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British Library of Political and Economic Science

Albany Trust


Reference code(s): GB 0097 HCA/Albany Trust

Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science

Title: Albany Trust

Date(s): 1950-1984

Level of description: sub-fonds

Extent: 119 boxes

Name of creator(s): Albany Trust
Homosexual Law Reform Society


Administrative/Biographical history:

The history of the Albany Trust is inextricably linked with that of the Homosexual Law Reform Society or HLRS. The HLRS was founded in June 1958 following the recommendation of the Wolfenden Report that homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence. Its first Chairman was Kenneth Walker (succeeded by Cecil Hewitt Rolph in 1964), and its first Secretary the Revd Andrew Hallidie Smith. The work of the HLRS was undertaken by a small working group liasing with an honorary committee. The first public meeting was held on 12 May 1960 at Caxton Hall, and culminated with a vote in favour of reform, resulting in a letter to the Home Office. This was closely followed by a parliamentary debate in June 1960. The Society was reconstituted in 1970 as the Sexual Law Reform Society in order to campaign for further legal changes, particularly relating to the age of consent.
The Albany Trust was founded as a registered charity in May 1958 as a complimentary organisation to the HLRS with a remit 'to promote psychological health in men by collecting data and conducting research: to publish the results thereof by writing, films, lectures and other media: to take suitable steps based thereon for the public benefit to improve the social and general conditions necessary for such healthy psychological development'. The founding Trustees were Anthony Edward Dyson, Jacquetta Hawkes, Kenneth Walker, Andrew Hallidie Smith, and Ambrose Appelbe. The Albany Trust developed into a pioneering counselling and investigating organisation for gay men, lesbians and sexual minorities. It published a journal Man and Society from 1961-1973, and a newsletter entitled Spectrum from 1963-1970, as well as a series of pamphlets. It also provided speakers for numerous organisations and established a network of counsellors. Antony Grey became the Acting Secretary of both HLRS and the Albany Trust in 1962. The funds raised and donated for the work of the Albany Trust allowed it to finance office space and staff. These same facilities were then available for the campaigning work of the Homosexual Law Reform Society (HLRS). Following the Sexual Offences Act of 1967, which decriminalised adult homosexual relationships, the Albany Trust became primarily an educational and counselling organisation. Due to an increasing volume of casework, a social caseworker was appointed in 1967, and the Trust was increasingly involved in the training of youth workers and the development of sex education. From 1976 to 1979 a full-time youth officer was employed. A field officer appointed from 1975 to 1980 investigated the Trust's links with social workers and counsellors throughout the country. The Albany Trust remains active today.
The Albany Society Ltd was founded in 1968 as a charitable limited company to deal with the commercial side of the Trust's operations. In 1988 it simplified its name to the Albany Society.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of the Albany Trust, 1950-1984, relating to its counselling and research work with homosexuals, lesbians and sexual minorities, notably Annual Report material, 1968-1970; minutes and papers of Trustees Meetings, 1975-1977; correspondence, reports and papers, 1966-1967, mainly relating to the early days of the Trust and the passing of the Sexual Offences Act (1967); minutes and reports of the Management Committee, 1977-1979, the Publicity Committee, 1963-1970, and the Development Committee, 1967-1968; working files for the newsletters and journals produced by the Trust, 1963-1977, including Spectrum and Man and Society; outgoing correspondence files, 1963-1978, mainly comprising personal enquiries and material relating to government legislation; general correspondence files, 1960-1983, notably relating to members of parliament, clergy, the media, the police, the Sexual Offences Bill, homosexuality, transsexuality and transvestism, youth welfare, and counselling; correspondence relating to counselling referrals, 1968-1976; financial papers, 1964-1984, including documents concerning fundraising and donations; material relating to surveys and research into sexuality, 1960-1983, notably psychosexual treatment, social needs and organisation, homosexual liaisons and legal cases; papers relating to seminars, conferences, and courses, 1963-1982; reports, papers and fictional works by various authors, 1950-1983, mainly concerning gay issues; pamphlets and leaflets collected by the Albany Trust, 1959-1978; material collected by the Trust relating to links with other organisations, 1964-1984, mainly charities, research groups, academic associations and foundations, campaigns and counselling agencies; files of the Albany Trust's resident social worker, 1964-1978, including correspondence, case analysis and subject files; papers of the Albany Trust's Youth Officer, 1976-1979, including administrative papers, correspondence with youth associations throughout the country and papers relating to training courses for youth workers; papers of the Albany Trust's Field Officer, 1965-1980, mainly comprising administrative papers and correspondence with counsellors and social workers throughout Britain; publications, 1962-1979, including details of talks given by Anthony Grey throughout the country.
Papers of the Homosexual Law Reform Society (later the Sexual Law Reform Society), 1959-1982, including Annual Reports, 1963-1967; financial papers, 1961-1982; Executive Committee papers, 1964-1975, including minutes, 1963-1970, reports on fundraising and cooperative projects and memoranda on homosexuality and law reform; general correspondence, 1963-1974, relating to the Sexual Offences Bill (1967), discussion groups, the HLRS Honorary Committee, and law reform; material relating to HLRS campaigns, 1959-1970; papers concerning the constitution of the Sexual Law Reform Society, including minutes of the Executive Committee and working party reports, 1974-1976; papers of the SLRS Working Party, 1970-1976, comprising minutes, correspondence, press releases, conference papers, research proposals and reports.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The papers of the HLRS (and SLRS) papers form the first section of the Albany Trust handlist. The papers are mainly listed according to administrative series.

Conditions governing access:

Open, though some confidential files remain closed. Apply to Archivist for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Apply to Archivist for copyright details.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Full handlist and on-line catalogue available.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

The Albany Trust papers (including material relating to the HLRS) were deposited with the Hall-Carpenter Archives in the 1980s. Most of the Hall-Carpenter Archives were transferred to the British Library of Political and Economic Science in 1988.

Immediate source of acquisition:


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

The Hall-Carpenter Archives at the British Library of Political and Economic Science contain further material relating to the Albany Trust and the HLRS in the papers of Antony Grey, Antony Dyson, the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, the Gay Christian Movement, the National Council for Civil Liberties, the Hall-Carpenter Archives administrative material, and the Hall-Carpenter ephemera collection.

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Sources: British Library of Political and Economic Science Archives catalogue. Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Oct 2000

Bisexuality | Sexuality
Homosexual law reform | Law reform | Law
Homosexuality | Sexuality
Legal systems | Law
Lesbian, gay and bisexual rights | Civil and political rights | Human rights
Lesbianism | Sexuality
Sexuality counselling | Counselling | Social work
Transsexuality | Sexuality

Personal names
Grey | Antony | b 1927 | gay activist | real name Anthony Edgar Gartside Wright x Wright | Anthony Edgar Gartside

Corporate names
Albany Trust
Homosexual Law Reform Society x Sexual Law Reform Society