Nancy Liliana Godoy | Movers & Shakers 2020–Advocates

For Nancy Liliana Godoy, archives that engage equitably with people and organizations in traditionally marginalized communities can aid in the building of collective memory, transform lives, and heal historical erasure and trauma. Godoy is the steward for the largest Chicano/a research collection and the largest LGBT collection in Arizona. She co-established the Arizona LGBT History Project to preserve local history and make archival material accessible to future generations, including working with a team to digitize parts of the Bj Bud Memorial Archives, Arizona’s largest LGBTQ collection.

 Sidsel Bech-Petersen 

CURRENT POSITION

Associate Archivist of the Chicano/a Research Collection, Arizona State University Library, Tempe

DEGREE

MA Library Science, University of Arizona, 2011

AWARDS

Arizona Library Association Outreach Service Award, 2019; Arizona Humanities Rising Star Award, 2017

FOLLOW

@NLilyGodoy; asulibcda (Instagram); 
lib.asu.edu/communityarchives; lib.asu.edu/collections/chicano;
exhibits.lib.asu.edu/BjBud/page/welcome;
bit.ly/2XEhpnj (litwin journal)

Photo by Kelsey Hinesley, ASU Library

 

Collective Memory

For Nancy Liliana Godoy, archives that engage equitably with people and organizations in traditionally marginalized communities can aid in the building of collective memory, transform lives, and heal historical erasure and trauma. Godoy is the steward for the largest Chicano/a research collection and the largest LGBT collection in Arizona. She co-established the Arizona LGBT History Project to preserve local history and make archival material accessible to future generations, including working with a team to digitize parts of the Bj Bud Memorial Archives, Arizona’s largest LGBTQ collection.

In Arizona, archival collections and historical narratives often dehumanize indigenous communities and people of color, and Latinx, Black, Asian, and LGBTQ communities are poorly represented. "These communities, which lack a collective memory or archive, have been aggressively attacked by racist and homophobic legislation [in Arizona] in order to protect and promote white supremacy and xenophobia," Godoy says.

To help redress that harm, Godoy developed Community-Driven Archives. Since 2012, she and her team from Arizona State University Library (ASU) have introduced marginalized communities in the state to archival methods through a series of workshops. "Community members are learning how to preserve their archives or create a story that speaks to their reality," Godoy says. "They are redefining what an archive is, what should be included in their archive, and who should have access."

In 2017, Godoy received a three-year $450,000 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to continue this work. She and her team offer workshops where participants build digital literacy skills and learn about assessment of materials for preservation, creation of finding aids, scanning archival materials, and conducting oral history interviews. The grant also covers supplies, including a bilingual, Spanish-English preservation brochure. While not originally included in the grant, Godoy and her team in 2018 began to work with the Pascua Yaqui, Salt River, White Mountain Apache, and Hopi tribes as well.

Godoy’s innovative, inclusive approach creates safe, inter-generational, intersectional spaces for people to learn, heal, and redefine the role of an archive in marginalized communities, says nominator Rene Tanner, liaison librarian at ASU. "Traditionally discounted individuals and groups are honored and given center stage," Tanner says.

This work offers a model for professional archivists and community archivists in marginalized communities around the United States to produce their own narratives and preserve their own legacy, Godoy says. "As a queer woman of color, my work is deeply personal, and I am driven by the love and respect I have for the communities I belong to and serve."

To expand that work, she hopes to establish a Community Archivist Fellowship Program that can help develop a diverse workforce through introducing underrepresented undergraduates to archives.

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