Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive

Scope and Content

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.

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.

The Collection was transferred to the Bishopsgate Institute in January 2011


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

Access Information

The Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive is available by appointment only to Middlesex University staff and students, external academic and media researchers, and all those interested in lesbian and gay history. LAGNA volunteers staff the archive between 11-4 on Wednesdays during term-time, but the collection is available at other times. Please contact Judy Vaknin (0208 411 6686/4933, email: j.vaknin@mdx.ac.uk) to arrange your visit. See the LAGNA website for further information http://hallcarpenter.tripod.com/hca/presscut.html.

Acquisition Information

Deposited in 1997.

Other Finding Aids

Classification scheme available. Indexes in proparation.

Alternative Form Available

Some of the cuttings have been photocopied.

Conditions Governing Use

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

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.