The state government-supported project goes under the banner A History of LGBTIQ Victoria in 100 Places and Objects.
Joint project manager Marina Larsson, from Heritage Victoria, said the final report, which will be published online, could be used for plaques, interpretive walks, podcasts or research.
Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives historian Graham Willett said one controversial object could be the gold brooch partly made from the blended hair of Miss Drysdale and Miss Newcomb.
Mr Willett says Miss Drysdale and Miss Newcomb would not have described themselves as gay, because the word didn’t exist, but they qualified for inclusion in the project due to their ‘‘passionate friendship’’.
“They lived together for many years, Drysdale’s diary shows they were together all the time. They built a house together, they were buried together. Their relationship was clearly intimate.”
Among locations up for consideration for the report is a hall at Melbourne’s St Paul’s Cathedral.
The Melbourne branch of the Campaign Against Moral Persecution — or CAMP — first met at the St Paul’s Chapter House, adjacent to Victoria’s chief Anglican place of worship, in 1971.
The group was founded by an Anglican priest, who was granted permission for the gathering by St Paul’s hierarchy.
Dr Larsson said the Cathedral example shows our queer history has often been hidden in plain sight.
Other places put forward include the shop at 123 Swanston Street. It’s now a vegetarian restaurant, but in the early 1950s was Val’s Coffee Lounge, an important meeting and entertainment spot.
Another hangout was the Prince of Wales Hotel in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, where a renowned drag show ran from the late 1970s to early 1990s at the hotel’s weekly nightclub, Pokey’s.
Suggested objects for the project include the Victorian AIDS quilt, with panels made by loved ones of people who died of AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s.
Submissions can be made until February 28 at engage.vic.gov.au/history-lgbtiq-victoria or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Archives will also run community consultation sessions until the end of February, in Melbourne and regionally, which will be advertised on the website.
Carolyn Webb is a reporter for The Age.