Speaker spotlight: Brenda Marston

MarstonOutOfTheCloset_cropGenerations 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.

Website: https://rare.library.cornell.edu/HSC
Facebook: facebook.com/Cornell.HSC
Twitter: @HumSexCollects
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


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