Queering Information: LGBTQ+ Memory, Interpretation, Dissemination

In the twenty-first century, LGBTQ+ people, cultures, and histories worldwide have become more visible in the public sphere, the media, and in cultural heritage institutions such as libraries, archives, and museums. At the same time, multiple barriers exist in making information resources and cultural artifacts for the LGBTQ+ community accessible. Traditional academic notions of “notability”, “peer review”, “scholarly work”, and “credible source” also impact representation of diverse voices, communities, and forms of cultural production and collection of such works among LGBTQ+ peoples around the world.

LGBTQ+ populations in countries currently experiencing their “Stonewall moments”1 are discovering, documenting, archiving, and disseminating their existences in innovative ways that may contradict “best practices” defined by English speaking and western European countries. While a movement exists to provide global access to LGBTQ+ information, barriers such as physical safety, language, digital divide, and government surveillance impacts the broader dissemination of LGBTQ+ information and cultural artifacts from the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, the MENA region and the Global South.

For this special issue, we invite librarians, archivists, record keepers, knowledge keepers, critical theorists, educators, scholars, students, computer scientists, data specialists, and creative individuals to consider how the tools and traditions of the information professions—often perceived by LGBTQ+ people as safe, inclusive professions—may lift up or diminish LGBTQ+ populations and their cultural output. We invite work that offers critical reflections on access to LGBTQ+ information, LGBTQ+ collection development in the broadest sense of the term, queering open culture, and decentering whiteness in LGBTQ+ resources, services, programming, and spaces in libraries, archives, museums, and online information professions. We are interested in work that suggests critical interventions into tools and traditions that oppress LGBTQ+ people and LGBTQ+ information resources.

We seek contributions that describe diverse practices that challenge entrenched ideas about the LGBTQ+ community, their cultural output, their information seeking behavior and reading preferences; the types of LGBTQ+ information resources sought after by cisgender heterosexual populations; the roles of information professions and information professionals in regard to supporting LGBTQ+ visibility and civil rights; the definition of scholarly information as it applies to LGBTQ+ cultural output; cataloging and metadata, digital repositories and library systems. We are particularly interested in hearing perspectives on queering information from Black, Indigenous, People of Color, the disabled, and people from non-English speaking, non-Western European countries.

We welcome a broad spectrum of submissions that touch on the following themes:
• LGBTQ+ people as collectors and archivists
• LGBTQ+ populations as librarians, archivists, museum professionals
• Presentation of LGBTQ+ information / diversity of information resources
• Inclusion of LGBTQ+ information resources in all collections
• Diversity of LGBTQ+ voices / representation in LGBTQ+ history and culture

• Formal or informal LGBTQ+ civil rights demonstrations or movements analogous to the Stonewall Rebellion in the United States.
• LGBTQ+ existence in social media, Web 2.0 and Wikimedia spaces
• Marginalized / criminalized LGBTQ+ populations and their access to LGBTQ+ information
• The impact of language on LGBTQ+ information access and representation in information resources
• Whose stories are we preserving, and why? What stories and experiences do we end up telling?
• Metadata and LGBTQ+ information access
• Algorithms and LGBTQ+ information access
• Intersection between LGBTQ+ collection building, archives, and LGBTQ+ rights activism
• Do LGBTQ+ collections in libraries and archives have a diversity problem?
Rachel Wexelbaum, Wikimedia LGBT+, Librarian at Large / Independent Scholar editor of Queers Online: LGBT Digital Practices in Libraries, Archives, and Museums, United States of America, [email protected]
October 1, 2020: Abstracts due (email to: [email protected])
November 1, 2020: Notifications of acceptance 
April 1, 2021: Full papers due 
October 2021: Special issue published

Please consult IJIDI Author Guidelines and IJIDI Peer Review Process at

Any questions related to this issue should be addressed to [email protected]