The Interview-Document Nexus: Recovering Histories of LGBTI Military Service in Australia
Riseman, N.. (2019). The Interview-Document Nexus: Recovering Histories of LGBTI Military Service in Australia. Archivaria. 87(May), pp. 6-33.
Since 2014, I have been coordinating a team project documenting the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) military service in Australia. The project examines changing policies, practices, and most importantly, the lived experiences of LGBTI military service personnel from the end of the Second World War until the present. When we conceived this project, we expected that we would derive most policy information from records in the National Archives of Australia (NAA) and most information about lived experience from a mixture of media reports and oral history interviews. What has astounded us, though, has been the extent to which several service members kept their own personal archives of documents – most of which related to their personal service and some of which did not appear in the NAA catalogue. In other instances, interview participants’ testimonies or personal documents raised topics that sent us to uncover other uncatalogued archival records. In this article, I draw on examples from our research project where this interview- document nexus proved fruitful in uncovering hitherto hidden histories of LGBTI military service in Australia. Rather than thinking about oral and archival sources as needing to be reconciled, conceptualizing them as a nexus generates new methodological possibilities to uncover new sources that inform each other, enriching both microhistories and grand narratives of the past.
|Keywords||lesbian; gay; bisexual; transgender; intersex; military; Australia; World War II|
|Journal citation||87 (May), pp. 6-33|
|Publisher||Association of Canadian Archivists|
|Web address (URL)||https://archivaria.ca/index.php/archivaria/article/view/13663|
|Open access||Open access|
|Research or scholarly||Research|
File Access Level
|09 May 2019|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||02 Sep 2021|
|ARC Funded Research||This output has been funded, wholly or partially, under the Australian Research Council Act 2001|
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