is incorporate that stuff into Retro-Scope as well . . . we want to do a more comprehensive timeline, so we have more of an idea of the progression.??? The public interface of Retro-Scope is a small desk in the Free Library of New Hope and Solebury, where an iPad is dedicated to the Retro- Scope website. “It’s really the first time in Bucks County that anybody has devoted any space to LGBT history,??? said Brooks.