Ed Madden, Columbia, USA: The Irish Queer Archive: Institutionalization and Historical Narrative

"If the stories of Ireland’s lesbian and gay communities and its queer cultures are now symbolically 'part of the national story,' what stories does the Irish Queer Archive tell—or more importantly, what stories does it allow to be told?"
The National Library of Ireland
where the Irish Queer Archives are based in
Ed Madden is an associate professor for English and Women's Studies at the University of South Carolina. In this paper, he points out the dangers of archives producing a certain historical narrative that excludes other parts of LGBTI histories. Examining the Irish Queer Archive, he reveals that queer history presented in the IQA, for instance, is "primarily a narrative of political and AIDS organizing, obviating the messier and more heterogeneous cultural and social histories of lesbian and gay Ireland—sex clubs and club nights, gay rugby and other forms of seemingly non-political community development, posters, zines." 

What do you think about some of the questions Ed Madden raises at the end of his paper? Do you, for example, think that "the institutionalization of gay history (is) part of the ongoing normalization and commodification of gay and lesbian culture—and if so, what resources does the archive offer to resist those current cultural and political imperatives?"  

Ed Madden
Department of English
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208


“. . . the archive is first the law of what can be said.”
Michel Foucault, The Archeology of Knowledge (145)

On June 16, 2008, the National Library of Ireland officially accepted the Irish Queer Archive, an enormous community archive of gay and lesbian historical and cultural materials.  The IQA had long been housed as a community archive, focused primarily on press clippings at its inception, but growing to include organizational archives and personal collections.  Its transfer to the national archives and the auspices of the National Library of Ireland (NLI) was a shift both literal and symbolic.  Literal, as the materials are now accessible only in the Manuscripts Reading Room—which is located just down Kildare Street from the Main Reading Room of the National Library, itself across the courtyard from the National Museum and adjacent to Leinster House, home of the Oireachtas, the nation’s legislature.  And symbolic, as this auspicious location inevitably suggests, because of the authority and legitimacy granted by the institutional home.  In a speech delivered at the commemorative handover of the archives, Irish gay novelist Colm Tóibín said, “This establishes that an understanding of our history, the history of gay women and men’s struggle for liberation, is as essential in understanding contemporary Ireland as the history of the women’s movement, or the labour movement, or the Fianna Fáil party” (28).  The transfer made it clear, he said, that the National Library “understands the importance of our story as part of the national story” (29). 
However, if the stories of Ireland’s lesbian and gay communities and its queer cultures are now symbolically “part of the national story,” what stories does the Irish Queer Archive tell—or more importantly, what stories does it allow to be told?  As the IQA has been catalogued and made available for research, priority was given to organizational files, thus creating a version of Irish queer history that is primarily a narrative of political and AIDS organizing, obviating the messier and more heterogeneous cultural and social histories of lesbian and gay Ireland—sex clubs and club nights, gay rugby and other forms of seemingly non-political community development, posters, zines.  Such materials are part of the IQA collection but unrecorded in the catalogue, so unavailable for researchers and thus absent from the possible historical narrative the archive is imagined to enable and sustain.  To adapt Verne Harris’s useful metaphor of the “archival sliver” (an image to which I return below), the IQA offered “a sliver of a window” into Ireland’s lesbian and gay community and history, but the current institutional incarnation in the National Archive offers “a sliver of a sliver”—archival practices and processes, as Harris argues, distort and fracture the very historical events they are imagined to reflect (65).
As Jacques Derrida suggests in Archive Fever, archives traffic in authority as much as they do historical origins, producing as much as recording or preserving history (1-3).  What histories does the Irish Queer Archive produce?  Does the movement of community archives into state institutions, a movement that grants new authority to marginalized voices, also inevitably contain (in both senses of the word) repositories of resistance and liberation within other mechanisms of narrative or nominative control or structures of ideological constraint?  Indeed, does institutionalization and the focus on organizational history suggest the politics of respectability (with its concomitant emphasis on the “good” citizen-queer and the exclusion of bad queers) that Jamie Ann Lee traces in her presentation for this conference?[1]
As this overtly queer material commences a new life in the official archives of the nation, what histories can it enable, what histories will it produce?  Since the archive is made available only through what portion is catalogued, is the incomplete catalogue a mechanism of narrative control by which Irish queer histories are produced as much as they are preserved?  As I hope these questions indicate, we must continue to think about the disparities of access and procedure between community and institutional archives, and perhaps we should recall the wariness lesbians and gays have demonstrated in other countries about the inclusion of sexual and community materials in state archives.[2]  More importantly and perhaps less obviously, we must think about the political effects of basic archival practices—the practices of processing and cataloguing queer materials, especially when organizational materials are prioritized over other forms of community history and material culture.

