ALMS - Conference background





T H E   C O N F E R E N C E

C O N F E R E N C E   B A C K G R O U N D

30 December 2011

>>   IHLIA, Europe’s oldest and largest LGBTI archive and library, is hosting the LGBTI ALMS 2012 Conference from 1-3 August 2012 in Amsterdam. IHLIA is the International Gay and Lesbian Information Centre and Archive, housed in the Public Library in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

IHLIA expects to welcome 150 archivists, librarians, museum collectors from North America, Europe and other parts of the world to share knowledge and to begin the process of working together to make the promise of ALMS 2012 come true. We also anticipate having a strong delegation of people from civil society organizations that want to join us to work with national heritage organizations.

IHLIA has a vision: By 2020, LGBTI people will be able to visit a city or national library and find people like them in the archives. They can find out about their history, their heroes, the struggle for their rights. We want them to explore the raw materials of the LGBTI experience. We want them to see the manuscripts of great LGBTI authors, we want to show them how our predecessors lobbied and lived and loved to create a world in which we all are part of the story.

Our conference is the starting point for a longer-term project, and IHLIA is more than willing to take leadership in the process. During the conference we will explore current developments in collecting, documenting and making available our histories. We will then take the first steps in implementing our vision.

We anticipate participants from North America, Europe and other parts of the world. In countries where there is no LGBTI memory initiative to date, we invite activists and heritage institutions. We know you will enjoy Amsterdam. The excitement and hope that the conference provides will be crowned by the festivities as the streets and canals of Amsterdam transform into a huge gay pride festivity, including Canal Pride. Yes, that's right. The week of the conference will be filled with fun events as the Dutch LGBT community celebrates who we are.

Vision, mission and goals

Collaboration between LGBTI ALMS organizations and other local and national heritage organizations makes the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex (LGBTI) citizens visible and accessible. By 2020 the heritage of LGBTI individuals and the LGBTI community is collected and recognized in Europe and globally as part of the cultural wealth of society.

The LGBTI ALMS 2012 mission is to bring together for three days the parties and stakeholders that have the capacity to realize, and are committed to realizing, the LGBTI ALMS 2012 vision. The conference will share valuable information, expand present knowledge and set goals for achieving the LGBTI ALMS 2012 vision.


  • To consolidate our knowledge of archiving as a tool in building democratic and free societies, making LGBTI histories accessible to all;
  • To strengthen the pan-European and global network of LGBTI organizations that collect our histories and make them available to the public;
  • To exchange and share the bountiful knowledge of LGBTI archives from other continents with European actors;

  • To advance the practice of collecting oral histories, an invaluable way of recording the life stories of LGBTI people, in Europe and the world, as well as other new methods of making our histories accessible;
  • To build ongoing collaboration between LGBTI ALMS organizations as well as with cultural heritage institutions and to strengthen ties between stakeholders;

  • To showcase IHLIA, as inspiration for participants.


The conference will use English as the language of communication.

Conference venue

The conference is physically being held in the Amsterdam Public Library, near Central Station  >>

Registration and participants fee

The registration form is online, where you can register for the conference!

Participants fee

  • Very Early bird participant fee (paid before 31 March 2012): €125
  • Quite early bird participant fee (paid before 15 May 2012): €200
  • Participant fee (payment after 16 May 2012): €250
  • Student fee: €25
  • Visitor fee (1 day): €90

Overnight accomodation

For suggestions about accomodation, please visit the RAI Hotelservice page  >>

Social Program

LGBTI ALMS 2012 takes place during Amsterdam Canal Pride, with many cultural and social opportunities for participants.


IHLIA does not have a sponsor for funding scholarships. But we have you, and other participants and all your friends, who understand how important it is that you come to Amsterdam to share, exchange and strategize. If you like to request a scholarship, please send us some relevent information about you + small portrait photo. Then you will get a link to your own personalized page which you can forward to your friends, post it on your webpage, and send to organizations that you think will promote your participation in LGBTI ALMS 2012. That way, people can click on a link, and are able to donate using PayPal (that is, all the credit cards). Of course, you can also ask people to give you cash. 


Preceding the conference, IHLIA will establish a blog where people can exchange information, ask questions of each other, share best practices. There may be a series of online discussions using skype or other share-ware. The intention is to use the digital sharing as the basis for substantial, deeper sharing when participants meet, thus increasing the value of face-to-face time and the learning it brings.


We expect the many layers of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex community, which of course includes ethnic minorities, to attend as well as our straight allies (M/F):

  • National and local heritage institutions Europe and global

  • LGBTI Euro-parliamentarians
  • European public policy makers

  • LGBTI ALMS organizations and ALMS organizations with LGBTI component, Europe and global

  • Researchers, Europe and global

  • Young LGBTI movements, particularly from Eastern European countries and former CIS, where archives can potentially be developed
  • We aim to find funding to allow 20 participants from Eastern Europe to receive a scholarship to attend

International Advisory Group

Ajamu X, Rukus! Black LGBT Archives, UK; Andreas Pretzel, Invertito, Germany; Angela Brinskele, Mazer, USA; Bart Hellinck, Fonds Suzan Daniel, Belgium; Bryan W. Knicely, Stonewall National Museum, Fort Lauderdale, USA; Don McLeod, Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives, Canada; Ellen Greenblatt, USA; Joseph Hawkins, One Archives, USA; Karen Sundheim, James Hormel Collection, San Francisco, USA; Linda Pointing, Brighton Our Story, UK; Sandor Nagy, Háttér Archívum, Hungary; Sue Donnelly, Hall-Carpenter Archives, UK; Tatjana Greif, SKUC-LL, Slovenia; Vanino Maso, Master’s student, The Netherlands; Zvonimir Dobrovic, Program Director of Queer Zagreb, Croatia.




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