Thinking of volunteering at the Archives?
You don’t need any special skills to help out. Most of us are not professionally qualified as archivists or records managers or librarians. But of course if you do have relevant experience we’d love you to be involved too.
Our open days are one way for people to check out who we are and what we do (watch our home page for dates). At our open days we showcase interesting stuff from the Archives, and volunteers work on our collection.
We can suggest tasks of all sizes if you’re looking for ideas. Many of them give you the chance to come face-to-face with our queer past, organising our collection and working on new material.
Some volunteers do their work away from the Archives, on tasks like indexing duplicate periodicals (generally we don’t allow original material to leave the Archives). Others organise their own records or records of groups they’re associated with, before they are donated to the Archives. We also keep up with gay-related records held in other collections, and volunteers can play a valuable liaison role here.
We know that archives work is not everyone’s cup of tea – and there are many other ways you can help. Friends of the Archives have volunteered their skills in journalism, inducting volunteers, marketing, fund-raising, catering, legal advice – there’s no limit to the ways people can contribute.
If you can see yourself contributing to the work of the Archives, why not get in touch?
Some things our fabulous volunteers have done for the Archives:
- Listing ALGA’s collections of books, videos, badges, posters, theses, t-shirts, CDs, press clippings, photos
- Logging oral history tapes (to record the themes covered in interviews, noting people, places and events mentioned, without verbatim transcription)
- Conducting oral history interviews with older friends and acquaintances who are not comfortable having their stories recorded by strangers
- Donating storage space
- Listing ALGA files on venues, theatre programs, particular groups or campaigns
- Liaising with GLBTI groups to encourage broader representation in ALGA’s collection
- Indexing periodicals of interest to the volunteer (sometimes people have an interest in a particular era and we try to accommodate this)
- Archiving significant websites
- Digitising oral history audiotapes, badges, posters photographs etc.
- Digitising articles on gay topics in newspapers held on microfilm at the State Library
- Photographing venues of queer historical significance (bars, clubs, houses, beats etc)
- Scoping ALGA’s major maunscript collections
- Producing radio segments based on ALGA material (history walks, oral histories, etc)
- Developing collection and preservation policies for donors and users of the Archives
- Arranging student placements on ALGA projects