What We Have, What Is Missing and Filling the Gaps
“Even as we critique mainstream collections for lacking GLBT material (as we should!), our own collections are often heavily weighted towards small parts of our community. To more fully reflect the GLBT experience, we need to be aware both of the specific dynamics that have shaped our individual collections and the broader forces that make inclusion of diverse voices challenging. During my time as curator of the Tretter Collection, I have focused on understanding what we have, what is missing and how we could begin to fill the gaps. I will talk about some of the strategies I have used to add materials especially focused on the “B,” the “T,” and people of color. I am also interested in hearing from others about how they have added missing voices to their collections.”
Lisa Vecoli is the curator of the Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies at the University of Minnesota Libraries. In her previous careers she has worked in shelters for battered women and in the political system. Her first involvement with the Tretter Collection was as a board member, solicited in the hope that her +4,000 book library might one day join the archive. Hired as staff in 2012, her goals are to preserve GLBT history, diversify the voices in the archive and add to her personal collection of Lesbian Pulp novels.
The Tretter Collection grew from the personal collection of Jean-Nickolaus Tretter which outgrew his apartment and was donated to the University of Minnesota Libraries in 2000 with Tretter as the staff person. The Tretter Collection, partnering with Quatrefoil Library, organized and hosted the first GLBT ALMS Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2006. In 2016, we were awarded the Newlen-Symons Award by the American Library Association for excellence in service to the GLBT Community. We have +3,200 linear feet of material from around the world including items in 58 languages. The Tretter Collection is open to all, free of charge.
Lisa will be part of the “This Moment of Collecting in the USA: Identifying and Addressing Gaps in the Archives” roundtable on day 3 of the conference