Developed out of the holdings of the National Gay and Lesbian Federation (NGLF) in the late 1970s, the IQA had long been a community archive, focused at first on press clippings and organizational files, but growing to include a wide range of books, audiovisual materials, ephemera, material culture (buttons, tshirts), and later donations of personal collections.  At first the collection was primarily used as a reference library for writers at Gay Community News (GCN), a national periodical affiliated with NGLF, but when both NGLTF and GCN moved into new facilities at South William Street in Dublin in 1997, the collection was made available for limited public use.  A founder and driving force of the archive was Tonie Walsh, a political activist, a community historian and journalist, and later a DJ and club promoter.  (Although a number of people and organizations contributed to the archive, Walsh’s experience across a range of political, social, and community spheres indicates and perhaps helped to shape the archive’s inclusive energies.)  Managed and curated by Walsh and other members of the IQA—academics Éibhear Walshe, Katherine O’Donnell, and Mary McAuliffe, and NLI librarian Liz Kirwan—the IQA was later moved to the Dublin’s lesbian and gay community center, OutHouse.[3]
By 2008, when the National Library of Ireland officially accepted the Irish Queer Archive, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) in Belfast already had an impressive collection of gay and lesbian materials, including organizational records of the Northern Irish Gay Rights Association (NIGRA) and the CARA-Friend phone counseling service, as well as a wealth of documents donated by Jeffrey Dudgeon, the activist who successfully challenged Northern Ireland’s sodomy laws.  The central collection of the PRONI queer archives is the collection of organizational files and related materials donated by NIGRA, and the heart of the PRONI collection must undoubtedly be the extensive documentation of Dudgeon’s legal case—organizational histories and legal reform central to Irish lesbian and gay archives in both the North and the South.  PRONI archives also include a relatively unused but heartbreaking and rich collection of phone counseling transcripts, which could document a very different social history of queer experience. 
Further, like the IQA, early NIGRA holdings include press clippings, which may suggest something of the deep impulse of these collections—what we might call, after Foucault, the insurrection of subjugated knowledges.  The PRONI archives include several scrapbook annuals filled with newspaper stories about violence against gay men and simultaneous attempts at legal reform.  These items seem to blur the archival boundaries of ephemera, material culture, and grey literature—the clippings collected and taped into colorful scrapbooks in the PRONI archives, but in the IQA sometimes bound together by topic, as in the bound volume “File on the Fairview Park Murder of Declan Flynn on 10th September 1982,” which contains photocopied newspaper accounts, transcripts of video interviews, and information about radio programs.  
If, on the one hand, clippings of arrests for public sex and accounts of anti-gay violence seem to document juridical regulation and social condemnation, on the other their very collection together suggests a need to use history to ground resistance—an impulse, that is, to document the legal, social, and political status of lesbians and gay men, and to use of this knowledge to further political resistance and legal reform.  Moreover, the clippings consistently include letters to the editor, documenting the strategic importance of openly lesbian and gay voices in public forums, and further suggesting the importance of these archival collections for documenting not only the nature of the debates about sexuality over the decades but also the insistent presence of marginalized voices.
The title of the IQA is also worth noting.  Though based in work and holdings of NGLF, the archive is emphatically titled Queer.  The IQA includes materials from Northern Ireland as well as documents recording Irish participation in European organizations and the international Gay Games, suggesting a transnational element to queer archives and queer organizing in Ireland.  But the use of queer indicates an inclusivity of sexual difference beyond the identity politics of gay and lesbian.  As K. J. Rawson has noted of the use of “transgender” in archival descriptions, “the language an archive ‘speaks’ has wide-ranging consequences for archival practices” (130).  For the IQA, that means the impulse to include and preserve a wide range of materials beyond the identity-politics-impelled and nationally-defined work of the political organizations.

