For my Leadership in Action project, I worked with the National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) to put together a special collection surrounding Irish creatives during the pandemic, highlighting queer voices and reactions to the Arts Council’s emergency aid. I also created two editions of my charity zine series ‘Sick and Tired’ (SAT) to showcase the queer experience over lockdown under the two themes of ‘Talking to a Void’ and ‘I’ll See You Again’. When structuring this project and looking for organisations to work with, my plan changed multiple times due to Covid-related complications, changes in personnel, and a lack of response from many organisations. However, my work with NIVAL, when connected through my Trinity contact Jane, was extremely fulfilling and insightful into the world of library science, archiving, and record management. Having the opportunity to work collaboratively with the NIVAL team, especially my supervisor Clare, to put together the collection knowing I had the full support and input from a team of professionals was extremely helpful. The practical field experience gave me a great insight into how libraries and archives run.
After my four weeks of in-person work with NIVAL, I transitioned to working from home to construct, manage, and coordinate everything with SAT. This experience was greatly different from my time at NIVAL, as I was in charge of my own schedule, but had much more independent responsibility, whereas my work at NIVAL was closely supervised. For SAT, I opened up submissions, created an Instagram account to promote the zine, curated and structured both editions, made a website for, had both editions professionally printed, promoted the print editions, and coordinated shipping and direct payment to Outright’s LGBTIQ Ukraine Emergency Fund. Each part of the process required me to develop a new skill, such as website design, and expanded my knowledge of self-publishing in more ways than I expected. The evolution of my hybrid work schedule alongside the practicalities of collection and zine curation gave me lots of flexibility and room to grow as a leader.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to work with Outright exactly as I initially planned, but having the sales of SAT go directly to their LGBTIQ Ukraine Emergency Fund gave this project a purpose beyond showcasing queer creativity. A community of critically endangered people were directly helped through this project and, at the time of writing this, the project has donated over €300 to this fund with much more to go. This would not be possible without the generosity of patrons donating more than the minimum €5 and the funding from the Laidlaw Foundation.
Moving forward beyond this summer, I’ve learned so much about my creative abilities and potential within the archival practice. The hands-on nature of this summer has been incomparable to any internship or academic module. I hope to continue SAT going forward under different themes, expanding the range of content and communities being helped. I also hope to take the practical skills I learned with NIVAL and incorporate them into a career in Archiving and Records Management beyond college.
If you’d like to know more about Sick and Tired, please visit https://www.sickandtiredzine.com/
If you’d like to donate to Outright, please visit https://outrightinternational.org/ukraine
If you’d like to explore NIVAL’s Special Collections, please visit http://www.nival.ie/collections/all-special-collections/