The ArQuives

Arts & Culture, Community Benefit, Education, Social Service


We keep LGBTQ2+ stories alive for future generations.

The ArQuives is Canada’s largest and most important LGBTQ2+ archival institution with a growing and well-used collection as well as engaging research and programming.  It was established to aid in the recovery and preservation of LGBTQ2+ histories.  Our mandate is to collect, preserve, and share materials by and about LGBTQ2+ people. Over the past 50 years, it has grown from an activist-driven storehouse of LGBTQ2+ material culture to a professionally-run and academically credible, public-facing organization.

Each year, The ArQuives serves over 75,000 people and provides access to over 200,000 items in our collection to imembers of the public, volunteers, researchers, educators, and cultural producers. The ArQuives engages a wide range of communities through exhibits, educational materials, workshops, tours, and programming partnerships. 

The ArQuives holds unique archival, library, and artifact collections of national and international importance, providing resources for those who strive for a future world where the diverse lived experiences of LGBTQ2+ people are valued and celebrated. 

It also maintains a large research library, international research files,and the world’s largest collection of queer and trans periodicals. It is our mandate to make this information available to the public for education and research.

The ArQuives operates with the support of members of the LGBTQ2+ community and its allies and friends.

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Our Impact

As one of the largest LGBTQ2+ history collections in the world, we are an important resource for Canadians and international LGBTQ2+ communities. Each year, we help tens of thousands of people across Canada and the world connect to LGBTQ2+ stories and history.

We are truly passionate about keeping our stories alive!

As a result of our recent work expanding our collection, requests to access materials has grown more than 40% in the past three years. Facing the challenges of pandemic closures, we have created a plan to help connect LGBTQ2+ community members with their heritage and Canadians with LGBTQ2+ history. This plan will ensure more material from our collections becomes publicly accessible via our Online Collections Portal and Digital Exhibitions.

Access to our collections drives LGBTQ2+ community engagement, with lasting and measurable impact on these communities.  By encouraging individuals and groups to donate their own materials, and by making more of these resources available online, we can create more Online Exhibits and other resources to share the full breadth of our collection of LGBTQ2+ stories and history available to people anywhere across Canada and the rest of the world.

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Legal Name

The ArQuives

Charity Number

118832864 RR00001

How your gift will be used

Join us in keeping LGBTQ2+ stories alive and thriving!

As The ArQuives approaches its 50th Anniversary, community demand for access to LGBTQ2+ stories has continued to increase exponentially. Our dedicated archival team aims to make these stories more accessible to anyone in Canada and beyond.

To this end, we aim to collect, process, and digitize over 50,000 new items in the next two years and add them to our Online Collection. Our anticipated cost for this will be well over $150,000 each year, and we’d love to be able to expand this work even further.

Your support can ensure that LGBTQ2+ stories are collected, preserved, and maintained with care for generations to come.

With your financial support, we will be able to expand our Online Collections project by adding over 100,000 more historical items and we will create many more curated Online Exhibits — and everything we do will be accessible to the public to promote greater discussion, dialogue, and learning.  Throughout this project, we will be implementing the learnings from our new Collections Review and Plan in order to address gaps in our collection where some LGBTQ2+ voices and stories are under-represented, or have been lost or omitted.


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