Society of American Archivists Honors the Co-Founder of the Invisible Histories Project

Maigen Sullivan, an adjunct faculty member in women’s studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has received the 2020 Innovator award from the Society of American Archivists. She was honored for her work as co-founder of the Invisible Histories Project (IHP).

The Archival Innovator Award recognizes archivists, repositories, or organizations that show creativity in approaching professional challenges, the ability to think outside the professional norm, or have an extraordinary impact on a community through archives programs and outreach.

The Invisible Histories Project works to locate, preserve, and make accessible the LGBTQ history of the Deep South. The project began collecting archival materials in February 2018, and to date has located more than 50 collections of LGBTQ historical documents from Alabama, dating from 1912 to the present. In the last two years, IHP has developed Queer History South, a network and conference that brings together archivists, historians, oral historians and community organizers to focus on the work of LGBTQ archival preservation.

“What IHP is really trying to do is challenge narratives of lacking and left-behind South,” Sullivan said. “While we have our issues, the South is and has always been full of phenomenal folks doing historically significant and communally important organizing and advocacy work.”

Sullivan earned a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in women’s studies from the University of Alabama. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the School of Education in Studies of Diverse Populations at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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