Providence Public Library Launches RI LGBTQ + Community Archives


It is the first public community archives initiative to collect and provide access to the stories, as well as the social, cultural and political history of LGBTQ + people in Rhode Island.

Pride month has just started and the Providence Public Library (PPL) has announced its RI LGBTQ + Community Archives. It is the first public community archives initiative to collect and provide access to the stories, as well as the social, cultural and political history of LGBTQ + people in Rhode Island. The archives focus on developing collections and resources that reflect the experiences of Rhode Island’s LGBTQ + communities.

Since 2019, PPL has been guided in this work by a Community Advisory Committee made up of members of the Rhode Island LGBTQ + community and PPL Collections staff. Donations to the Archives include a complete set of Options magazine from 1982 to present, the RI AIDS Project Archives (APRI) and the Kim Deacon Collection.

“Through our Special Collections at PPL, we strive to collect, archive and share the stories and important stories of people and groups within our community who may not be represented elsewhere,” said the director. PPL Executive Jack Martin.

“AIDS Project Rhode Island is honored to donate historic documents to PPL and its brand new LGBTQ + RI Archives,” said APRI Director Mikel Wadewitz. “The history of AIDS activism is deeply linked to the struggle for LGBTQ + rights. As June 5 approaches – the fortieth anniversary of the first reported cases of what would become AIDS – the timing for this donation could not be more informative. “

There was a lack of marking material LGBTQ + the history of Rhode Island. “We were aware of the lack of material documenting Rhode Island’s queer history in libraries and archives, and we realized that as a special collection in a public library, we have a unique set of skills and resources to offer to the community to help tell their own stories, ”says Kate Wells, curator of Rhode Island collections at PPL. RI LGBTQ + Community Archives encourages individuals and community organizations to submit stories, materials and ephemera to help develop the collection. PPL is proud to support the work of partners and community organizations through access to the collection and to upcoming public programs.

April 2

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