Cory Aitchison

What is your name?
My name is Cory Aitchison. I’ve been a librarian for four years.

When did you start/how long have you been volunteering at ONE?
I started volunteering at ONE in May of 2018. Before the pandemic, I was trying to come in at least one day a month. 

What is your favorite part about volunteering at ONE?
I love seeing the variety of resources available. I also love seeing people of all ages and walks of life coming in to use the materials for research.

Do you have a favorite collection or item you have come across?
I’ve really enjoyed working with the HIV/AIDS newsletters from all over the country. Before the internet was widely available, these newsletters provided crucial information about resources, services, and events to a specific group of people who benefitted greatly from this knowledge.

What is the weirdest/funniest task you have done while volunteering?
Cataloging pornographic magazines is always a challenge, especially when searching to see if the material already has a record in WorldCat!

What is something that you have learned about queer history while working with the collection that surprised you or you didn’t know before?
I was familiar with the ONE Archives before I began volunteering, but I wasn’t familiar with ONE Inc. and how important it was to the early gay rights movement in this country. Learning of its ties to other early LGBT organizations like the Daughters of Bilitis and the Mattachine Society deepened my appreciation of the materials held within the archive.

What is something about ONE that people might not know but you wish they did?
That anyone can visit. That the staff is super friendly and knowledge and always ready to answer your questions. Chances are, if you’re interested in the history of any sort of LGBT movement, person, philosophy, etc., ONE probably has resources relating to it.

What has brought you joy recently during the pandemic and uprisings?
Lately I’ve been trying to read more works by LGBT BIPOC writers. Some classics I’d recommend are The Motion of Light in Water by Samuel R. Delany, anything by James Baldwin but especially The Fire Next Time, and Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde. For more recent works, the short story collection Lot by Bryan Washington and the novel The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya both resonated with me.