|Type||Archive organization based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Purpose||advocate and public voice, educator and network|
|Headquarters||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
The ArQuives: Canada's LGBTQ2+ Archives, formerly known as the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, is a Canadian non-profit organization, founded in 1973 as the Canadian Gay Liberation Movement Archives. The ArQuives acquires, preserves, and provides public access to material and information by and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit communities primarily in Canada.
The ArQuives was established in 1973 by The Body Politic 's editorial collective (also known as the Pink Triangle Press). Established as the Canadian Gay Liberation Movement Archives, the organization changed its name to the Canadian Gay Archives in 1975. The Canadian Gay Archives incorporated in 1980 and received charitable status in 1981. The CGA formed a Board of Directors in 1992; and adopted the name Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in 1993.
Beginning as a one-cupboard reference collection co-housed with Pink Triangle Press, the ArQuives relocated to an independent location on Temperance Street in downtown Toronto in 1992.
In November 2005, the ArQuives moved to a temporary location at 65 Wellesley Street in the city's Church and Wellesley gay village, launched a fundraising campaign, and began the search for a permanent home in the same area. The historic Jared Sessions house was built in 1860 and was located at 34 Isabella Street.The building was sold to the ArQuives for $1 by the Children's Aid Society of Toronto (CAS) after CAS began construction on a newer, larger building next door. The sale of the Jared Sessions house was facilitated by Toronto City Councillor Kyle Rae. After major renovations to the building, The ArQuives re-opened in September 2009. In December 2016, the Archives received a $50,000 grant from Toronto City Council to improve the building's accessibility for people with disabilities.
Today the ArQuives has a reading room and rare book library, vertical file room, offices, AV room, and gallery space for exhibitions. Additional holdings remain at 65 Wellesley and in deep storage.
At its AGM in May 2018, after a year-long consultation process, the organization changed its name to the ArQuives: Canada's LGBTQ2+ Archives.
The ArQuives was established in order to "preserve, organize, and give public access to information and materials in any medium, by and about LGBTQ2+ people, primarily produced in or concerning Canada".The ArQuives' collections are not limited to traditional printed material, but instead contain many diverse collections.
In addition to traditional printed material (over 3000 books, diaries, booklets, leaflets, programmes, zines, press clippings, etc.), the ArQuives collects artifacts that would normally be considered museum objects to capture specific moments in the history of the lesbian and gay community.Such artifacts include:
The ArQuives has acquired over 500 original works of art from within the LGBT community. These are primarily paper or canvas works, and the emphasis is historical.Examples include:
Containing more than 2000 hours of sound on tapes and over 1300 discs, the ArQuives houses LPs, gramophone records, cassettes, and CDs. Much of this material is vocal or instrumental recordings of lesbian and gay performers, but there is also a significant library of taped interviews and radio programs.The ArQuives also has over 150 oral histories in its collections, including the Foolscap Gay Oral History Project (over 125 interviews with gay men, conducted in the 1980s, about gay life in Toronto before Stonewall); the Lesbians Making History project (approximately eight interviews with lesbians, conducted in the 1980s, about lesbian life in Toronto in the decades before 1985); and the Trans Health Care Activism in Ontario oral history project (eight interviews about activism from the late 1990s through 2008).
The collection's moving images collection includes more than 2200 items, in 8 mm film and 16 mm film, Betamax, VHS, and DVD formats. While there are feature films, documentaries, and erotica housed in the Archives, there are also videos shot at lesbian and gay community events.Because of its extensive video and film collection, the Archives are often used to provide source material for Canadian film projects, such as Forbidden Love .
Established in 1998, the National Portrait Collection honours individuals who have contributed to the growth and development of the LGBT community in Canada. Currently, the collection holds 75 portraits in various mediums, including photography, watercolour, and oil.
