Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives

SPRAGGS, Gillian (b 1952)


Reference code(s): LMA/4616

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives

Title: SPRAGGS, Gillian (b 1952)

Date(s): 1980-199-

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 0.15 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Spraggs | Gillian | b 1952 | teacher, gay and lesbian rights campaigner and academic


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born in 1952, Gillian Spraggs was brought up in Greater London before attending Girton College, Cambridge to read English. She completed a PhD in 1980 on rogues and vagabonds in Tudor and early Stuart literature and is an eminent scholar currently working at Loughborough University.

Gillian Spraggs also gained distinction as a campaigner for the right and equality of lesbians and gays, particularly within the education system. A teacher for many years, Ms. Spraggs began to take part in campaigns and discussions of gay and lesbian rights in 1986 when she became an active member of the Leicester Working Party and the National Union of Teachers. Through the Leicester Working Party she sought "to see a resolution in support of gay rights passed by the Union's [National Teaching Union] National Conference, and to press for such a policy, once adopted, to be translated into effective action". It was through this forum that the group worked to publish the book Outlaws in the Classroom, which was launched in 1987 at the National Conference and which grabbed the attention - both good and bad - of not only the unions, but also the national press and brought to their attention the plight of gay and lesbian teachers within the education system.

The Leicester Working Party, like many lesbian and gay action groups in the country, also involved themselves heavily in the campaign against the introduction of Clause 27 into the Local Government Bill 1988. The work of the Leicester Working Party can be seen as contributing to the condemnation of Clause 27 by the National Teaching Union and with it their support for the employment rights of lesbian and gay teachers.

Now an academic, Gillian Spraggs is the author of Outlaws and Highwaymen, The Cult of the Robber in England from the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century as well having published numerous essays, poems and translations. She is also the editor of Love Shook My Senses: Lesbian Love Poems, an anthology of poetry which journalist Siān Hughes called "a book about women by those who know what they are talking about".



Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Gillian Spraggs, 1980-199-, including numerous leaflets, pamphlets, magazines and posters produced, printed and publicised by various gay and lesbian action and support groups during the latter part of the 20th century. Many of them advertise the existence and need for such support groups, while others work to promote necessary information and advice for lesbians and gays who had either suffered from discrimination or wanted to help campaign against such discrimination. They document the campaign against the introduction of Clause 27 and the campaign to ensure equality and equal opportunities for lesbians and gays within the work place.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

These records are arranged as follows:

LMA/4616/01 - Government leaflets
LMA/4616/02 - Union leaflets
LMA/4616/03 - Action Group leaflets
LMA/4616/04 - Clause 27 posters
LMA/4616/05 - Articles

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright is held by the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in 2005.


DESCRIPTION NOTES 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: Added January 2013

Campaign groups | Groups
Campaign literature | Documents | Information sources
Gay and lesbian issues | Social issues | Social policy
Gay groups | Support groups | Groups
Gay rights | Civil and political rights | Human rights
Lesbian groups | Support groups | Groups
Lesbian rights | Civil and political rights | Human rights
Lesbians | Gender minorities | Disadvantaged groups
Teacher trade unions | Teacher associations | Educational associations | Educational administrative structure | Educational organizations
Social groups x Social class

Personal names
Spraggs | Gillian | b 1952 | teacher, gay and lesbian rights campaigner and academic

Corporate names
National Union of Teachers x NUT | National Union of Teachers

Leicester | Leicestershire | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe