Since April of 2021, with a mini-grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Lesbrarian Mev Miller has been researching the viability of creating Wanderground – a Lesbian Archive/Library located in Rhode Island. The research primarily focused on this goal:
To assess the specific interest and enthusiasm of RI Lesbians to contribute to and use a locally-based archive of Lesbian publications and memorabilia. This research will guide the long-term development of Wanderground as collaborative and welcoming Lesbian-centered community-archive space welcoming to diverse communities.
Wanderground will sponsor several blog postings and community events to summarize and share some of the key learnings from that research.
Blog writings will be posted on Fridays from February 4 through March 28. Topics include:
- Research Participation: By the numbers, a summary of who responded to the research activities
- I Found My People: What were our first encounters with Lesbian publications and how they made us feel
- Creating Communities & Activisms: Beyond publications, where else did we find other Lesbians? Where did we go to find ourselves and each other? How was Lesbian/feminist organizing impacted by Lesbian artistic expression?
- Sisters Doing It for Ourselves: What did we create here in Rhode Island? Introducing RI authors, musicians, and some others
- Who Needs Archives (and why the Name “Wanderground”)?: Are Lesbians in Rhode Island enthusiastic about an archive in RI? What can we learn from other Lesbian archives around the country?
- Do I Count?? How to Collect Your Life in Memorabilia: Information for how to save your own “stuff” – and why!
- Collaborations & Information Sharing: There are other LGBTQ collections in RI! How we can work together and complement each other?
- Wanderground – Bigger Visions for Space & Collections
- Wrap-Up – What’s Next??? Moving Wanderground into the future…
Finally, two Zoom events will feature information and discussion focusing on Lesbian cultural activities in Rhode Island. In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, a PowerPoint will feature images and conversation about Lesbian Herstory in Rhode Island since the 1970s. On March 27, we will celebrate Rhode Island Lesbian Authors with readings by and discussions with our very own Lesbian writers: Linda Skibski, Mari SanGiovanni, Susan Joyce & Thea Ernest, among others.
This Wanderground Research Project is made possible through mini-grant funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Council seeds, supports, and strengthens public history, cultural heritage, civic education, and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders.