From the College of the Holy Cross:
K.J. Rawson, assistant professor of English at the College of the Holy Cross, recently launched the world’s first Digital Transgender Archive (DTA), a collection of transgender-related historical materials. Rawson’s project was recognized in 2013-14 with funding from the American Council of Learned Societies Digital Innovation Fellowship, awarded each year to a handful of academics to advance digital humanistic scholarship.
The DTA is designed to increase the accessibility of transgender history by providing an online hub for digitized historical materials, born-digital materials, and information on archival holdings throughout the world
In the past two years, 15 Holy Cross students have worked as research assistants with the DTA, collaborating on the process of digitizing, recording, and entering historical materials into the database. Processing materials requires students to read and analyze individual artifacts to develop subject terms, compose abstracts, and provide any additional relevant information.
In addition to gaining critical experience in the hands-on work of building an archive, Rawson says it has been a transformative experience for many students. One recent graduate is considering a career in library science; another is pursuing transgender-related social justice work.
The collection is built by more than 20 different archives and organizations from around the world. Eight are universities including, Harvard University’s Schlesinger Library, Cornell University, Duke University, the University of Victoria, and the University of Michigan.
Read the Complete Launch Announcement
Direct to Digital Transgender Archive (DTA)