LGBT Publication Collection

Scope and Content

This collection has a variety of LGBTQ+ community publications from 1975 to 2005 mainly from New York, London and Birmingham. The collection contains newspapers, magazines, posters, souvenir programmes and leaflets. The common theme throughout these publications is the process of coming out and the issue of AIDS. There is a near full collection of Gay Left (issues 1-4 and 6-10), which aimed to take a Marxist analysis of homosexuality. A majority of these publications are taking a socialist approach to homosexuality, alongside Gay Christian, which show a variety of approaches to reporting and publicising homosexuality. Box 3 contains the diary of Ernest Hole's , owner of Gay's the Word, three weeks in New York. This diary has a collection of newspaper cuttings, leaflets and handwritten diary entries during his period in New York in 1976.

Administrative / Biographical History

These publications were collected by Ernest Hole, the founder of Gay's the Word in 1979, the first and only specifically Gay and Lesbian bookstore in England. The bookstore was set up by Hole and a small group of Gay Icebreakers, a socialist group that began in the store. In 1984, Customs and Excise, mounted a large-scale raid and seized thousand of pounds worth of stock, and the owners were charged with importing indecent books under the Customs Consolidation Act 1876. In 1984 and 1985, the bookstore was the meeting point for Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, where they collected money for striking miners. Gay's the Word is a landmark in British LGBTQ+ history, that is still in open today.

This collection was donated by Mark Milner in 2018, who was left these publications by Ernest Hole in 1993.

Access Information

Open to view with appointment, email

Appraisal Information

No appraisal has taken place.


No further accruals expected.