ONE Archives Foundation and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History announce the LGBTQ Digital Archives Project

The ONE Archives Foundation and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History are collaborating with archives, libraries, and museums around the country to create the National LGBTQ Digital Archives Project. The goal for the Project is to develop a collaborative technology infrastructure providing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) archives across the country the ability to make their collections accessible to researchers, the media, educational institutions, and the general public in a digital format.

“The LGBTQ Digital Archives Project will allow us to cross cultural and geographic boundaries and to knit significant LGBTQ collections and stories from across the nation together. Technology will allow us to share access to and stewardship of those collections, supporting the continued participation of LGBTQ individuals and communities in the curation, development, and interpretation of those archival materials,” said Jennifer C. Gregg, Executive Director of the ONE Archives Foundation.

During the initial phase of the project, beginning in 2017, a number of the partners established a framework for the project, developed a collaborative community, and laid out a vision and a strategy for the initiative.

Phase II of the multi-year planning process, currently underway, will design the technology infrastructure needed to provide centralized access to LGBTQ collections across the country. The Project will aggregate current resources to support researchers in the discovery of content, and provide the foundation for further enhancements to greatly increase the value of that content. During Phase II, the Project team will engage communities and repositories in discussions about options, as well as support the development and analysis of a prototype. The goal of Phase III will be launching a platform to allow users to reach all available LGBTQ collections in the United States.

“The Museum’s mission is to document the full breadth of the American experience and the team here is pleased to work with the ONE Archives Foundation to bring this visionary initiative to fruition,” said Bob Horton, Assistant Director for Collections and Archives at the National Museum of American History. “Connecting these resources across the nation will allow a deeper understanding of the context and complexities of these stories and this history.”

The LGBTQ Digital Archives Project will be presented at the Queer History South Conference in Birmingham, Alabama on March 28, 2019, organized by the invisible Histories Project. Queer History South is a vehicle for locating and sharing the rich, but often under-documented history of southern contributions to LGBTQ history and society.

A National Advisory Board has been established to guide the project, consisting of representatives from LGBTQ archives, technologists, academics, activists, historians, and educators. The Advisory Board will aid in developing the project plans further and aid in developing the digital prototype.

For Archivists and Archives interested in learning more about the LGBTQ Digital Archives Project, please contact: Bob Horton, Assistant Director Collections and Archives, National Museum of American History at HortonR@si.edu

For more information or for an interview please contact Jennifer Gregg, Executive Director at the ONE Archives Foundation at (323) 419-1681 or jgregg@onearchives.org OR Valeska M. Hilbig, Deputy Director, Office of Communications & Marketing, National Museum of American History at (202) 633-3129 or hilbigv@si.edu

ONE Archives Foundation, Inc.

The ONE Archives Foundation, Inc., based in Los Angeles, CA, is an independent 501(c)(3) dedicated to telling the accurate and authentic stories of LGBTQ people, history, and culture through public exhibitions, educational projects and trainings, and community outreach programs. For more information, please visit www.ONEArchives.org.

National Museum of American History

Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. It helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more informed future. The museum is located on Constitution Avenue N.W., between 12th and 14th Streets, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For more information, visit americanhistory.si.edu.

invisible Histories Project

The invisible Histories Project (IHP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Birmingham, Alabama. IHP is an intermediary organization working with community members (individuals and organizations) and institutions like universities and libraries. IHP connects with community members to collect their archivable history (documents, photographs, video, buttons, t-shirts, and many other items). Items are then relocated to one of several partner repository archives located within the state wherein the materials were collected. From there, IHP works with archives and universities to make sure the materials are accessible and research by students, faculty, and other scholars can begin. IHP has been collecting in Alabama since February 2018 and is in the process of expanding collections and partnerships into Mississippi and Georgia over the next two years.

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