Under the Rainbow: Oral Histories of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (GLBTQ) People in KansasUniversity of Kansas
- Tami Albin, Associate Librarian, Center for Faculty/Staff Initiatives and Engagement, University of Kansas
Over the last 10-15 years there has been a noticeable increase in interest in the field of queer rural studies to correct for previous assumptions that queer history was always urban and usually on the coast. Yet, even within the scholarship that has been produced, Kansas is frequently overlooked as a site where GLBTQ people exist and have lived for a very long time. Tami Albin launched “Under the Rainbow: Oral Histories of GLBTQ People in Kansas” in 2007 to fill this gap, and to learn more about how GLBTQ people in Kansas have navigated their lives. The collection presently comprises over seventy-five oral histories, twenty of which are accessible via KU Libraries ScholarWorks. Statistics for the collection show that it is accessed by people all over the world and used as a teaching tool throughout the United States. It has been consulted by researchers who have used it to expand the historical record about GLBTQ Kansans, which, in turn, increases our knowledge about GLBTQ people and Kansans. For many participants, the impetus to share their stories was the hope that sharing their lived experiences will help save a life.
Associate Librarian, Center for Faculty/Staff Initiatives and Engagement, University of Kansas
Tami Albin is an Associate Librarian at the University of Kansas Libraries. She has led oral history workshops and presented on Under the Rainbow across the United States and Germany. She has served as a consultant and adviser for numerous projects throughout the US. At KU, she has led oral history workshops, consulted with faculty, staff, and students on their oral history projects and is a regular guest lecturer on oral history methods and methodology.