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EQUAL GROUND materials archived at the University of Minnesota!

Emily and Rosanna toured the state of the art archives at the Anderson Library at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The archive, located 120 feet below the mighty Mississippi river, is temperature, air pressure and humidity controlled with a life span for materials in its collection, of 300 years! Jean-Nickolaus Tretter who’s brainchild the Tretter Collection is, was kind enough to give the two Trustees of EQUAL GROUND a tour of the vast archives located at the U of M! Later, they were invited to join the Board of Advisors meeting where the materials from EQUAL GROUND were presented to the Tretter Collection. EQUAL GROUND is one of few overseas organization to contribute materials for archiving with the Tretter Collection. Jean Tretter had this to say about our collection: “I agree the list looks fantastic and it will be an honor to add these materials to the Collection. Just thought you might like to know that you are having an impact in other ways by deciding to archive with us. I mentioned this project when I spoke at the ILGCN and IDAHO Conferences in Moscow this May. The delegates from Belarus were so impressed that they decided to archive their materials with us also as they are not safe in their own country.”

The Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies houses over 30,000 items in a wide variety of media. The collection is international in scope and has materials in approximately 56 languages. It covers all time periods, from a 4,000-year-old phallic statuette from Egypt, up to current editions of GLBT periodicals. Although books are the core of the collection, substantial sections include textiles, glassware, film, music, art works, and three-dimensional objects such as event buttons and furniture. The Archives got started initially with a donation by Jean- Nickolaus Tretter of his valuable collection. Archiving and collecting LGBT materials has been a passion of Jean’s for many, many years and having the University of Minnesota allocating space and resources to build this collection up even further is a dream come true for Jean!

This step to archive EQUAL GROUND’s materials came about last September when Emily met with her college professor and Tretter Advisory Board member Dr. Linnea A. Stenson in Minneapolis. Emily had emailed Dr. Stenson earlier and told her about EQUAL GROUND and its work, so when she arrived in Minneapolis and met with her old college professor it naturally led to the discussion about archiving EQUAL GROUND's materials. The rest as they say is history and hopefully a history that will be remembered way past the 300 years which is the current archival lifespan!

For those LGBT organisations around the world that want their history preserved for the future, please get in touch with Jean Tretter.(click here here to access the Tretter Collection website)

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Emily with Jean Tretter touring the archives

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Jean showing Rosanna the LGBT collection

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Touring the archives