Documenting Struggle Redux: Radical New York City Archives

Radical Reference presents a second evening about how community history is documented and celebrated. Archivists and activists will present parts of their collections and discuss how their work keeps the struggle alive.

(Details about our first "Documenting Struggle" can be found at

Monday, April 26
Brecht Forum

451 West St (between Bank & Bethune Sts)
$6/10/15 sliding scale (no one turned away)

* The Lesbian Herstory Archives houses the world's largest and longest-lived -- 35 years old this year! -- collection of materials by and about lesbians and their communities. Located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, the Archives has both print and non-print materials, including books, special collections, photographs, audio-visual materials, t-shirts, banners, buttons, and more. Inspired by the courage of lesbians who lived, struggled, and loved in more difficult times, the Archives is governed by a group of volunteer coordinators and sustained by the collective work of volunteers and the passions of women the world over.

Deborah Edel is one of the co-founders of the Lesbian Herstory Archives and has been a consistent volunteer since its inception. Not trained formally as a librarian or archivist, she believes that her "on the job training" has taught her a great deal about the field. It has also given her great respect for those who work professionally in the area and continue to bring their radical vision to their daily work.

* The Lower East Side Squatter-Homesteader Archive Project was founded in 2003 by a group of former squatters and community members to create a comprehensive collection of documents pertaining to the Lower East Side Homesteader/Squatter movement in the 1980s and 1990s. After struggling to secure homes for their families through four municipal governments over the last 25 years, losing over half their buildings, squatters attained "legal" status for their 12 remaining buildings in 2001. Though their struggle continues, this victory afforded an opportunity to consolidate a historical legacy in the form of a public archive, to be housed at NYU's Tamiment Library, that will provide primary information on the most remarkable urban housing movement of its kind in late 20th century U.S. history. For more information, email

Matt Metzgar is a cabinetmaker who resided in Umbrella House Squat and, before their demise, in the 13th Street squats. Matt spent over 10 years living in and working on squatter buildings in the Lower East Side and New Orleans, participating in many squatter benefits as the drummer for Hooverville, a band born in 1988 in 537 East 13th St. He is the director and co-founder of the Lower East Side Squatter-Homesteader Archive Project.

Alan Ginsberg is an archivist and reference librarian. Alan has served as a project archivist and consultant for numerous organizations, ranging from the Woody Guthrie Archives to managing records of a corporation that manufactures elevators and ball bearings. He is thrilled to serve as Consulting Archivist to the Lower East Side Squatter-Homesteader Archive Project.