Queering the Archive

The archive as an entity is a rich source of not only historical information but of experience, this is especially true of queer and LGBT histories. The Cork LGBT Archive and The Irish Queer Archive are examples of these enriched resources that supply researchers with the materials needed to survey queer narratives over a period of time. However it is not only narratives that begin to emerge as these archives are developed they also serve to locate the socio-historical circumstances of these communities – issues surrounding oppression and visibility become identifiable.

However, given the difficulties of locating histories for communities which were oppressed often archivists and researchers rely on ephemera to extend the known narratives and attempt to understand the experiences of the communities. This is particularly visible through both archives in play for this research. In order to grasp a sense of queerness in Ireland, it is necessary to look at visual material for signifiers. The ephemera which is examined through The Cork LGBT Archive and the images of parade and protest which were discovered through The Irish Queer Archive holds significant information into how the queer and LGBT communities achieved visibility.