As of 2016, people depicted in the portrait collection include Elmer Bagares, Chris Bearchell, Rick Bébout, Anne Bishop, Persimmon Blackbridge, Nicole Brossard, Alec Butler, Bernard Courte, Harold Desmarais, C.M. Donald, Michelle Douglas, John Duggan, Sara Ellen Dunlop, Jim Egan, Gloria Eshkibok, Lynne Fernie, John Fisher, Janine Fuller, Richard Fung, Amy Gottlieb, John Greyson, Brent Hawkes, Gens Hellquist, Tomson Highway, Charlie Hill, George Hislop, Richard Hudler, David Kelley, Robert Laliberté, k.d. lang, Denis Leblanc, John Alan Lee, Bev Lepischak, Alan Li, Michael Lynch, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Jovette Marchessault, Tim McCaskell, Mary Meigs, Billy Merasty, Robin Metcalfe, Peter Millard, Bonte Minnema, Jearld Moldenhauer, Shani Mootoo, Alex Munter, Pat Murphy, Glen Murray, Nancy Nicol, Richard North, Keith Norton, Carmen Paquette, Carole Pope, Ken Popert, Kyle Rae, Rupert Raj, Neil Richards, Marie Robertson, Svend Robinson, Gerry Rogers, Jane Rule, Craig Russell, Kyle Scanlon, Shyam Selvadurai, Makeda Silvera, Mary-Woo Sims, Tim Stevenson, Douglas Stewart, Barbara Thornborrow, Shelley Tremain, Susan Ursel, Chris Vogel, Delwin Vriend, Tom Warner and Douglas Wilson.
The ArQuives contains the largest collection of LGBT periodicals at an independent archives in the world, with over 9500 individual titles.The ArQuives also houses a general collection of periodicals not specifically produced for the LGBT community, but concerning feminism, the arts, and alternative culture that include LGBT issues and an indication of changing attitudes in mainstream media.
The Archives holds records of Canadian LGBTQ2+ organizations, as well as the personal records of prominent Canadians active in, or significant to, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and two-spirit communities.This includes the following fonds:
Beginning as the photo files for The Body Politic, the Archives grew around the photograph collection, and while many of the items are not yet cataloged due to the high number of entries, the Archives houses over 7000 individual items in various mediums, including prints, negatives, and halftone reproductions.
In terms of scope, the photographs depict the LGBT community in a broad sense: photographs of demonstrations, conferences, social events, performances, and police harassment, as well the LGBT community's personal, domestic, and social lives.
Posters in the ArQuives are predominantly Canadian, with some international, representing film, theatre, concerts, parties, bars, and avant-garde art, within the LGBT community.
The ArQuives currently holds over 30,000 vertical files on people, groups, and events affecting the LGBT community. Unlike most of the Archives, the vertical files provide information about an individual or organization, rather than information produced by the individual or organization. The vertical files contain approximately fifty percent Canadian content and fifty percent international content.
To exhibit work that honours LGBT community and encourages dialogue, the Archives has an exhibition programme. A sample of past exhibitions includes:
The ArQuives' outreach initiatives include tours and study opportunities for undergraduates.
Church and Wellesley is an LGBT-oriented enclave in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is roughly bounded by Gerrard Street to the south, Yonge Street to the west, Charles Street to the north, and Jarvis Street to the east, with the core commercial strip located along Church Street from Wellesley south to Alexander. Though some gay and lesbian oriented establishments can be found outside this area, the general boundaries of this village have been defined by the Gay Toronto Tourism Guild.
The Body Politic was a Canadian monthly magazine, which was published from 1971 to 1987. It was one of Canada's first significant gay publications, and played a prominent role in the development of the LGBT community in Canada.
The origin of the LGBT student movement can be linked to other activist movements from the mid-20th century in the United States. The Civil Rights Movement and Second-wave feminist movement were working towards equal rights for other minority groups in the United States. Though the student movement began a few years before the Stonewall riots, the riots helped to spur the student movement to take more action in the US. Despite this, the overall view of these gay liberation student organizations received minimal attention from contemporary LGBT historians. This oversight stems from the idea that the organizations were founded with haste as a result of the riots. Others historians argue that this group gives too much credit to groups that disagree with some of the basic principles of activist LGBT organizations.
The 519, formerly known as The 519 Church Street Community Centre, is an agency of the City of Toronto. A Canadian charitable, non-profit organization, it operates a community centre in the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario. The 519 serves both its local neighbourhood and the broader lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in the Toronto area. The 519 defines its local neighbourhood by a catchment area that spans from Bloor Street to the north to Gerrard Street to the south, and from Bay Street in the west to Parliament Street in the east.
Supporting Our Youth (SOY) is an organization based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which runs programs and events geared to supporting the special needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual and intersex youth. SOY gets support and involvement from local youth and adults that volunteer their time to help improve each other’s lives. SOY’s main focus points are helping the youth create healthy arts, recreational spaces, culture, supportive housing, and employment.
El-Farouk Khaki is a Tanzanian-born Muslim Canadian of Indian origin who is a refugee and immigration lawyer, and human rights activist on issues including gender equality, sexual orientation, and progressive Islam. He was the New Democratic Party's candidate for the House of Commons in the riding of Toronto Centre in a March 17, 2008 by-election. Khaki came in second with 13.8% of the vote.
