“My name is Brooks Hosfeld, and I am an American student studying in Amsterdam during my last year of undergrad. I study Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies; History; and Anthropology at Butler University.
Throughout the month of November, I have worked at IHLIA alongside Connie van Gils to assist in an ongoing IHLIA project and establish my own research.
If you don’t know what Historypin is, then you haven’t been paying enough attention to the newsletter or website! It’s a really neat online program that allows us to digitize objects from IHLIA’s collection to make them accessible for research and crowdsourcing.
For the time being, and through my brief time here, the main project being done on Historypin involves gay bars around the Netherlands, for which IHLIA has been collecting memorabilia (coasters, menus, posters, etc), backgrounds, and historical narratives from past and present bars and organizing them geographically on this website. My job with this is to make sure all of the descriptions are written accurately in English, and to reach out to more bars to add to these collections.
In addition to Historypin work with Connie, I have been doing independent research about IHLIA and its most recent exhibit, a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the archive known as With Pride, in the hopes of better understanding the ways in which archives help create public memory of LGBTQ+ history.
This research has led me to interview staff members about their roles at IHLIA, the history of the archive, and decision-making that went into the creation of the exhibit. It will be compiled into a thesis entitled, Archive This!: The Role of Archives in Constructing Public Memory of Queer History, by the time I go back to the States.
While I am not living in Amsterdam long, as I have to return to the United States to finish my degree, I am grateful for the privilege to access queer history and learn more about its preservation in the Netherlands.”