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
Collecting Queer in Northern California
“An overview of the holdings gathered by the GLBT Historical Society during the three decades since it was founded, with a focus on evolving strategies for defining collections development, identifying and addressing gaps in the archives, and imagining future directions for acquisition.
The talk will highlight how the society’s position as a community-based institution creates distinctive opportunites for collecting LGBTQ historical materials and for supporting innovative uses of those materials and how exhibitions and programs at the society’s GLBT History Museum create a vital space for intersectional dialogue and representation.”
Gerard Koskovich is a San Francisco–based historian, curator, writer and book dealer. A founding member of the GLBT Historical Society, he has worked with the institution in a variety of capacities over the past 31 years. He is currently serving as curator of an exhibition about Magnus Hirschfeld for the society’s GLBT History Museum.
Koskovich’s articles on LGBTQ history have been published in the United States and Europe, and he has given talks on queer history, archives and museums, and historic preservation around the U.S. and in England, France and Germany. As a book dealer, he has helped numerous research libraries develop their LGBTQ holdings.
Founded in 1985, the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco advances respect for sexual and gender diversity by supporting the production and transmission of historical knowledge about LGBTQ individuals, their communities and the cultures they create. Internatiionally recognized for its initiatives in the field of LGBTQ public history, the society maintains one of the largest collections of LGBTQ archival materials in the United States and operates the GLBT History Museum in the Castro District.
Gerard 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
Legacy, Trust, and Legitimacy: Challenges in Developing and Promoting LGBTQ Collections in Small Repositories, a roundtable discussion
“This abstract is for a roundtable discussion between the audience and panelists. The panelists are archivists from small archives at colleges & universities that are actively collecting LGBTQ material and actively promoting those collections. Each archivist will have 5-7 minutes to share their work. This will be followed by opening the discussion up to the audience to learn what strategies and projects they are working on. Barriers to collecting LGBTQ materials remain and range from institutional homophobia and transphobia to limited resources and staff. By offering opportunities for people building and promoting LGBTQ collections to meet and share their experiences, our community can build new strategies and work to insure that challenges faced can be overcome and ideally new outlooks on LGBTQ history created at mainstream institutions.”
Speakers include: Deborah A. Richards (Special Collections Archivist, Mount Holyoke College, MA), Nancy Liliana Godoy-Powell (Archivist & Librarian, Chicano/a Research Collection, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ), Linda J. Long (Manuscripts Librarian, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR), Cathleen Miller (Curator, Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England, Portland, ME), Alison Stankrauff (Archivist and Associate Librarian, Indiana University, South Bend, IN), Kelly Anderson (Oral Historian and Lecturer, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College)
The roundtable will take place on day 3 of the conference
Developing the Lesbian Land Collections in Oregon
“Linda will talk about her efforts to develop the extensive Oregon lesbian land/intentional community collections at the University of Oregon; these collections reflect the historic lesbian separatist movement in the United States, starting in the 1970s. Her comments will focus on donor relations, particularly the process to develop trust among the women. She will also speak to the importance of consistent advocacy on the part of archivists in developing LGBTQ collections. Finally, Linda is also now working to develop trans* collections to document an important movement, but also to meet a clear scholarly demand. She will speak briefly about that effort.”
Linda Long is the manuscripts librarian in the Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Oregon Libraries. She has curatorial responsibility for developing, managing, and providing access to these collections. Linda started her career at Consumers Union, Inc. in New York, then worked at Stanford University Special Collections and University Archives, first as an assistant archivist, and then as head of public services. Linda holds a B.A. in History from Seattle University, an M.A. in History and Archives Administration from Case Western University, and an M.L.S. from Brigham Young University.
The University of Oregon is a public university in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, Western United States. The Special Collections and University Archives includes manuscripts, books, photographs, ephemera, and video and audio materials. Much of the material focuses on Oregon’s history, politics, and culture.
Linda is part of the ‘Collecting and promoting LGBT history’ roundtable on day 3 of the conference
Generations of Collecting
“AIDS activism was an intense focus when I started shaping Cornell’s collection in the late 1980s. The AIDS activists who survived that era are at a different time in their lives now, nearing retirement age. What is important to document now?
After 25 years, New York’s state-wide LGBT rights organization announced its work is done, and in 2016 it sent Cornell the rest of its archives. Advances in securing certain LGBT rights prompt a new look at what issues are urgent, controversial and important now.
LGBT archiving is mature enough to look at the generations of activists and issues now documented and accessible in our reading rooms. What have we documented well, and what is still missing? I will bring up the topics of porn and economic and racial justice.”
Brenda J. Marston
Founded by Cornell University in 1988, the Human Sexuality Collection has sought to preserve and make accessible primary sources that document historical shifts in the social construction of sexuality internationally, with a focus on U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history and the politics of pornography. The initial gifts and vision came from Bruce Voeller and the Mariposa Education and Research Foundation and from David B. Goodstein, publisher of The Advocate.
