Digital Transgender Archive
Representing at the ALMS Conference
From June 22nd to June 24th I (Keith Plummer) had the amazing pleasure of representing the Digital Transgender Archive at the Archives, Libraries, Museums, and Special Collections Conference (ALMS) 2016 conference, an international LGBTQ+ conference hosted in London. ALMS is focused on the work of public, private, academic, and grassroots organizations that are collecting, capturing, and preserving archives of LGBTQ+ experiences. This year the theme was “Without Borders” which made a concerted effort to showcase the incredible diversity of thought and practice in the field of archival work. Presenters and attendees arrived from all across the world (Israel, the Netherlands, India, Germany, Ireland, and Canada, among numerous others), the organizations featured ranged from the most institutionalized and established archives to grassroots and up-and-coming projects, and the presentations spotlighted the abundant questions and innovations occurring in the field. The speakers highlighted topics ranging from the creation of more inclusive and intersectional cataloguing systems, to the beautiful partnerships happening between archives and artists, to the complicated yet fruitful collaborations between grassroots and institutional archives, and even to the sensual dimension of the archive and the similarities between masochism and our experiences of the library. There was also a presentation concerning the Homosaurus––the linked data vocabulary utilized by the DTA, which is undergoing revisions to be more bi and trans inclusive.
I was lucky enough to run a stall throughout the third day of conference where I was able to explain the purpose of the Digital Trasngender Archive to countless excited attendees. They were also very grateful for all the informational merchandise (brochures, pens, stickers, smart-wallets) that will help spread the news of the DTA around the globe! All in all, it was a fantastic opportunity to immerse myself and learn about the field of archiving as well as make valuable connections with people from such varied nationalities and cultural experiences.