            The archive was symbolically transferred on June 16, 2008—on Bloomsday, during the celebration of gay pride week in Dublin, a moment that combined Irish cultural heritage (through celebrations of James Joyce) with community visibility.  Insistent in the media coverage of IQA’s migration from community to institutional facilities was a sense of legitimacy, as if the official auspices of the National Library granted a greater authority to the collection of queer materials.  But also insistent in the coverage was the theme of access—both to a greater audience and to future readers and researchers.  When Tóibín’s speech proclaiming the inclusion of “our story” in “the national story” appeared in Gay Community News in 2008, a headnote stated that the IQA had found “a secure home in a state institution that guarantees its accessibility to future generations of researchers, academics, and the general public (28).  The state grants not only authority but security or stability (the archive not subject to the vicissitudes of community organizing, but, as it turned out, still subject to vicissitudes of funding).
I do not belittle or deny the importance of the cultural symbolism, nor do I deny the value and ease of access to the materials in the National Library for me as an academic researcher.  I have spent a number of productive weeks in the Manuscript Reading Room, going through the many folders that are available.  When I first had a chance to use the archives in the spring of 2010, librarians also let me go through a large stack of uncatalogued posters—AIDS  awareness campaigns, disco nights at the Hirshfeld Center (the first community center in Dublin)—just before they were transferred to offsite storage.  Further, the NLI, unlike many archives and indeed unlike PRONI, allows researchers to take non-flash photos with digital cameras, much more convenient and useful for extended research than photocopies, particularly for visiting researchers.
That said, I do want to suggest that accessibility was and remains an issue.  As the IQA webpage still notes, “While some materials have been made public, much of the collection remains inaccessible pending ongoing work by HLI to file and index the vast amount of documents spanning the best part of fifty years.”  Although one of the IQA founders, O’Donnell, sought to enable my access to the unprocessed boxes of materials, it was simply not possible, I was told, as the unprocessed materials are secured in offsite storage.  So access is a product of archival practice and policy and physical facilities.  As budget cuts reduce funding and staff, these issues are amplified and extended.  That is:
·      The catalogue itself—a function of archival policy and practice—limits what materials are available.
·      The removal of uncatalogued materials to offsite storage makes these materials also physically unavailable.
·      The fact that the uncatalogued materials are unlisted in the catalogue means that they are further unavailable conceptually as well as physically, and thus unimaginable.
·      Budget cuts have reduced staff available for curation of materials, so librarians have told me it could be five or 10 or more years before the rest of the IQA is made available.
How vast the amount that remains inaccessible is unclear, though it is clear—particularly from conversations with Walsh and others affiliated with the archive (as well as former researchers from the archive’s community incarnation)—that not only a great quantity of materials remains uncatalogued, but also a greater range of types of material.  The nature of queer archives is to focus on ephemera and popular culture, as Ann Cvetkovich notes (243, 253-4); similarly, Irish scholars Linda Connolly and Tina O’Toole noted in Documenting Irish Feminisms that feminist and lesbian archives tend to collect materials that other textually-driven archives would ignore, not just the ephemeral but the three-dimensional and material, such as buttons, t-shirts, banners (9), all items presumably to be found in the collection.
In his history of twentieth-century Irish sexuality, Diarmaid Ferriter asks how we tell the history of Irish sex when the only record available is that of criminalization and social stigma (9)?[4]  Similarly, Kieran Rose argues that historical evidence for gay and lesbian lives and subcultures before the 1970s comes from “those seeking to control homosexuality,” not from lesbians and gay men themselves (9).  The collection and reframing of press clippings about sex crimes as documents of social oppression suggests that such material can be re-read as historical material, but the range of materials and types of materials in the queer archive go much further to address Ferriter’s question.  To reframe his question in relation to the newly institutionalized queer archive: how do we tell the history of Irish lesbian and gay cultures when the only record available is dominated by organizational histories? 
As the IQA has been catalogued and made available for public research, priority was given to organizational files.  As current catalogued and available, the Irish Queer Archive is comprised of the files of five organizations, the National Gay and Lesbian Federation, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, Lesbians Organising Together, Gay Health Action, the Women’s Education Resource and Research Center; OUT magazine (a short-lived gay magazine, the files of which were acquired by NGLF); extensive files of two cultural organizations, Alternative Miss Ireland (an HIV fundraiser) and the Dublin Lesbian and Gay Film Festival; selected materials representing a couple of years of Ireland’s participation in the Gay Games; and the papers of Charles Kerrigan, which include organizational files of Gays Against Imperialism and the Dublin Gay Collective.[5]  Ironically, though the available film festival materials include a large collection of films, they remain unavailable since the reading room does not have the equipment for viewing audiovisual materials in VHS format.
If the tale that can be told through the IQA materials is primarily the tale of political and AIDS organizing, this is not inaccurate, but one wonders how rich the history and how thick the description might be were the full archive available.  Although the Gay Games are represented, for example, there are no files available for the Emerald Warriors, Ireland’s gay rugby team (and a subject of my own research), though materials are said to exist in the archives.  Missing, then, is a sense of local practice as distinct from the globalizing impulses of international gay culture.  Indeed, at the moment of this writing, the best public archive on the Emerald Warriors is a display wall of images in the upstairs of the Dragon Bar, a gay bar on Georges Street in Dublin and a former sponsor of the club—a display that raises the question of what counts as an archive.
Given the centrality of organizational histories, how can historians delineate non-statist cultural histories of the body—the memories, imaginations, sexual practices, performances, experiences?[6]  Will there be a history of Dublin’s controversial 1990s fetish club, G.A.G., with its live sex acts and queer performances?  What documents exist in the archive to detail the history of clubs and discos?  What story could be told about lesbian and gay Ireland—its cultural productions, or the discourses of sexuality and identity relied upon—through the books the organization gathered?  What social history could be elaborated using the enormous collection of over 200,000 press clippings, only a sliver of which is present in the available archive.  What about the collection of zines, which could document the countercultural and subcultural movements outside of (or resistant to) the homonormativity of official organizations?
            Verne Harris’s metaphor of the “archival sliver” is a useful way to conceptualize the IQA.  Harris argues, “In any country, the documentary record provides just a sliver of a window into an event.”  “Even if archivists in a particular country were to preserve every record generated throughout the land,” he adds, “they would still have only a sliver of a window into that country’s experience.”  This record is further reduced, he says, by “deliberate and inadvertent destruction,” by processes of selection, and by the limited life spans of materials, so that “archives offer researchers a sliver of a sliver of a sliver” (64-65).  Tellingly, Harris notes, “And this sliver of a sliver of a sliver is seldom more than partially described” (65, n.5).  While he intends thus to extend his critique of the partiality of the record, description also suggests to me the practices of cataloguing—the prioritizing, naming, coding, delineating, and summarizing of materials, and the practices of inclusion and exclusion enabled by those practices. 
“The technical structure of the archiving archive,” argues Derrida, “ also determines the structure of the archivable content even in its very coming into existence and in its relationship to the future” (17).  In this case, the “technical structure” includes not just the remote storage facilities but the catalogue.  The narrowing of historical possibility through the narrowing of access to IQA resources is likely unintentional, driven by established NLI archival practices—specifically issues of catalogue priority at both micro and macro level.  Catalogue prioritizing not only determines what is catalogued first in an archive (organizations and state-related materials over social history or countercultural materials) and how it is listed, but also determines what collections are archived before others.  Without explicit intervention, political collections and state collections inevitably outrank community archives of marginalized voices in a state archive—so that now the IQA is further delimited by budgetary constraints, which have indefinitely postponed further cataloguing of the archive materials.  Other collections, particular state collections, will undoubtedly be seen as more important when funding and archivists become available in the coming years.  While this is not the literal or destruction of queer materials documented in other archives, it is an embargo on these materials.  
As Harris insists, the archival record comes through many conduits—“the people who created them, the functionaries who managed them, the archivists who selected them for preservation and make them available for use, and the researchers who use them in constructing accounts of the past.”  As a result, these processes are complicit in the historical account, they fracture and distort the very events they are said to record (65).  In the case of the IQA, the limitations of access caused by institutionalization further distort the possible accounts historians and cultural theorists might construct of Ireland’s queer past—and present.

