Arizona Queer Archives (AQA)

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Arizona Queer Archives

AQA Digital Repository


The Arizona Queer Archives is the state of Arizona’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex (LGBTQI) collecting archives of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona.

As a community-focused archives founded as a physical and digital archives in 2011, the Arizona Queer Archives uses and pulls the concept of queer into the ways records are collected, preserved, and shared with researchers and communities. AQA archivists, staff, interns, and volunteers work closely with diverse LGBTQI communities throughout Arizona to develop the archives that is for, by, and about those it represents. An archives that is flexible and playful is a fuller account of lives having been and being lived.

P. Carl Eyeglasses Collection

P. Carl Eyeglasses Collection


Mission Statement

(developed collaboratively at a community forum in 2013)

The Arizona Queer Archives of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona works in collaboration with the heterogeneous lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI), gender non-conforming, and Two Spirit communities throughout Arizona to identify, preserve, and make available records, papers, and ephemera of enduring (and endearing) value that document the distinct histories of these communities.

Its mission is twofold:

  • to collect and maintain individual stories, papers, photos, videos, oral histories, home movies, artwork, apparel, leathers, mapping/geographies, and other distinct multi-dimensional records that highlight lived insights and knowledges. Areas of collecting interest are specified in a separate Collection Development Policy.
  • to collect and maintain records and geographies of enduring value from organizations, community groups, safe spaces, and identified organizational efforts to support LGBTQI lives throughout Arizona. The Arizona Queer Archives recognizes that the LGBTQI communities are diverse and heterogeneous and hold complicated, contradictory, as well as complementary histories that can all come together here as valid everyday knowledges and truths. The Arizona Queer Archives works to engage with communities to creatively collect, preserve, and share these many histories and memories.

Collection Policy

(developed collaboratively at a community forum in 2013)

The Arizona Queer Archives of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona collects materials that are relevant to LGBTQ individuals, groups, and organizations that work to support LGBTQ lives. Items collected include stories, papers, records, ephemera, photos, videos, born-digital materials, and three-dimensional artifacts, such as art, crafts, and apparel. So as not to duplicate Arizona collecting efforts, the Arizona Queer Archives will share connections and select finding aids for other LGBTQ collections being preserved throughout Arizona. As a steward of and conduit for shared LGBTQ histories, the Arizona Queer Archives will work in cooperation with other collectors to assist researchers and community members in identifying collections as needed. 

Financial supporters of the AQA include Jennifer Bates, Monica Casper, Jill Koyama, Penelope Starr, Catherine Brooks, Susan Meyer, Fabian Alfie, Ragini Srinivasan, Jamie A. Lee, Emily Davidson, Judith Brown, Sara Tolbert, Janice Welchert, Miriam Black, Ellen Melamed, Anonymous, Eve Rifkin, Lavina Tomer, Laura Hoff, Paul Douglas Noffsinger, Mimi Klausner, Kent Burbank, Cathy Hemler & Stephanie Bader, Scott Neeley & Stephen Russell, Adela C. Licona, Susan Stryker, James Uhrig, Marc Arenberg, V Spike Peterson, the Institute for LGBT Studies, and the LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund of Southern Arizona.


Photo of Leslie Carlson, SW Feminists Reunite Group Collection, donated by Leslie Carlson

Photo of Leslie Carlson, SW Feminists Reunite Group Collection, donated by Leslie Carlson


  • Institute for LGBT Studies (ORGANIZATION)
  • Wingspan, Southern Arizona's LGBT Community Center (ORGANIZATION)
  • The Fly Away Zine Mobile (COMMUNITY, Adela C. Licona Collection)
  • Tucson Gay Community Services (ORGANIZATION 1970s-1980s)
  • Lesbian Looks Film Festival Materials (COMMUNITY, Bev Seckinger Collection)
  • Arizona Human Rights Fund (ORGANIZATION 1990s)
  • P. Carl Eyeglasses Collection (INDIVIDUAL, 28 pairs of eyeglasses spanning transformative years of P. Carl's life)
  • Jay Kyle Petersen (INDIVIDUAL)
  • Monique Wittig (INDIVIDUAL, UA FACULTY)
  • Myra Dinnerstein (INDIVIDUAL, UA FACULTY)

Finding Aids 

1 - Wingspan, Southern Arizona's LGBT Community Center organizational collection

DESCRIPTION: The Wingspan Collection consists of 52 boxes of materials related to over 25 years as a non-profit supporting LGBTQI communities. From programming to grants written and received to the Wingspan Film Festival materials to organizational materials related to bylaws, executive director notes, and meeting minutes, this collection offers a full historical picture of Wingspan, Southern Arizona's LGBTQ Community Center which closed its doors in July 2014.



2 - Fly Away Zine Mobile zine collection

DESCRIPTION: The Fly Away Zine Mobile Collection was acquired by Professor Adela C. Licona through her contacts in the zine world and Debbie. Consider reading through the blog about the Fly Away Zine Mobile here: to learn more about the collection process and where the zine mobile has traveled and conducted workshops on zine production. We are honored to house this collection.



3 - Jay Kyle Petersen individual collection

DESCRIPTION: Jay Kyle Petersen’s individual collection consists of six boxes and a series of artwork donated to the Arizona Queer Archives. Petersen’s collection includes photographs, musical compositions, artwork, publications, awards, educational materials, research, memorabilia, correspondence, and a portfolio showcasing may of his accomplishments. 

He has also given his oral history on two occasions. These recordings can be streamed through the Arizona Queer Archives Digital Repository HERE



4 - Adela C. Licona Zine Collection

DESCRIPTION: The Adela C. Licona Zine Collection was acquired by Adela C. Licona, PhD through her connections in the zine world. The Fly Away Zine Mobile Collection created an opportunity for Arizona Queer Archives to collect zines; and thanks to zine creators, and collectors, we have been able to expand zine collecting. Housing zine collections continues to be a great honor.



5. Bruce Cole Collection

DESCRIPTION: The Bruce Cole Collection is comprised of physical representations of Bruce's 30+ years of research, community organizing, and commitment to seeking justice, protection, and representation for LGBTQ+ communities and members in Tucson and beyond.



6. Brian Bateman Collection

DESCRIPTION: Gifted to the Archives in 2016, the Brian Bateman Collection consists of two boxes of materials representing over twenty years of Brian's involvement in legal, political, spiritual, and educational advocacy for the LGBTQ+ communities in Southern Arizona. Also included in the collection are books from his personal library and other memorabilia.




Dec 2016 Noteworthy