A Broader Representation of the People Who Are Part of Our Communities and The ArQuives’ Collections
By: Miguel Garcia-Martin
In March 2019, The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives changed its name. Today, we are known as The ArQuives, a name we believe more accurately reflects the diversity of our communities, the people and communities that are already represented in our collection. We spent 6-months reaching out to our stakeholders and recognized the growing number of underrepresented people; most notably trans, queer, bisexual, and 2-spirited folks. We conducted online surveys, one-on-one interviews and scanned the broader spaces. Our goal was a name that would carry on our legacy and advance our expanding role as a vital resource and repository. In early 2018, we selected the name The ArQuives, Canada’s LGBTQ2+ Archives and started working on our visual identity. Over time, it is through our actions and programming that our new identity will garner significant meaning to our stakeholders.
“Changing the name gave us an opportunity to show LGBTQ2+ communities that we are actively trying to make our space and collections more inclusive,” Ms. Swanson said. “Trans, bisexual, queer, and 2-spirit folks are no longer excluded from our name, which is often the first point of engagement with our organization,” she added.
The name change coincides with the launching of our online database, another way we are becoming more accessible to the community at large. We are digitizing our collection, and the database will allow members of the public and academics from around the world to search through that collection.
In coming weeks, we’ll be announcing community events, including an open house. It is all part of our service to the community – all of it.