About the Archive

Information about the structure of the archive and instructions for how to use it.


Omeka, the software used to build this archive, creates citations for each article. However, these citations do not include the publisher of the item or the original date it was created/published. As such, please do not copy and paste those citations. All the information you need to create a complete and correct citation is provided with each item.


To create a timeframe (1985-present), I emailed Georgia Ringle, who sent me a timeline of queer activism on campus - according to her, the first gay support group was introduced to campus in 1986, which for the purposes of my project, seemed like a good starting point. Thus, the academic year 1985-1986 marks the beginning of this archive. That said, secondary historical context dating back to slavery and Emancipation is provided in the history section.

This project initially was set to focus on queer of color critique and black feminist thought in the South, thus the other important constraint is that the focus of the project centers queer black Davidson students and alum.

A Note on Intersectionality

Throughout Davidson's history, there has been a lack of intersectionality in conversations on campus regarding race, gender, and sexuality. This means that the ways that Davidson has institutionally handled issues pertaining to race, gender, and sexuality has not accounted for individuals who have identities that intersect - i.e. there has not been an institutional push to acknowledge, support, and hold queer students of color. As a result, this archive is very easy to divide - one can get a good sense of white queer history by simply navigating through articles tagged "gay." For a timeline of feminist and queer theories that coincides with Davidson events to help align Davidson conversations with academic ones regarding intersectionality, see the exhibits section.


The materials of this archive are mostly held by and housed in the Davidson College Archives and Special Collections. Davidsonians were collected by scanning books bound by school year housed in the Davidson College Library and through the Davidsonian website. SGA records, Chaplain's Office records, and records specific to certain organizations were collected from the Davidson College archives. Facebook posts from the Davidson College school year Facebook group were collected through screenshots, as were the doxing tweets from the fall of 2018. Oral histories were recorded and transcribed for current students and a few alum on campus. Dr. Melissa Gonzalez provided the Yik Yak screenshots. Reverend Rob Spach provided guidance for use of the Chaplain's Office Archives, also housed by the Davidson College Archives and Special Collections. Health Educator Georgia Ringle provided context for Davidson's early response to the AIDS crisis and a timeline of queer activism on campus.

There are a lot of materials in this archive that are significant to Davidson's queer, black, and queer black communities. However, due to the sheer volume of materials, not everything is handled in the Davidsonian or Theoretical timelines presented in the exhibits section. There is still a lot of work to be done.

Navigating the Archive

Browsing by subject

Each item in the archive is tagged using the language used in the article. Under Browse, you can click on various tags and see relevant items housed in the archive. Please note that historically speaking, Davidson has not taken an intersectional approach to queer life, meaning that the "gay" tag will provide a history of Davidson that erases intersectional identities. Also, note the tags use the language used in the article, thus the "queer" tag will not pull up all articles relating to gender and sexuality housed in the archive. To get a full picture of any narrative, sifting through multiple tags will likely be necessary. Browsing through tags by subject does not limit the types of materials that you will sift through - clicking on the "race" tag will provide Davidsonians, SGA records, oral histories, etc. 

Browsing by item type

Each item is housed in a collection based on what kind of item it is. To see all items of the same type, for example, all oral histories, or all Facebook posts, click on Collections. Davidsonians are broken down into sections - for example, News or Front Cover. To see all Davidsonian articles, click the Davidsonian tag under Browse.

Browsing through search

The items in this archive are not in-text searchable. Searching "gay" will not pull up articles that discuss gayness at Davidson - only through the tag is this possible. If the term is in the title, it might come up, though. You can also use the search bar to search by year if you know what year an event occurred. All oral histories are dated this year, as that is when they were recorded. The search bar will also work for specific authors of sources (ex: you can search "Rob Spach" and all the materials he authored will show up). 

A Brief Guide

For a brief timeline of Davidson's Black, queer, and queer Black histories as it was reported in the Davidsonian, see Davidsonian Timelines, which separates articles into five-year sections. If something sparks your interest, you can click on the provided article, see how it is tagged, and navigate the archive that way, or search by year to find other materials from the same year.

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