A Spotlight on Off-Site Volunteers
By Carmen Tang
Did you know that some of The ArQuives’ volunteers are not at The ArQuives? In today’s digital age, sometimes all we need is a computer with an internet connection to get the job done. That is the case with a number of our volunteer roles and tasks. Some roles, such as Collections Volunteer, require the volunteer to be on-site because they need direct access to our collections. Other roles don’t’ require onsite use of our resources, for example, Communications Volunteers who take care of our social media platforms can do it from any location with a computer and internet access. And then there are volunteer roles that are a mix of off-site and on-site work. For instance, Community Engagement Volunteers who do research to prepare for our tours and outreach events do so both on- and off-site. Most times, our volunteers originally started as volunteers on-site and in Toronto, but due to various reasons have moved out of the city. Instead of parting with The ArQuives, they find ways to keep giving their time in support of our mission. We cannot thank them enough for their continued dedication!
Meet some of our volunteers who work off-site:
Community Engagement Volunteer
Doug has been a volunteer with The ArQuives since July 2017 and has chaired the Community Engagement Committee since the beginning of 2019. Originally from Los Angeles, Doug has a PhD in Political Science from McGill, and is currently (remotely) doing a postdoctoral research fellowship on LGBTQ Aging in the Public Health Department at Stony Brook University in New York. He loves getting to research, write, and deliver tours for The ArQuives because it combines his love of scholarship, LGBTQ2+ history, and education.
“I like to talk, and I like to do research, so volunteering at The ArQuives made perfect sense.”
Jessica Taylor is a writer, editor, and researcher. She’s currently a Research Associate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she moved with her wife from Toronto almost two years ago. She’s been a volunteer on the Communications Committee since 2017 and her most surprising find in The ArQuives was a historically significant light bulb.
“I love sharing the many stories of LGBTQ2+ history The ArQuives has and helping to create space for the stories we hope to have in the future. Also, since I moved down to the US, volunteering at The ArQuives is a connection with back home and Canada.”
Anthony lives in Oakville and works at Laurentian Bank Financial Groups in downtown Toronto. Currently studying for his LSATs and applying to law schools in Canada and the United States and engulfed in the book The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir. Anthony also loves reading manga, growing his plant collection, and spending copious amounts of time listening to podcasts. Volunteering reminds folks that individual impact does matter and that these small actions now can have ripple effects far greater than anyone can know at the time.
“Queer stories demand space to be heard and listened to. I volunteer at The ArQuives because I love being able to see all the great collaborations and work being done, and it motivates me every day to know that I have a small hand in keeping Queer legacies alive.”