In the Archive: Queer ephemera past, present, and future

Wanderground Lesbian Archive & Library

A note from Wanderground Lesbian Archive & Library:

Wanderground collects and provides access to a broad selection of New England-based publications, artifacts, and personal memorabilia from the period 1950-2000. They offer community gathering spaces in order to preserve the vibrant past of local Lesbians, encourage present-day learning and discovery, and cultivate a future of thriving Lesbian communities.

An active participant in the feminist/lesbian bookstore and print movement for over 25 years and a DJ for a lesbian radio program for 10 years, Mev Miller (who describes her work as an instigator/lesbrarian) has an expansive and broad personal collection of lesbian publications, media, artifacts, and memorabilia including many national and international items.

She now wants to move and share this personal collection into an accessible public space for the benefit of others. Many of these resources have been unavailable for many years. By making them visible and accessible, Wanderground hopes to ‘help ground our communities in the knowledge of our past as we work to integrate the present and to build an equitable future.’”

Mev used to host a radio show in Minneapolis from 1994 to 2002 called The Lesbian Power Authority. She writes “In about 1998 (we can’t remember!), Mev was joined by a co-host, Matthea Little Smith, who would often substitute for Mev on alternate weeks. Matthea kept LPA going for a couple of years after Mev moved from the Twin Cities.

The name of the show was borrowed from a song by Alix Dobkin – The Lesbian Power Authority – from her album Living with Lesbians. Each week, the show would open with a theme song. Often it was the full original version of the Lesbian Power Authority. More often than not, though, the show opened with a song by Alison Farrell called ‘I Like Being a Dyke’ from her album Tomboy.”

Poetry, 16 pages. Strawberry Press (1981).


According to their mission statement, Queer.Archive.Work (QAW) is a community art space that aims to “support artists and writers with free, open access to space and resources for experimental publishing, with a special focus on queer practices.” The organization’s collection of archived works features zines, books, objects, and more. The archive is housed in the same space as the shared publishing studio, Binch Press. Here art is made, preserved, collected, and distributed.

Located at 400 Harris Ave, next to LitArts RI, the archive offers a gamut of programming from studio memberships to open library hours to online queer hangouts. Taking inspiration from farm CSAs (community supported agriculture), QAW has a subscription-based art shares program that provides community members the opportunity to financially support the archive and studio and receive custom artwork in return.

The God Within: Black Queerness Across the Diaspora by Golden Collier. Diasporan Savant Press, based in Philly. 62 pages, zine.
Elastic Capacity: A Book of Epigrams by Kate Laster. National Monument Press. 16 pages, zine.
Heart of a Shapeshifter: 2Spirit Love Medicine by Coyote Park. GenderFail Press. 132 pages, book. 
Bloodtide: A new holiday in homage to horseshoe crabs by Eli Nixon. The 3rd Thing Press. 214 non-linear pages, book.