A sense of sexual community and history across time: Irish Queer and LGBT archives

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Morgan, Gerard
Issue Date
Msc in Library and Information Management
Dublin Business School
This study examines the status of LGBTQ+ archives in Ireland, conducting qualitative semi-structured interviews with 4 people involved in such archives, in various capacities over several years; founding and maintaining archives, negotiating partnerships with state institutions and continuing to consult with these, or working within institutions, where there have been efforts to expand upon collections or initiate projects to increase LGBTQ+ representation. The results illustrate difficulties encountered by community archives, often volunteer-run and lacking resources, and the value of creating networks locally and internationally, to develop practices and establish models for access and preservation. Findings also reveal frictions that can result from community archives entering relationships with institutions, highlighting a need for continued engagement to avoid misrepresentation and misinterpretation, and ensure continued accessibility, while also identifying limitations within institutions themselves. The results were analysed in the context of a literature review which examined the experiences of such archives in other countries. The research expands the knowledge and understanding of the experiences of LGBTQ+ archives in Ireland.