LGBTQ+ History in Cultural Collections

Special Collections

This exhibit highlights just a few of the materials held in the University's Special Collections which relate to various aspects of LGBTQ+ history in the UK and Ireland. These materials span a range of topics, from the history of the University's LGBTQ+ Society, to historic individuals recognised as LGBTQ+, as well as clothing worn in protests.  

Constitutions of the LGBTQ+ Society, 1971-2006

 Take a closer look at these records here


White t-shirt with pink triangle print surrounded by the words ‘Out and Proud!’ in black print. Copyright Sudo-1988.


First two pages of a letter from John Addington Symonds to his friend Albert Rutson [18 March 1864]

 View in full here


After Reading: letters of Oscar Wilde to Robert Ross. Beaumont Press, Westminster, 1921.

Theatre Collection

Theatre Collection is home to archive materials and a library relating to theatre and live art. This includes organisational archives, as well as the archives of individuals such as actors, directors, and set designers. Below you will find a brief taster of some of the LGBTQ+ individuals featured in the Theatre Collection archive. 

Ernest Thesiger Archive

 Take a closer look at these images here.


Berta Freistadt Archive

 View in full here.


Ivor Novello Archive


Mander and Mitchenson Collection


Oliver Messel Archive

The University Library also has a dedicated page for LGBTQ+ history month. Please visit if you are interested in what else Library Services have to offer!

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