Donating Your Records

History is written from the perspective of those who preserve their records.  Therefore, LGBTQ-RAN strongly encourages all leaders and organizations in LGBTQ+ religious movements to take steps to preserve their paper and digital records for donation to an appropriate repository.  

The Guide to Preserving Historical Records provides a wealth of information about identifying what is historical and the process of donating paper-based materials.

Digital and online materials such as emails, digital images, and social media, on the other hand, require regular pro-active steps to maintain the integrity of their content. The guide Archiving Digital Content presents simple step-by-step procedures to preserve digital files for eventual donation to an archives. 

For an introduction to archiving online content, watch our webinar “Off of the Screen, Into the Archives”.

These concise documents from the Society of American Archivists are also helpful for paper and digital records:

Finding a Repository

Records of LGBTQ religious movements have been donated to a variety of archives—LGBTQ archives, religious archives, academic archives, local and state historical societies, and the Smithsonian.   Almost all repositories now welcome LGBTQ materials that fit their collecting guidelines.  

Some key considerations in selecting a repository are the donor’s location, archives holding related collections, and the archives’ ability to enhance the collection’s visibility and access.  You can read more about finding a repository in Part Two of LGBTQ-RAN’s Guide to Preserving Historical Records.

Privacy versus Access to Your Archival Records

Some LGBTQ+ religious organizations have been concerned about personal privacy and confidentiality of information in their records.  LGBTQ-RAN provides detailed information about these matters in Guidelines on Restricted Access to Archival Records.  

Contact us with any questions or assistance needed regarding donating your personal papers or organizational records at archivist@lgbtqreligiousarchives.org.