The ArQuives (registered name The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives) was established in 1973 and is the largest independent professionally managed LGBTQ2+ archive in the world. Registered as a non-profit charitable organization, our mandate is to acquire, preserve, organize, and give public access to information and materials in any medium, by and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer individuals, primarily produced in or concerning Canada.
The holdings of The ArQuives include personal and organizational records, vertical files, a photographic collection (20,000 plus), moving images, posters, audiotapes, cartographic and architectural plans, works of art and artifacts (including t-shirts, buttons, matchbooks and banners). The ArQuives unite artworks and cultural artifacts, people and things, in ways that are atypical for most archival repositories.
The National Portrait Collection was established in 1998 with 25 original portraits, and coincided with our 25th anniversary. Since then, the collection has grown to 75 portraits of various mediums including photography, oil, and watercolour. The collection is regularly exhibited in our home in Toronto.
The ArQuives collections development and management program provides core services and is really the heart of the organization. Supported by the Executive Director, lead archivists and librarians coordinate the acquisition, processing, and long-term management of all materials that come into The ArQuives.
The ArQuives is recognized globally as a significant resource for LGBTQ2+ documentary heritage. Researchers from across Canada and all part of the world visit the Archives to conduct research for undergraduate, graduate and other academics projects, media and journalist work, documentary filmmaking and other creative productions. In 2015, more than 225 researchers visited The ArQuives. We also offers remote services to those researchers who are unable to visit the Archive in person.