Speaking of Sex http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/speakingofsex/
25 Years of Political Influence: The Records of the HRC http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/HRC/
Brenda 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
Documenting Lesbian Lives
“I will focus on the use of oral history as a key method in the recovery of women’s lives, particularly those with marginalized sexual identities, and the archival labor and resources required to implement this important documentation tool. I will highlight the Documenting Lesbian Lives collection at Smith College, reflecting on the challenges of archiving queer oral history as well as the activist and community-building potential inherent in a cross-generational project that documents lesbian elders.”
I have been an oral historian in the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College for 13 years. I am a faculty member in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender and teach courses in women’s history, queer studies, and oral history. I am also the Director of our Archives Concentration.
Kelly is part of the ‘Collecting and promoting LGBT history’ roundtable on day 3 of the conference
Partnership in the Preservation of Rustbelt Queer History
“I’ll be talking about my work with a collection of records and artifacts associated with the LGBTQ community within and around South Bend, Indiana from the 1970s to the present day. The collection includes a large collection of paper documents accumulated throughout the era by a local gay businessman. In addition to paper records, the archive also includes an ever-increasing number of oral histories gathered from members of the LGBTQ community who lived during a period that included the AIDS crisis and the rise of gay political activism.”
Alison Stankrauff has served as the Campus Archivist at the Indiana University South Bend campus since 2004. Previous to her current position, she served as a Reference Archivist at the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati from 2002 to 2004. From 2000 to 2002 she served as a technician at the Reuther Labor Archives at Wayne State University in Detroit. She graduated with her Masters in Library Science with Archival Administration concentration in 2002 from Wayne State University, and she has a Bachelors degree in history from Antioch College.
Alison is part of the ‘Collecting and promoting LGBT history’ roundtable on day 3 of the conference
Queer collecting at the Schlesinger Library
“The Schlesinger Library has rich holdings of US lesbians: papers of activists, musicians, poets, ministers, teachers; records of publishing collectives, motorcycle clubs, magazines, advocacy groups, and health organizations. We are actively collecting trans* materials and exploring ways to make more materials about sexuality available online. How do we build on our long experience as collectors of women’s history as the gender binary crumbles?”
Jenny Gotwals is a lead archivist at the Schlesinger Library. Before joining the Library in 2007, she worked at the New-York Historical Society and the Woody Guthrie Archives. She is an active organizer of Wikipedia editathons focused on women.
The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America documents the lives of women of the past and present for the future and furthers the Radcliffe Institute’s commitment to women, gender, and society. The Library holds the papers of suffrage activists, writers and poets, pioneering feminists, and everyday women. It also collects records of women’s rights groups, as well as books, periodicals, and audiovisual materials.
Jenny 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
Politics, Privacy, and Trust: Promoting Queer Collections in New England
“Historically our institution has avoided being “too political” as we promoted archival collections, which has meant that LGBTQ materials have not been made fully visible. While the political climate has changed, we still contend with the culture of privacy that drew many to live in Maine. Women could (and did) build lives together in rural communities without much fuss as long as they were good citizens and kept to themselves. Because of the code of keeping the personal behind closed doors, relationships remain veiled in the historical record. The challenge of telling these women’s stories is one that is worth the reward.”
Cathleen Miller serves as the Curator of the Maine Women Writers Collection at the University of New England. Miller has worked as an archivist at numerous cultural institutions, including the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Hospital, and the John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives in Philadelphia. She received her MLS from Drexel University and her MA in creative writing from Temple University.
The Maine Women Writers Collection is a permanently endowed special collection of published and unpublished literary, cultural, and social history sources by and about Maine women. Among its goals are to honor and celebrate the work of new, established, and historical women writers, as well as to foster archives-based scholarly work in women’s and gender studies.
Cathleen is part of the ‘Collecting and promoting LGBT history’ roundtable on day 3 of the conference
Arizona LGBT History Project
“Arizona LGBT History Project is a collaboration between Phoenix Pride, Marshall Shore (Hip Historian) and Arizona State University. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) history is under-documented in Arizona archives and libraries. A 2012 Archives Survey showed that 0-1% of known collections in Arizona focus on the LGBT community. As a result, we’re actively trying to preserve the history by engaging, educating, and empowering the community. Using the Bj Bud Memorial Archives, we created a small traveling and online exhibit which celebrates 45 years of local history. We also created an educational archives workshop that shows the community how to preserve personal archives.”
Nancy Liliana Godoy
Nancy Liliana Godoy is the Archivist and Librarian of the Chicano/a Research Collection at Arizona State University. She’s responsible for collection development, archival arrangement and description, community outreach and exhibits, instruction and specialized reference services. As a Knowledge River (KR) Alumni, she’s a passionate advocate for the Latino community in the library and archives field. In 2015, Nancy also helped co-establish the Arizona LGBT History Project, a state-wide initiative to preserve history and make archival material accessible to future generations.
The Department of Archives and Special Collections, located at Arizona State University, contains the Arizona Collection, University Archives, Special Collections, the Benedict Visual Literacy Collection, the Child Drama Collection, Labriola Indian Data Center, and the Chicano/a Research Collection.
Nancy is part of the ‘Collecting and promoting LGBT history’ roundtable on day 3 of the conference