Read/Write Memories Oral Histories


Read/Write Memories Oral Histories


The Read/Write Memories Oral History Collection documents the personal narratives of queer/LGBT individuals who used early digital platforms such as bulletin board systems (BBS), Usenet, mailing lists, proprietary platforms, or early websites. These interviews chronicle the role digital communications played in queer life, particularly before such systems were commonplace. Beyond interviews, the R/WM Collection also hosts Personal Accounts, which contain written firsthand narratives of individuals’ experiences with early digital platforms.

These remembrances offer a window into digital communication’s larger impact in a narrator’s life, as well as their wider community. Given the ephemeral nature of BBSes as well as the limited archiving of commercial platforms, these interviews and accounts represent a largely undocumented history of the early Net.

All interviews and Personal Accounts (unless otherwise negotiated) are released under a Creative Commons Attribution—NonCommercial 4.0 International license (BY-NC). Both formats may be published under either one’s professional name or a commonly known pseudonymous online handle, and the attached personal image may be either a personal photograph or a distinctive profile icon. As part of the project, oral history recordings and associated documents will also be held and made publicly available in the Oral History Collection of our institutional project partner, the Computer History Museum.

If you’re interested in participating in an interview or in submitting a Personal Account, please contact curator Avery Dame-Griff at

Collection Tree

  • Read/Write Memories Oral Histories