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Middlesex University: University Collections

Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive


Reference code(s): GB 2925 LAGNA

Held at: Middlesex University: University Collections

Title: Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive

Date(s): 1930s-1990s

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 7 four-drawer filing cabinets; 300 boxes

Name of creator(s): Hall-Carpenter Archives


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Hall-Carpenter Archives, named in honour of the lesbian novelist Marguerite Radclyffe Hall and Edward Carpenter, the writer on social and sexual reform, exist to publicise and preserve the records and publications of gay organisations and individuals. The Hall-Carpenter Archives had their roots in the Gay Monitoring and Archive Project established by the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) in 1980 with the purpose of scrutinising the media for evidence of discrimination and caring for material deposited with CHE by earlier gay rights organisations. The Gay Monitoring and Archive Project later became separate from CHE, and spent some time in the care of one of its founders, Julian Meldrum, who was employed on a part-time basis by a Manpower Services Commission grant. It was incorporated in 1982 as a limited company under the name of the Hall-Carpenter Memorial Archive Ltd, with a remit of recording and documenting the history of gays and lesbians in Britain. The first Directors were either librarians and information scientists, journalists working for gay publications, or gay rights campaigners interested in maintaining a historical resource. Charitable status was granted in 1983. During this period the Archives were given office space at the National Council for Civil Liberties. From 1984 to 1989, the Hall-Carpenter Archives were housed in the London Lesbian and Gay Centre, and were staffed mainly by volunteers, who collected archives, journals and ephemera, indexed and sorted press cuttings, wrote publications and ran archival projects. Funding was provided by various grants, most notably from the Greater London Council. GLC funding was withdrawn in 1986, and despite approaches, no replacement funding was available, forcing the Archives to leave the LLGC, and be housed at various locations.
The press cuttings collection was moved [in 1988] to the offices of SIGMA (an organisation conducting sexual research in relation to HIV) in Brixton, South London. Their transfer to the Greenwich Lesbian and Gay Centre was arranged by Mark Collins in the late 1990s. In February 1997, the collection was transferred to the Collections Room of the Cat Hill campus of Middlesex University on a ten-year loan. On 2nd June 1998 the collection was formally opened by a Member of Parliament, Evan Harris (standing in for Stephen Twigg MP). The collection was renamed the 'Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive' in 2001.


Scope and content/abstract:

Over 80,000 newspaper and journal cuttings from national and local press, 1930s-1990s, covering all aspects of gay life from the 1930s to the present time. The range of topics covered in the collection is very broad and includes arts and the media (film, television, theatre, literature, and entertainment), censorship and obscenity laws, counselling and sex education, employment, international and British lesbian and gay organisations, sexual law reform, trials, prisons, lesbian and gay politics, "the pink economy", religion, transsexuals, transvestism, sex education, health and biographies. The collection is of prime interest to those studying visual culture and the influence of the media on public and private attitudes, but also to law students, twentieth century historians, psychologists and social scientists. The collection also includes a complete bound set of Gay News and its photograph collection, a nearly complete set of Gay Times, and a collection of banners (including those of OutRage!), badges, T-shirts and other artefacts.


Language/scripts of material: Mainly English

System of arrangement:

The Cuttings Collection is classified according to subject matter, biographical content, regional material, and a chronological sequence for the period from 1937 to 1969.

Conditions governing access:

LAGNA is held by The Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4QH, 020 7392 9270,

Conditions governing reproduction:

Reproduction is at the discretion of the Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive, and subject to copyright of the newspapers concerned.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Classification scheme available. Indexes in preparation.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in 1997.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Some of the cuttings have been photocopied.

Related material:

Other sections of the Hall-Carpenter Archives may be found at various repositories: the Hall-Carpenter Archives (Main Collection) is located in the Archives Division of the British Library of Political Economy & Science at the London School of Economics, the press cuttings relating to HIV/AIDS are in the custody of the Terence Higgins Trust, and the oral history collection is at the National Sound Archive, London.

Publication note:



Archivist's note: 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: Dec 2001

Bisexuality | Sexuality
Gay liberation movement | Liberation movements | Political movements
HIV/AIDS counselling | Counselling | Social work
Homosexual law reform | Law reform | Law
Homosexuality | Sexuality
Legal systems | Law
Lesbian and gay press | Press
Lesbian, gay and bisexual campaigning groups | Groups
Lesbian, gay and bisexual rights | Civil and political rights | Human rights
Lesbianism | Sexuality
Sexuality counselling | Counselling | Social work
Transsexuality | Sexuality
Transvestism | Life styles | Cultural life | Cultural conditions

Personal names

Corporate names