LGBT Digital Archives: Connections and Challenges

Lines of Dissent ConferenceLast Saturday I attended Lines of Dissent, the 12th LGBTQ History & Archives Conference, in London.  It is a such a pleasure, and a rare one at that, for me to sit in a room full of people who share my obsession with unveiling the rich histories of LGBTQ communities and with preserving, archiving and sharing these histories.  It was so exciting to hear of the various archival and historical projects underway and to visit the display stands.

Another rare event, I used twitter to record and share my notes and observations of the Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 13.30.29conference.  Clarie Hayward has created a Storify which brings together the various tweets sent to #linesofdissent during the day.  Having tweeted and retweeted each other throughout the day, we eventually met face-to-face in the bathrooms as the conference was ending!  Good to put a face and voice to the tweets!

Returning from the conference I felt inspired to continue working on the development of the Cork LGBT Digital Archive.  The CorkLGBTHistory site is currently being developed.  I am attempting to create a chronological record of key events and organisations in the development of the Cork LGBT community from the 1970s onwards.  It is very much a work in progress.  Much work needs to be done in terms of digitising images for inclusion in the site.  I am hoping that the site, as it develops, will stimulate people to comment and contribute and to maybe root around in their attics, basements, closets or wherever to locate long forgotten but invaluable artefacts and memorabilia.

WomenPlacePosterAs I wrote the post today about Lesbian Activism in the 1980s I thought about how wonderful it would be to gather a group of the women who had been involved at that time, to reminisce and remember stories about the lesbian groups and gathering in Cork in the 1980s.  So I am planning such a gathering, which will be filmed and recorded for inclusion in the Cork LGBT Archive.  If you are interested, please get in touch with me (orlaegan66@gmail.com).  (The discussion will be filmed but for anyone who is not comfortable with this, it will be possible to have people participate in the discussion without their faces being seen.)

I am currently being distracted from my work by the joys (not) of trying to write a funding proposal for a training network for LGBT Digital Archives.  It will be wonderful if it happens but it is not fun.  I will be happy when it is submitted and I can return to Arthur’s basement to rummage in the boxes and unearth more artifactual delights.

 

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