The ALMS conference was an amazing experience. I come from a social science background: I am trained as a sociologist. On the first day of the conference, for a lack of better words, my mind was blown away. in more ways than one. This was my introduction into the world of Archive Studies, Museum Studies, and Library Studies. The information obtained was overwhelming at times, due to my lack of training in said fields, but that sensation was met with excitement and fervor. I learned about cataloguing, indexing, and the intersection of those fields with Queer Studies. Surprisingly, upon hearing certain presentations, and their interpretations of queering their fields, I began to comprehend queer ideologies within the archives, museums, and libraries: all the lost histories of queer identified people, the attempt of queering categorical fields, and so on. The connections made aided my introduction into these fields. Furthermore, I was shocked, in a splendid manner, at the interest taken in my presentation. I thought, indefinitely, after the first two days of presentations, my talk would be a bore: my paper is very theoretical, and, definitely, not an archive or anything of the sort. However, after my presentation I realized that I was presenting about oral histories, and I was reminded of the first day of the conference. Oral histories are forgotten truths because they are simply, oral histories: there is no record of them. My presentation, both the verbal aspect and the actual paper, are forever in history now: participants tweeted about my presentation (AMAZING!!!!) and in the program, which I’m sure will be archived. At this point, I recognized how connected I was to the other presenters. I am truly grateful for having the experience, and having met a new family.
Lee Thorpe, Jr.