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lgbt history

  • Audio contentFanny and Stella, by Neil McKenna

    Fanny and Stella: the young men who shocked Victorian England

    The gripping story of the trial that shook Victorian England – a tale of cross-dressing, cross-examinations and the invention of camp, shortlisted for the Stonewall Awards 2013 (Writer of the Year) and for the 2013 Green Carnation Prize. Neil McKenna, […]

  • Audio contentSummary of debate on homosexual offences

    From deviance to diversity? Finding sexuality and sexual science in the archives

    Dr Lesley Hall, Senior Archivist at the Wellcome Library, examines sources at the Wellcome Library on questions of sexuality from approximately 1800 to the present, with particular reference to the roles of medicine and the psychological sciences. She also considers […]

  • Audio contentOlympic champions, 1908 (catalogue reference: COPY 1/527/202)

    No (inter)sex please, we’re Olympians

    The treatment of Caster Semenya, the South African athlete whose victory in the 800m at the World Championships in 2009 ended in acrimony after she was accused of being ‘a man’, once again raises the issue of how intersexed athletes […]

  • Audio contentReport of the Tribunal of Inquiry into the Vassall Case and Related Matters. Author Harold Macmillan, cat. ref. Cab 129/113

    The scandalous case of John Vassall: sexuality, spying and the Civil Service

    Fifty years ago civil servant John Vassall was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment for espionage. Vassall was homosexual, and whilst working at the British Embassy in Moscow, was caught in a Soviet Secret Service ‘honeytrap’, blackmailed into passing secrets to […]

  • Audio contentThe 1911 census

    Digging for diamonds: hidden histories at The National Archives

    From ‘parachuting’ to ‘truffle-hunting’, there are many ways to research at The National Archives. This talk focuses on the histories that are harder to find, from the voices of enslaved Africans to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities in […]

  • Audio contentCivil Defence Corps, INF 13/236

    When a woman is not a woman: how the Ministry of Pensions constructed gender in the 1950s

    During the 1950s, the Ministry of Pensions was suddenly faced with a substantial number of requests by individuals to change their gender status on their employment and pension records. Why was this? How did the (slightly) bewildered men at the […]

  • Audio contentcust-49-1057-well-of-loneliness

    Fictional obscenities: lesbianism and censorship in the early 20th century

    How was the concept of obscenity governed in the absence of specific statutes that defined what was and was not obscene? To what extent was this governance an effect of the time and place in which it emerged? Drawing on […]

  • Audio contentcrim1-41-6-visiting-card-for-the-marquis-of-queensberry-as-exhibit-a-in-oscar-wilde's-trial-1895

    Genius on trial: key sources relating to Oscar Wilde at The National Archives

    The arrest and subsequent imprisonment of Oscar Wilde was one of the most sensational and controversial episodes of the late Victorian era, with far-reaching social and cultural implications. Charles Tattershall presents the key documents held by The National Archives on […]

  • Audio contentgeorge-ives

    George Ives: queer lives and the family

    Cultural historian Matt Cook delves into the diary of George Ives, the early homosexual law reformer, and considers the issue of family, a pertinent and recurrent theme within Ives’ diary.

  • Audio contenttna-logo-img

    Losing Orton in the archives

    The tangled history of the papers of the playwright Joe Orton is unwoven by Dr Matt Cook. Here he reveals the extraordinary sources that survive on the writer’s life, and the perhaps even more extraordinary ones that remain stubbornly missing. […]

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