Archiving Dal’s history

- July 6, 2022

This photo of revellers in the 1996 Halifax Pride Parade sits in the Nova Scotia LGBT Seniors Archive.
This photo of revellers in the 1996 Halifax Pride Parade sits in the Nova Scotia LGBT Seniors Archive.

The name of this column, “Found,” alludes to images and items discovered in the University Archives that shed a little light on the history of Dalhousie and the wider community. Sometimes what we find is actually an absence of archival records—a hole in the history.

The image you see here is from the Nova Scotia LGBT Seniors Archive, a community-led initiative started by Professor Jacqueline Gahagan in 2019 to preserve and provide access to records of the activities of senior members of the LGBT community across Nova Scotia. The LGBT Seniors Archive’s mandate is to increase the visibility and community involvement of LGBT seniors in Nova Scotia by working with them directly to preserve a cultural memory of their activities and to develop an open and accessible physical and digital archive for use by community members, researchers, students and the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors, among others. Everyday operations involve consultation with LGBT seniors across the province, and donated materials are appraised, processed and preserved at Dalhousie University Archives. When community consultation and donations drew further attention to the lack of traditional archival records in Nova Scotia pertaining to lesbian history in particular, the LGBT Archive developed the Lesbian Oral History Project, which will allow lesbians in Nova Scotia to share their personal experiences and tell the stories they feel are important to preserve for posterity.

This joyful image from the Halifax Gay Pride March of 1996 was taken by Anita Martinez, a photographer and long-standing community activist and volunteer, in particular with reference to the peace movement, women’s equality and empowerment groups and LGBTQI rights. She’s one of many valued donors to the archive who are helping to make what was lost—or missing—found.

Learn more about Dal’s University Archives at

This story appeared in the DAL Magazine Spring 2022 issue. Flip through the rest of the Spring 2022 issue using the links below.


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