Author: Zohar Freeman

Digitizing Archival Cassette Tapes: A Brief How-To

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Image caption: Interview with John Nixon, one of the cassette tapes housed at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in the Foolscap fonds. Cassette label reads “Toronto Nov. 7/1982 side one of 1st taped interview with John N., convicted boy lover & homosexual”.

Between 1981 and 1986, The Foolscap Gay Oral History Project collected over 100 oral histories with Canadian gay men born in the first half of the 20th century. These interviews, conducted by John Grube and Lionel Collier, were informed by conditions contemporaneous to the project: Operation Soap (police harassment of gay men), HIV/ AIDS, and the proliferation of queer community spaces and groups in Toronto. These interviews were originally recorded on cassette tapes, which have […]

Foolscap: The Social Responsibility of Digitizing Erasure

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Listening to the Foolscap interviews, it seems impossible to have been in Toronto in the 1960s without realizing that the St Charles Tavern was a hotbed of gay activity. However, researching press coverage of the bar, it’s clear that this watering hole’s queerness was fairly hidden from most of the public in the 1960s. A brief review of Globe and Mail articles between the 1940s and 1960s rarely link homosexuality to the St. Charles Tavern. It’s […]