History of IHLIA

History of IHLIA2019-01-16T18:59:29+00:00

How it all began…

Homodok in 1987Gay/Lesbian archives and information centers, such as IHLIA, not only store and improve access to the history of others, they are also part of the gay and lesbian movement.

Here we will tell the history of the establishment of IHLIA and the circumstances under which our archive began. This history is told based on stories of volunteers and the man who was involved from the very beginning, Jack van der Wel. Started in 1978 in a small room at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), IHLIA has by now expanded into the heritage organization and information mediator in the field of homosexuality and sexual diversity. 

Important data about IHLIA

  • 1978: First study groups Gay/Lesbian Studies and establishment of the magazine Homologie/Establishment of the Documentation Center of Gay Studies, soon nicknamed Homodok. Located in the Baschwitz Institute at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), Weteringschans 100-102. It began with two card-index boxes. Homodok was in charge of the bibliographic column “Relevant” in Homologie.
  • 1980: Establishment of the Homologie Foundation, of which Homodok is a part. Entering titles through the computer of the Academic Calculating Center of Amsterdam (SARA) of the UvA.
  • More about milestones of IHLIA in the timeline of the Dutch gay/lesbian history.

From shoebox to Gaysaurus

In 1978, Homodok was established. Initially, idealistic and somewhat amateurishly, but it professionalized rapidly. Jack van der Wel, the very first volunteer and nowadays Director of the Collection & Information Services, looks back at the development: “In early March [...]

Football, perfume and champagne

In addition to collecting and improving access to the history of lesbian and bisexual women, the Lesbian Archive of Amsterdam (LAA) wanted to promote and manifest lesbian culture. With monthly topic-based get-togethers, exhibitions and city walks, the employees breathed [...]

From gay thesis to homology

Much of the work at Homodok was not documented. Volunteers came there to help work on its ideals. The work at a documentation center is pretty boring and consequently, part of the history was at a risk of being [...]