Describing the destruction of homosexual materials in South African archives, Graeme Reid argues that the archive is a vital space for “imagining” as well as “preserving” history (206).  The archive is a source for imagining the past, but that informs our possible imaginings of the present and the future.  The temporality that drives the archive, states Derrida, is not the past; it is the future, or more precisely the possibility of meaning in the future—what Valerie Rohy calls the temporality of “the scholar yet to come,” “the future perfect,” and the logic of the “will-have-been” (35).  “The question of the archive,” Derrida explains, “is not, we repeat, a question of the past. . . .  It is a question of the future, the question of the future itself, the question of a response, of a promise and of a responsibility for tomorrow” (36).
Soon after homosexuality was decriminalized in 1993, Irish lesbian novelist Emma Donoghue wrote in Lesbian and Gay Visions of Ireland (1995) that history isn’t a luxury.  For gays and lesbians, she said, it is a form of activism:  “It is crucial advice, passed from one generation to the next.  Scrabbling around in libraries for glimpses of our history and literary heritage is just as important as the more obvious kinds of activism” (169).  In 2008 Tonie Walsh said of the transfer of the IQA to the NLI, “When we talk about history, more often than not there’s a subtext speaking of how we see ourselves in the present” (in Finnegan 20).  Not just the present but the future—how we imagine we came to be, how we imagine we will/might become.
If Donoghue thinks of archival work as activism via community wisdom passed forward, and if Walsh sees the archive as critical mirror for the present, both recognize the possibility of the archive as a resource, not just for histories of the past, but for identity formation and community formation in the present, a resource for affective pleasures and political reflection, for revised queer sensibilities and re-engaged activisms.  And as Steven Maynard argues elsewhere, archives can ground claims of accountability as well as history (179-180).  “While it would be neither possible nor desirable to go back to an earlier moment in the history of gay and lesbian life,” Heather Love states in Feeling Backward, “earlier forms of feeling, imagination, and community may offer crucial resources in the present,” specifically to understand and claim gay identity and “its accreted historical meanings” in the face of normalization, and to see through the histories of stigma, exclusion, and violence the “structures of inequality” that persist in the present (30)—structures of inequality like the “fault lines” traced in a recent “Queering Ireland” issue of the Canadian Journal of Irish Studies.[7]

