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The Arquives Logo

About The ArQuives 

The ArQuives is the world’s largest independent LGBTQ2+ archive. Our mission is to keep LGBTQ2+ stories alive and share them with our communities and the world. 

We acquire, preserve, organize, and give the public access to information and materials in any medium, by and about LGBTQ2+ people, primarily produced in or concerning Canada. Much of the support for all the work The ArQuives does comes directly from our communities in the form of financial contributions and countless volunteer hours. 

The ArQuives was founded in 1973 by members of the Toronto-based gay liberation periodical The Body Politic. It began as a project in a Body Politic office filing cabinet, as activists began to document their own histories and collect gay liberation periodicals, photographs, and various documents from Canada and around the world. In the decades since those early days, The ArQuives has grown to become a world-renowned LGBTQ2+ collection. 

The ArQuives has committed to collecting material that better encapsulates our communities’ collective histories, and centring those whose stories have been marginalized or omitted in the past. We acknowledge that the white, cis-male experience is overrepresented in the collection and you can find our Historical Inequities Statement and our Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion Plan on our website here. 

Current Initiatives 

The ArQuives’ vision of the future includes a new physical space where all people in our LGBTQ2+ communities feel welcome to come together, share their stories, and celebrate their heritage. 

The ArQuives is currently taking the steps necessary to make this vision of a new home a reality. In 2018, we completed an initial community consultation and needs assessment and we will continue to rely on community input and support as we move ahead. In 2022, we will launch the next round of community consultations and needs regarding future planning. If you are interested in taking part in our upcoming collections review consultations, please sign up for our newsletter now so we can keep in touch! 

We have also launched our Capacity-Building Campaign for the remainder of 2021 to enable us to complete the necessary steps in planning for a new home. 

Our goal is to raise $150,000 from now through December in order to: 

  • Complete the relocation work needed to investigate potential sites for The ArQuives’ new home and make recommendations; 
  • Conduct a full review of our Collections to describe the existing archival collection and consult with community members to identify gaps in the collection, especially where voices and stories have been lost or omitted;
  • Create a Collections Plan which will serve as a blueprint to ensure that we are addressing gaps in our collecting and ensure that the existing collection is maintained and accessible to the public. 

Donation Information 

To help us take the next steps toward a new home, you can donate to our Capacity-Building Campaign here. 

Every time you give through our Canada Helps campaign website in June, you will give The ArQuives a chance to win a grand prize of $10,000. 

And for your support of $200 or more, we’ll send you The ArQuives’ limited edition “Keep Our Stories Alive” canvas tote bag along with our Out North pin! 

Throughout the month of June, you can also make an instant contribution of $10 or $25 to The ArQuives simply by TEXTING “AQ” to “45678”.

Person in an ornate red feathered costume on a Pride Parade  float (2005)

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