2018 Update: I’ve released an updated version of the archive and integrated it into the Queer Digital History Project. An updated version of this page is available there. However, this page will be maintained in its current state for historical purposes.
This page is the hub for all of the various parts of the Transgender Usenet Archive (TUA). The TUA offers access to nearly 400,000 posts (from 1994 to 2013) collected from five transgender-themed Usenet newsgroups: alt.transgendered, soc.support.transgendered, alt.support.srs, alt.support.crossdressing, and alt.fashion.crossdressing. The posts below talk more about the project, as well as my process in designing and building the archive. All of my work has been completed thanks to the generous support of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH).
- Spotlighting Hidden Histories: Archiving Transgender Usenet, 1994-2013 – A recording of Digital Dialogue talk (with slides) on the TUA. This goes into more detail on issues I faced in building the archive, as well as about my findings related to “cisgender” use on Usenet.
- “If it gets us talking, it can’t be bad:” Building the Transgender Usenet Archive – Post announcing the project
- Contextualizing the Usenet Archive – Some background and context on the transgender internet in the 1990s and Usenet.
- Visualizing Poster Activity on Usenet – Discusses some of my forays into using big data methods with the Usenet archives, including my visualizations and the cisgender usage network analysis in particular. (The code I used to make this network can be found here.)
- Listening for the Static – Reflection on one of the major technical challenges I faced working with Usenet collections
- Tweetstream of graphs from a test build of the Transgender Usenet Archive
- Archiving Usenet: Adopting an Ethics of Care – A discussion of some of the challenges of archiving Usenet, my own ethical investments in the archive, and specific steps I’ve taken to protect posters’ privacy.
- Transgender Usenet Visualizations – Visualizations I’ve done using the archival data, which put some of the (larger) numbers into visual context. These visualizations have been collected using the scripts I’ll be posting to GitHub (see below).
- Usenet Data Collection Tools (GitHub) – A collection of scripts (in Python 2.7) for collecting, organizing, and analyzing data from Usenet archives (primarily those hosted by the Internet Archive in their Usenet Historical Collection). I’ll be adding more and more scripts as I develop/debug them.