I repeat and emphasize, I am not suggesting any insidious intent, but I do want us to ask how archival practices not only may limit access to some materials but also may limit the stories we are able to tell.  And I lament the loss of funding that has halted the cataloguing of the Irish Queer Archive, leaving boxes and boxes of materials unavailable for historians and other researchers.  The result, intentional or not, is a narrowing of historical and research possibilities, and a restricted if not distorted version of social memory.  I should also emphasize that important queer Irish archival work has already published, such as Connolly and O’Toole’s Documenting Irish Feminisms: The Second Wave, which includes a significant chapter of archival materials on lesbian organizing in Ireland (171-195), and Fintan Walsh’s more recent Queer Notions: New Plays and Performances from Ireland, a collection of performance pieces from the years 2000-2010.  Walsh includes a photo essay of ephemeral design and photography by Niall Sweeney, a visual archive of queer performance, including “important queer club nights,” such as Powderbubble and, yes, G.A.G.
Still, as Derrida suggests, archives traffic in authority as much as origins, and we must ask about nature of—and the cost of—authority granted by state institutions?   What are the risks of institutionalization?  Is the institutionalization of gay history part of the ongoing normalization and commodification of gay and lesbian culture—and if so, what resources does the archive offer to resist those current cultural and political imperatives?  How does the structure of the archive contain (in both senses of the word) history, and how does it restructure and categorize the story of the past?  What has been remembered, what left out, misremembered, forgotten?  What histories will the archive enable and produce?  How can it help us, as Walsh suggests, better see ourselves in the present?  How does it enable us to imagine the future? 

* Research at the IQA was supported in part by the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina, as well as the Department of English and the Women’s & Gender Studies Program, and facilitated by a visiting research fellowship at the Centre for Irish Studies at the National University of Ireland in Galway, sponsored by NUIG and the Irish American Cultural Institute.  I am deeply grateful to IQA founder and curator Tonie Walsh for the information and insight he has provided.  I am also quite grateful to curator Bethany Sinclair at PRONI, who talked through a number of these issues with me, and although I am critical here of the institutionalization of the Irish Queer Archive within the National Library of Ireland, I am very grateful to the staff at the NLI Manuscript Reading Room and especially Colette Daly, who was especially helpful.  Thanks also to Sean Kennedy, Katherine O’Donnell, Tina O’Toole, Mark Phelan, Lionel Pilkington, and Éibhear Walshe, for their questions and advice about my research work in Irish archives; and to Mark Cooper and Santi Thompson, who steered me toward critical resources.  Any errors in this presentation are my own.

