Out in the Archives

Tonight I went to an event hosted by Spectrum, the gay and lesbian staff network at LSE. I was joined by friends Sina and Kevin where we spent two hours learning about the Hall Carpenter Archives. LSE archivist Sue Donnelly introduced us to the origins, development and content of the Archives. Sue had extracted a range of documents and ephemera from the Archive for us to view and the images below show a few gems that caught my eye. I especially like the simplicity of the Sappho magazine covers and the display of badges worn by anyone who wanted to raise consciousness about lesbian and gay liberation and equality. People don’t wear badges often enough these days!

Although the Archive is named after Marguerite Radclyffe Hall and Edward Carpenter it does not contain any material about or by them! The Archive is split in two, over 1000 boxes of material is housed at the LSE, the remaining collection of newspapers and other ephemera comprising the Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive has recently relocated to the Bishopsgate Institute in the City of London. This one I haven’t visited yet, but Sue remarked that it was a suitable home for this half of the collection.

Both Archives are accessible to the public, anyone interested in gay and lesbian history should pay this wonderful resource a visit.


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