The ArQuives Digital Exhibitions

Browse Exhibits (4 total)

Johnny Abush and the Twice Blessed Collection

Colour photo of Johnny Abush in the Twice Blessed archive, standing in front of a bookshelf and behind a large opened catalogued binder.

Johnny Abush (1952-2000) was an active member of the Queer Jewish community in Toronto. He founded the Jewish GLBT Archives, known as Twice Blessed, as well as the Queer Jewish Culture Committee.

The ArQuives houses many materials regarding his activism and involvement within his community, while his vast archive was donated to ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries in California, who have published a finding aid of the materials in the collection here.

Click on the links to the right of the page for more information on various aspects of Johnny’s life and queer Jewish communities in Toronto during his lifetime, and click on images to enlarge.

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Pride and Remembrance Run: The Early Years

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The Pride and Remembrance Run was founded in 1996 as an annual fundraising event dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ+ community, with a specific focus on the historical and ongoing impact of HIV/AIDS in the community. This exhibition contains archival photographs, videos, textual records, news articles, t-shirts, posters, and oral histories documenting the history of the Pride and Remembrance Run.

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Mapping Foolscap: Gay Oral Histories, 1981-1987

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Between 1981-1987, John Grube and Lionel Collier collected oral histories of earlier gay life in Toronto. Known as the “Foolscap Oral History Project,” or the “Toronto Gay History Project,” this enterprise produced nearly 100 interviews with Canadian gay men born in the first half of the twentieth century, who had spent most of their lives in Toronto. 
 
Drawing on Collier and Grube’s interviews, the digital exhibit “Mapping Foolscap” provides insights into the Toronto gay scene prior to the gay liberation movement by locating the places where homosexual men gathered, cruised, and socialized between the 1940s and the late 1960s.
 
Credits
Digital Collection by Juan Carlos Mezo and Zohar Freeman. Created in collaboration with the LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory. The Collaboratory is directed by Dr. Elspeth Brown and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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LGBTQ2+ Oral Histories

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Oral histories have been a popular way to preserve the lives and testimonies of marginalized subjects who have often been denied access to the historical record. This exhibit showcases a small selection of oral histories and audiovisual materials relating to LGBTQ2+ lives in Canada from The ArQuives' collection.

Some of the cassette tapes have been digitized by the LGBTQ+ Oral History Digital Collaboratory in order to preserve them and make them available online. Several of the other oral history interviews have been conducted by The ArQuives as outreach projects and in order to continue collecting important histories from our community.

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