As part of its participatory ethos, the Arizona Queer Archives collaboratively developed its Vision, Mission, and Collection Development Policy at a community forum on 18 November 2013.
Our Vision recognizes that our communities are complex and do not and cannot fit under an umbrella term. The Arizona Queer Archives (AQA) works in collaboration with the heterogeneous lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI), gender non-conforming, and Two Spirit communities throughout Arizona to identify, preserve, and make available records, papers, and ephemera of enduring and endearing value that document the distinct histories of these communities. The AQA recognizes that LGBTQI communities are diverse and heterogeneous and hold complicated, contradictory, as well as complementary histories that can all come together here as valid everyday knowledges and truths. We work to engage with communities to creatively collect, preserve, and share these many histories and memories.
Our mission is two-fold:
– to collect and maintain individual stories, papers, photos, videos, oral histories, home movies, artwork, apparel, leathers, mapping/geographies, and other distinct multi-dimensional records that highlight lived insights and knowledges. Areas of collecting interest are specified in a separate Collection Development Policy.
– to collect and maintain records and geographies of enduring value from organizations, community groups, safe spaces, and identified organizational efforts to support LGBTQI lives throughout Arizona
“The bodies and bodies of knowledge that constitute archival collections embody those moments of fixation and are tethered only fleetingly; bodies are connected to archival bodies in distinct and meaningful ways that might, for example, transform understandings of evidential quality from ‘‘enduring’’ to also ‘‘endearing.’’ Indeed, records creators—producers and consumers of the archives (McKemmish et al. 2011)—can benefit from moving archives, specifically, those not tethered in perpetuity, as well as from the becoming and unbecoming records therein. The moving parts of the archival body are integral to research on archival practices and archival collections because those in-between spaces are revealed through recognition, as well as through the embodied understandings of the archives themselves.“Lee, Jamie A. “Be/longing in the Archival Body: Eros and the “Endearing” Value of Material Lives.” Archival Science 16, no. 1 (2016): 33-51.