Posts Tagged ‘Irish Queer Archive’

New Archive Report: The Irish Queer Archive

24 June 2009

Contributed by Ciarán Wallace

IQA - ProtestWhen a person dies it is like a library burning down. The US author Edmund White spoke for many historians and archivists when he described the loss of personal and communal memory that happens every day. Happily, a significant new collection of Irish social, political and social memory will shortly be available to researchers. The Irish Queer Archive (IQA) is a fascinating, and surprisingly rich, body of material relating to the campaign for equality by Irish lesbians and gays. As a by-product it also records the official and unofficial opposition which they faced. Indeed much of the history of late-twentieth century Ireland can be traced through this archive.

The archive contains around 250,000 press-clippings from as far back as the 1950s and copies of the many community publications produced since the 1970s. Provincial newsletters, short-run ‘zines’ and colour magazines (37 titles in all) give a lively picture of life both north and south of the border. One photo of half a dozen gay men with placards outside the Department of Justice in 1974 reminds you how grey Ireland was – in all senses of the word.  Read More