The Queer Archives Project at Lafayette College is a collaborative, interdisciplinary initiative designed to illuminate Lafayette’s Queer history, advance teaching, learning and research in the area of Queer Studies, and promote positive institutional transformation.
Jointly led by the College Archives, Skillman Library’s Digital Scholarship Services and the Women’s & Gender Studies program, the QAP coordinates three innovative and interconnected efforts across the College:
The Queer Archives Project is committed to an intersectional perspective that recognizes how LGBTQ+ lives are shaped by race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, gender, age, and other markers of identity. We are sensitive to our use of language and aware that not everyone agrees about best terms. Throughout our work we alternate between use of the word “Queer” (a more recent term frequently associated with academia) and LGBTQ+ (a more established acronym). Our intention is always to be inclusive and respectful.
In 1992, the Princeton Review named Lafayette College the most homophobic campus in the United States. Lafayette was simultaneously ranked first for gays still in the closet.
A quarter of a century later, the Lafayette QAP oral history project offers LGBTQ+ identified alumni, faculty and staff an opportunity to share their experiences and reflect on their time on campus—in their own words and in their own terms. The QAP oral history project is also collecting related memorabilia, photographs, and materials. Materials collected will be incorporated into the QAP digital humanities project and housed in the College Archives.
To date, 19 members of the LGBTQ+ community have completed oral history interviews. Professional transcription services have been made possible through the Office of President Alison Byerly. We deeply appreciate President Byerly’s support of the QAP.
Read more about the Queer Archives Project in the Lafayette magazine fall 2018 cover story, “Coming Out.”