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Sunday, August 4 • 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Open Forum: SAA Diversity Committee

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While gender diversity has moved into mainstream public discourse in recent years, transgender and gender non-conforming people have existed throughout history. Some are easier to identify than others, like activists, community leaders, and those who openly challenge traditional gender roles, while others couldn’t be open about their identities or left behind little written documentation. In terms of archival descriptive practice, self-identification and evolving vocabulary complicates how archivists describe gender non-conforming people when we don’t know how they would have described themselves and when terms’ definitions change over time. As for providing archival public services, issues like lack of public accommodation protections, being unable to obtain ID cards, having a different name on the ID, keeping gender identity private, and more affect researchers’ visits to our institutions. Panelists discuss the ways in which transgender identities of people who appear, work, or research in archives shape collection development, donor relations, description, outreach, and access.

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