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City receives funding to digitize BC Gay and Lesbian Archives collection

"The collection's graphic and audiovisual works will be available online by next summer, ready to be discovered and used by researchers around the world," says Heather Gordon, City Archivist.

October 26 2018 –

The City of Vancouver Archives has been awarded $71,000 from the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) for a project to digitize and make available online a recently donated collection by the BC Gay and Lesbian Archives (BCGLA).

Quote from City Archivist

"Thanks to the funding support of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy, the collection's graphic and audiovisual works will be available online by next summer, ready to be discovered and used by researchers around the world," says Heather Gordon, City Archivist. "Our hope is that the increased visibility of the materials will enable LGBTQ2+ community members of all ages to see themselves and their predecessors reflected in Vancouver's documentary heritage, and will encourage and facilitate the study of queer history both locally and internationally, by academics, casual researchers, and everyone in between."

About the collection

The collection established and maintained since 1976 by Ron Dutton, an active, long-time member of the Vancouver LGBTQ2+ community was donated to the City Archives in May and includes approximately 7,400 photographs, 2,000 posters, and 150 audiovisual works.

The materials to be described and digitized reflect a broad range of LGBTQ2+ experiences and activities in the Vancouver area from the 1960s through the current decade, and document the evolution of a traditionally marginalized community whose lives and activities have historically been underrepresented in archival holdings.

Topics depicted in the graphic and audiovisual materials include:

  • First Nations drag performers and HIV/AIDS activists
  • LGBTQ2+ community seniors
  • Transgender activists
  • Youth groups
  • LGBTQ2+ religious groups across a range of traditions

All 2,181 subject files and the 8.4 linear metres of periodicals were made available this past summer and fall and can be viewed in the Archives' Reading Room.

National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS)

The NHDS is a growing coalition of memory institutions working together to leverage expertise and resources to support the digitization, preservation and discovery of Canadian documentary heritage.

In total, NHDS provided $1 million in funding for 21 projects across Canada. External website