Perceptions was an LGBT news magazine which began publication in 1983 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
The Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line , founded in 1994, is a Toronto-based peer support organization for LGBT youth. Although best known for their phone support line, the organization also offers Internet chat and e-mail support services, as well as promoting and supporting other events and programs for LGBT youth.
This is a timeline of notable events in the history of non-heterosexual conforming people of South Asian ancestry, who may identify as LGBTIQGNC, men who have sex with men, or related culturally-specific identities such as Hijra, Aravani, Thirunangaigal, Khwajasara, Kothi, Thirunambigal, Jogappa, Jogatha, or Shiva Shakti. The recorded history traces back at least two millennia.
Rupert Raj is a Canadian of Indian and Polish descent, trans activist and a transgender man. His work since his own gender transition in 1971 has been recognized by several awards, as well as his inclusion in the National Portrait Collection of The ArQuives: Canada's LGBTQ2+ Archives.
John Alan Lee was a Canadian writer, academic and political activist, best known as an early advocate for LGBT rights in Canada, for his academic research into sociological and psychological aspects of love and sexuality, and for his later-life advocacy of assisted suicide and the right to die.
Khush: South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association was a queer collective activist organization in Canada geared towards South Asian men and women whose goal was to promote a better understanding of South Asian culture and values within the gay and lesbian community.
Barbara Thornborrow was involuntarily discharged from the Canadian Armed Forces for being a lesbian in 1977. She later challenged the decision, becoming the first person who was discharged based on their sexual orientation to do so publicly.
Jearld Frederick Moldenhauer was born in Niagara Falls, New York on August 9, 1946. He has been a gay activist from his college years onward, and was the founder of the Cornell Student Homophile League, the University of Toronto Homophile Association (UTHA), and The Body Politic gay liberation journal, Canada's most significant gay periodical. He was a founding member of Toronto Gay Action (TGA), and the Toronto Gay Alliance toward Equality (GATE). On February 13, 1972 he became the first gay liberation representative to address a political party conference in Canada when he addressed a session of the New Democratic Party Waffle convention. In 1973 he began collecting the books, newspapers and ephemera that seeded and grew into the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives. He opened Glad Day Bookshop, the first gay and lesbian bookstore in Canada, in 1970 and operated it until 1991 when he sold the store John Scythes. In 1979 he opened a second Glad Day Bookshop in Boston, Mass. Glad Day Bookshop Toronto is now considered the oldest gay/lesbian bookshop in the world. Glad Day Bookshop Boston closed its doors in the summer of 2000, when its lease expired and its building was sold.
Michael Lynch was an American-born Canadian professor, journalist, and activist, most noted as a pioneer of gay studies in Canadian academia and as an important builder of many significant LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS organizations in Toronto.
Queer community archives are a subset of the larger body of community archives, which are archives and personal collections maintained by community groups who desire to document their cultural heritage based on shared experiences, interests, and/or identities. As such, queer community archives are collections that exist to maintain the historical record of the LGBT community and broader queer community. The term queer community archives, also called gay and lesbian archives, refers to a diverse array of community projects, organizations, and public institutions that maintain these histories.
Amy Gottlieb is a Canadian queer activist, artist and educator. She was one of the organizers of the first Pride Toronto in 1981. She was also an organizer of the Dykes on the Street March, organized by Lesbians Against the Right, which occurred in October of the same year.
The University of Toronto Homophile Association (UTHA) was Canada's first gay and lesbian student organization. Founded in 1969, the UTHA paved the way for similar student groups across the province of Ontario and led to the establishment of the Community Homophile Association of Toronto (CHAT).
The Community Homophile Association of Toronto (CHAT) was founded on January 3, 1971. The organization grew out of the University of Toronto Homophile Association (UTHA). CHAT's work centered around providing support services, education, and organizing community events for Toronto's gay and lesbian community. The organization's activities were driven by its “central plank to come out of the state of fear and apprehension which surrounds the public assertion of one’s rights of sexuality”, with a secondary aim to achieve equal civil rights to those of heterosexuals. In 1977, CHAT disbanded due to economic challenges and declining membership. A number of gay and lesbian groups grew out of CHAT, including Toronto Gay Action (TGA) and Lesbian Organization of Toronto (LOOT).
Rebecka Sheffield is an archivist, scholar, and policy advisor. She is a Senior Policy Advisor of the Archives of Ontario and teaches information science in American and Canadian universities.