Reveal/Transcribe/Transform: Promoting Hidden Histories
“Richards will discuss Transcribe/Transform, a project at Mount Holyoke College’s Archives and Special Collections. This crowdsourced transcription project involves the archives working with alumnae and the general public to transcribe letters and help collections emerge and be more accessible to researchers. The project began with the papers of President Mary E. Woolley and Jeannette Marks, educators and partners for over 50 years. Their collection holds potential for the history of women in higher education, women in academia, and LGBTQ history.”
Richards is the Special Collections Archivist at the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections. Prior to this position, she was the Assistant Archivist at the Smith College Archives and an archivist at the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. For almost 20 years, she has worked with the archives of women’s and LGBTQ history. She is an active member of the Lesbian and Gay Archives Roundtable of the Society of American Archivists and Queer!NEA, the New England Archivists’ LGBTQ Issues Roundtable. Richards received her BA in History and Women’s Studies from Oregon State University, a MA in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and a MSLIS with an archives concentration from Simmons College.
The mission of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections is to help people transform their lives and our communities through active participation with history, culture, and creativity. Mount Holyoke College is a liberal arts college for women in western Massachusetts in the United States.
Deborah is part of the ‘Collecting and promoting LGBT history’ roundtable on day 3 of the conference
This Moment of Collecting in the USA: Identifying and Addressing Gaps in the Archives
“LGBTQ archives in all forms are expanding narratives and adding missing voices to mainstream representations of history. Even so, their holdings continue to reveal gaps that perpetuate the invisibility of parts of the LGBTQ experience. What generations, experiences, cultures and topics particularly need archivists’ attention now?
How well have we documented sexual and gender diversity before the mid-20th century? How well do our collections reflect homophile movements, second-wave feminism, gay liberation, AIDS and queer activism, communities of color, bisexual and transgender experiences? How well do we represent diversity of geography and social class, physical ability and other factors? What are we missing? What might remain missing and what can we do in such cases?
Speakers from academic and community-based collections across the United States will take these questions as a starting point for discussing ongoing efforts to make visible and interrogate gaps in the archives. In addition, they’ll look at ways to address those gaps through innovative approaches to community involvement, collections development, programming and exhibition.
Documenting LGBTQ lives and cultures has long involved a dialogue among queer and trans individuals, their social networks and allies, independent scholars, academics, community institutions and traditional archival repositories. We welcome all who attend to join the discussion about approaches to building wide-ranging and critically positioned LGBTQ archival collections.”
The roundtable will consist of Jennifer Gotwals, Gerard Koskovich, Brenda Marston and Lisa Vecoli. Speaker spotlights will be appearing on the blog over the next few weeks
The roundtable will take place on day 3 of the conference