The LGBTQ Religious Archives Network (LGBT-RAN) is an innovative venture in preserving history and encouraging scholarly study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) religious movements around the world. LGBTQ-RAN has a two-fold basic purpose.
- First it assists LGBT religious leaders and groups in determining how best to preserve their records and papers in appropriate repositories.
- Secondly, LGBTQ-RAN provides an electronic information clearinghouse for these archival collections and other historical data about LGBT religious history for the use of historians, researchers and other interested persons.
LGBTQ-RAN can best be understood as a "virtual" archive. It is not a physical repository that collects and preserves papers and records. Instead, LGBTQ-RAN is a resource center that enables the preservation of history and makes historical information easily accessible through this web site. Initiated in 2001 as a project of the Chicago Theological Seminary, LGBTQ-RAN was a program of the Center for LGBTQ & Gender Studies in Religion in Berkeley, California, from 2008-2020. As of July 1, 2020, LGBTQ-RAN became an independent, charitable organization.
Recognizing that history is written from the perspective of those who preserve their records, LGBTQ-RAN's overarching purpose is to ensure the preservation and accessibility of the voices and experiences of a great diversity of LGBT religious leaders and groups.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Religious Archives Network (LGBTQ-RAN) coordinates and supports the identification, collection and preservation of personal papers and organizational records from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender religious movements. To encourage scholarly research and historical study of these important movements for social change, LGBTQ-RAN disseminates information about these records and provides and facilitates access to them, using digital technology when possible.
Most of the historical information on the LGBTQ Religious Archives Network is provided by other parties. LGBTQ-RAN does not have the resources to independently verify all of the data it receives and posts. In order to assist scholars and researchers, LGBTQ-RAN indicates the source of the biographies posted in the Profiles Gallery as well as other data on its web site as appropriate.
When LGBTQ-RAN is notified of an error or misstatement in material on its web site, LGBTQ-RAN will notify the source of that material and invite correction as needed. When the source is unknown or is unwilling to make any correction, LGBTQ-RAN may choose to either: a) verify the information in question and make correction as appropriate; or b) delete the material from its web site.