Is Bigger Better? Mainstream Research Collections, LGBTQ History, and the Case of Samuel Steward
“This presentation will examine the role of university and research collections in the curation of LGBTQ materials, using the life of Samuel Steward as a case study, together with the documented experiences of his biographer, Justin Spring. Spring located numerous writings and papers of Steward in mainstream research libraries. In writing Secret Historian, however, Spring encountered frequent resistance, due to both the explicit nature of the materials, and the light they cast on such famous figures as Thornton Wilder. We will suggest that large libraries need to negotiate the distinction between serving individual users and serving defined and self-identified communities. They also need to negotiate the distinction between an artifact’s original purpose (such as community information, or sexual titillation) and its emergent historical significance for a particular culture or community.”
Grant Campbell is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, and conducts research in the area of queer classification and subject analysis. Scott R. Cowan is an academic librarian at the Leddy Research Library, University of Windsor, specializing in information services in English and History for the university research community. Campbell and Cowan are co-authors of a forthcoming article in Library Trends: “The Paradox of Privacy,” examining issues of privacy and access for LGBTQ library users in an age of big data and linked data.
The Faculty of Information and Media Studies at University of Western Ontario provides undergraduate and graduate programs in the study of media, journalism, communication, and library and information science. The Leddy Library at University of Windsor provides a broad range of research and curricular support to the university community, including undergraduate and graduate students and Faculty.
Grant and Scott will be speaking on day 2 of the conference