Last October, as a part of a double header for LGBTQ and Archives History Month, Dr. Chet DeFonso and I gave an Evening at the Archives presentation on LGBTQ archives and museums as well as our own collections here at NMU. During the presentation Dr. DeFonso mentioned a collection of LGBTQ archival repositories compiled by the Society of American Archivists entitled The Lavender Legacies Collection. After the presentation it was decided that NMU had a sufficiently large collection, enough LGBTQ friendly policies, and more than enough desire to be eligible for inclusion.
The Lesbian and Gay Archives Roundtable, the committee responsible for forming the Lavender Legacies Guide, are interested in an institution’s history, its LGBTQ holdings, and its physical and intellectual accessibility for all patrons. Our current collections on LGBTQ material are small, and mostly consist of papers from NMU student groups and politicians who had an interest in LGBTQ policies, but our commitment to growing our LGBTQ holdings is what made us qualified for inclusion in the Lavender Legacies Guide. Currently we’re in the process of updating our collection development policy to include, and are still accepting collections of in the meantime, LGBTQ collections.
Our student group collections include memorabilia from OUTlook, ALLIES, and their predecessor the Gay and Lesbian Student Union
Archives play a vital role in the recording of history and can greatly affect social change when utilized effectively. The Archives staff feels we are in good company when we say we would like to see more influence from the LGBTQ community on NMU’s history, and making us aware of your collections is the first step in accomplishing that goal. Now more than ever, if you wish them to be, your collections will be advertised to the public alongside other great repositories like University of Michigan and Michigan State, among others.
Written by Nikki Willhelm