The Archives of Sexuality & Gender: LGBTQ History and Culture Since 1940, Part II
provides coverage of the development, culture, and society of LGBTQ groups in the latter half of the twentieth century. It provides new perspectives on a diverse community and the wealth of resources available in the archive allow for creating connections amongst disparate materials.
Since the 1940’s, LGBTQ groups have steadily emerged into society, fighting for equal rights and making their voices heard. Even within the LGBTQ community though, some groups have not been as well represented, or received as much of the limelight, as the more “mainstream” lesbians and gays. LGBTQ History and Culture Since 1940, Part II provides coverage of these groups, including LG student groups, Two-Spirit people, the Jewish LGBTQ community, LG Christian groups, and bisexual, transvestite, and transgender communities.
One of the fascinating aspects of the archive is the availability of materials such as oral history transcripts, diaries, and letters that provide a deeply personal and human interpretation of the LGBTQ experience. Some describe life in a community that was less than tolerant of homosexual lifestyles. Others describe the hardships of growing up gay and in the closet, or the difficulties involved in coming out to one’s family and friends. Other accounts detail lives well-lived, unhindered by archaic social mores, offering inspiration and a source of pride for future generations. It is these histories that truly help to put a human face on LGBTQ history.
The Archives of Sexuality & Gender: Sex and Sexuality, Sixteenth to Twentieth Century
is a collection like no other. It is made up of more than 5,000 rare and unique books covering sex, sexuality, and gender issues across the sciences and humanities and throughout history. It is the variety of titles and subjects in this archive that make the research opportunities intriguing.
This part of the Archives looks at gender and sexuality in the centuries leading up to, and inclusive of, the period covered in Parts I and II, providing context to the materials in those collections. It examines topics such as patterns of fertility and sexual practice; prostitution; religion and sexuality; the medical and legal construction of sexualities; and the rise of sexology. It not only offers a reflection of the cultural and social attitudes of the past, but also a window into how sexuality and gender roles were viewed and changed over time.