Works Cited

Barriault, Marcel.  “Hard to Dismiss: The Archival Value of Gay Male Erotica and Pornography,” Archivaria: The Journal of the Association of Canadian Archivists 68 (fall 2009): 219-246.
Clarke, Danielle, Anne Mulhall, Siobhán O’Dowd, Tina O’Toole, and Aibhe Smyth.  “Intersects Roundtable – Queering Ireland 2011,” Canadian Journal of Irish Studies 36.1 (spring 2010, published spring 2012), “Queering Ireland” special issue:  163-191.
Connolly, Linda and Tina O’Toole.  Documenting Irish Feminisms: The Second Wave.  Dublin: The Woodfield Press, 2005.
Cvetkovich, Ann.  An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality and Lesbian Public Cultures.  Durham: Duke UP, 2003.
Derrida, Jacques.  Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression.  Eric Prenowitz, trans.  Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 1996.
Donoghue, Emma.  “Noises from Woodsheds: Tales of Irish Lesbians, 1886-1989.”  In Lesbian and Gay Visions of Ireland: Towards the Twenty-First Century.  Íde O’Carroll and Eoin Collins, eds.  London: Cassell, 1995.  158-169.
Ferriter, Diarmaid.  Occasions of Sin: Sex & Society in Modern Ireland.  London: Profile Books, 2009.
Finnegan, Brian.  “Path of Progress,” Gay Community News 223 (July 2008):  18-20.
Foucault, Michel.  The Archeology of Knowledge.  1969.  A. M. Sheridan, trans.  London: Routledge, 2002.
Harris, Verne.  “The Archival Sliver: Power, Memory, and Archives in South Africa,” Archival Science 2 (2002): 63-86.
“Irish Lesbian and Gay Archive: IQA.”  Dublin, Ireland: Outhouse, n.d.  6pp.
Irish Queer Archive website.  http://irishqueerarchive.com, accessed 13 July 2012.
Lee, Jamie Ann.  ”Queer Imaginings of the Archive,” LGBTI ALMS: The Future of LGBTI Histories [LGBTI ALMS blog].  http://lgbtialms2012.blogspot.com/2012/07/jamie-ann-lee-queer-imaginings-of.html, accessed 13 July 2012.
Love, Heather.  Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History.  Cambridge MA: Harvard UP, 2007.
Maynard, Steven.  “Police/Archives,” Achivaria: The Journal of the Association of Canadian Archivists 68 (fall 2009): 159-182.
Rawson, K. J.  “Accessing Transgender // Desiring Queer(er?) Archival Logics,” Achivaria: The Journal of the Association of Canadian Archivists 68 (fall 2009): 123-140.
Reid, Graeme.  “‘The History of the Past Is the Trust of the Present’: Preservation and Excavation in the Gay and Lesbian Archives of South Africa.”  In Refiguring the Archive.  Carolyn Hamilton, Verne Harris, Jane Taylor, Michele Pickover, Graeme Reid, and Razia Saleh, eds.  Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002.  193-207.
Rohy, Valerie.  “In the Queer Archive: Fun Home,” GLQ 16.3 (2010):  340-361.
Rose, Kieran.  Diverse Communities: The Evolution of Lesbian and Gay Politics in Ireland.  Cork: Cork UP, 1994.
Tóibin, Colm.  “Hidden History,” Gay Community News 224 (August 2008):  28-29.
Walsh, Fintan, ed.  Queer Notions: New Plays and Performances from Ireland.  Cork: Cork UP, 2010.

[1] See Jamie Ann Lee, “Queer Imaginings of the Archive” on the LGBTI ALMS 2012 blog.
[2] On this point see, for example, Marcel Barriault (225-226), Graeme Reid (200-201), or Ann Cvetkovich (245).
[3] This history comes from the IQA website, irishqueerarchive.com/history (accessed 13 July 2012) and from “Irish Lesbian and Gay Archive: IQA,” an undated 6-page guide to the archive as it was housed at OutHouse.
[4] “An over reliance on sources relating to sexual crime,” writes Ferriter, “presents the historian with a dilemma.  Does the history of sex in Ireland have to be a history of criminal sexual activity” (9)?
[5] The catalogue of the Irish Queer Archive is Collection List No. 151, Accession No. 6813, MSS 45,936-46,054.
[6] I thank Irish theatre historian Lionel Pilkington for foregrounding this question as a critical question for archival work (personal conversation, 3 Feb 2010).  I am also thinking here of Ann Cvetkovich’s call for “an archive of sexuality” that “ must preserve and produce not just knowledge but feeling” (241).
[7] See the “Intersects Roundable – Queering Ireland 2011,” which includes contributions by Danielle Clarke and others.

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