Anchored in the tradition of driving social change through oral history, the Queer Archives Project is centered on the voices of Lafayette’s LGBTQ+ alumni, faculty and staff. The Project illuminates and honors the identities and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community through the stories and reflections of the people who have lived Lafayette’s Queer history.
The Queer Archives Project does not merely wish to “preserve” Lafayette’s LGBTQ+ history. We want to complicate the College's Queer past (and present), and merge it with its educational mission. Our work is designed to promote teaching, learning and research in LGBTQ+ Studies, particularly through links with the Lafayette College Archives and the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program.
Led by a collaborative, interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff and students, we also aspire to impact climate, build community, inspire new policies, and stimulate dialogue about LGBTQ+ issues and culture at Lafayette and beyond.
All these ambitions—reframing the College’s Queer history, integrating that history into the academic curriculum, and instigating institutional change—come together in the digital presence of the Queer Archives Project. Grounded in the oral histories of LGBTQ+ alumni, faculty and staff from 1970 to 2016, this site invites you to engage with interviews, follow themes, explore key moments in Lafayette’s Queer history, work with myriad primary sources (including over 150 archival objects, complete with metadata), and more.
As you engage with the Queer Archives Project at Lafayette College, we hope you will shift and swerve in your travels, be fearless in your inquiries, and remain open to new possibilities. Regardless of whatever themes you follow or paths you create, it is vitally important that you’re here. Because when we recognize the Queer past, we make possible the Queer future.