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Tretter Collection wins national diversity award

By May 30, 2017September 16th, 2023No Comments

Tretter Collection LogoCHICAGO, IL (May 30, 2017) — The Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies at the University of Minnesota Libraries is a 2017 recipient of the Diversity Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA).

The award will be presented at a ceremony during the SAA Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon, July 23–29. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in advancing diversity within the archives profession, SAA, or the archival record.

Part of the Department of Archives and Special Collections at the University of Minnesota Libraries, the Tretter Collection has 3,500 linear feet of material from around the world documenting the GLBT experience. While the Tretter Collection has always sought to include marginalized voices within the GLBT community, the archives has specifically prioritized in the last five years adding materials from communities of color as well as bi/pan/fluid/omni and transgender/gender queer voices.

In addition, the archives has taken an active role in documenting transgender/gender queer history by establishing the Tretter Transgender Oral History Project, which has a goal of conducting more than 200 interviews and providing 300-plus hours of content focusing on the lives of trans/gender queer people in the Upper Midwest. Other project goals are to partner with other archives to share material, develop strategies for filling gaps in the archival record, and initiate outreach programs to engage a broader community in GLBT history.

The SAA Awards Committee members noted that they were “especially impressed by how the Tretter Collection staff brings the collection’s diverse contents out of the archive and into the community through teaching, exhibits, and presentations, as well as by its strong relationships with the community. The Tretter Collection serves as an excellent model for other institutions interested in connecting with their local LGBTQ+ communities.”

Also receiving the Diversity Award this year is the Texas Disability History Collection at the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.

About the Diversity Award and the SAA

The Diversity Award was established in 2011. Previous recipients include the SAA Latin American and Cultural Heritage Archives Roundtable webinar series “Desmantelando Fronteras/Breaking Down Borders,” Shorefront Legacy Center (Evanston, IL), and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida.

Founded in 1936, the Society of American Archivists is North America’s oldest and largest national archives professional association. SAA’s mission is to serve the educational and informational needs of more than 6,200 individual and institutional members and to provide leadership to ensure the identification, preservation, and use of records of historical value. For more information, visit

Mark Engebretson

Author Mark Engebretson

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