The future of LGBTI histories

25 October 2012

Several ALGA members attended the LGBTI ALMS (Archives, Libraries, Museums and Special Collections) Conference in Amsterdam (2-3 August 2012), hosted by IHLIA (Internationaal Homo/Lesbisch Informatiecentrum en Archief). The conference brought together around 150 archivists, librarians, museum workers and volunteers from Europe, North America, Africa and Australia to discuss ‘The future of LGBTI histories’.

The conference was a wonderful opportunity to connect and reconnect with other LGBT cultural institutions around the world and to discuss some of the challenges that all institutions face managing and developing LGBTI collections. From ALGA’s perspective there were some very interesting presentations both from the community-based archives and from larger institutional collections, particularly around issues such as collaborations between small and large organisations, social media in promotion and collection development, and working with gender- diverse and trans* groups.

Australia was well represented, with three papers and a number of participants, who included ALGA’s Graham Willett and Nicholas Henderson, as well as ALGA member and author Dino Hodge. Other Australians attending included Kate Davison, who is currently a research assistant at the Centre for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany, and Suzie Day, a Library and Management Studies student at Curtin University in Western Australia. ALGA was also pleasantly surprised to find that main conference organiser was an Australian ex-pat. Copies of the three Australian-related papers presented at the conference are available online at the conference blog:

• Graham Willett: How Small Collections Can Make a Big Difference

• Kate Davison: Agents of Social Change? LGBT Voices in Australian Museums

• Suzie Day: Subverting the system: Catering to the LGBTI community in your library when your boss says “no dough”