The Gender Institute for Teaching and advocacy partnered with the Auraria Library in order to produce a digital archive open to the public, through the Auraria Library Digital Collections Repository. This interdisciplinary endeavor sought to delve further into archival materials to produce new histories of Colorado feminist and queer organizing from the 1970s until today.

The Gender Institute for Teaching and Advocacy (GITA) @ MSU Denver digital collection houses archival materials collected by GITA, previously the Institute for Women’s Studies and Services (IWSS). Materials document feminist activism at MSU Denver and on Auraria Campus, in addition to events, posters, letters, papers and documents regarding gender, women’s and sexualities studies and services offered to students affected by sexism and other forms of oppression. Materials range from the 1970s until today. By making this work accessible GITA recognizes the decades of feminist, queer and anti-racist work the Institute, generations of students, the university and local and global communities have led. In preserving the memory, we hope that many more generations find inspiration in this archive to document, analyze, strategize, and continue the work to end sexism and all forms of oppression.

Project Highlights:

GITA’s archive team employed 4 student workers in 2022-2023. One of the student workers was paid thanks to the CLAS Innovation Grant. Students scanned 1641 documents, which were uploaded to GITA’s SharePoint site and the Auraria Libraries’ Digital Collection. Plans are in development to feature additional documents on the GITA website.

In March 2023, the team presented the 30+1 Bridge Speakers Exhibit at GITA, which was designed by GITA’s lead student archivist, with the collaboration of the three other students from the archive team, GITA student workers and student volunteers.

GITA publicized a call for scholars to apply to an archive mini grant to popularize the archive. We circulated the call through personal contacts to other scholars and networks in the field of Gender, women’s and sexuality studies. The circulation of the call spread the word on the existence of this archive, GITA and MSU Denver, as a site with a history of a long engagement with Gender, women’s and sexuality studies and feminist and queer activism. The winner, a PhD candidate in Communications Studies at CU Boulder (Mikayla Torres) presented on their work at MSU Denver in November 2023.

The project team presented at the the National Women’s Studies in Baltimore, MD, on October 28, 2023.