This list highlights a number of resources in the Special Collections and Archives held at Oxford Brookes relating to LGBTQ+ histories. Please note that this list is a work in progress and more items will be added moving forward. If you know of material relating to LGBTQ+ histories in our collections which is not listed here please contact us.
To access the material mentioned here, please email Special Collections at firstname.lastname@example.org and quote the reference numbers associated with each listing.
Publishing in Africa Collection, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair
In 1996 the recently-formed Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) ran a stall at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair, an acclaimed event that attracted publishers and writers from around the globe. The presence of GALZ caused great controversy in a country where homosexuality was - and still is - illegal.
For access to material relating to the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair, please email Special Collections and quote the reference numbers PIA/2/3/5 and PIA/2/3/6.
Booker Prize Papers, The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst as Prize Winner
In 2004, The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst won The Booker Prize, making it the first winner with a gay protagonist. Media reaction to the victory was mixed, with certain newspapers condemning both the author’s and protagonist’s homosexuality, as well as the book’s commentary of Thatcherite Britain.
For access to material relating to the 2004 Booker Prize Papers, please contact Special Collections with the reference numbers BP/1/36/3/1, Boxes 7-9.
Other Booker Prize winners with LGBTQ+ themes and/or authors include Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (2019 winner), Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (2020 winner) and The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (2020 International Booker Prize winner).
Paul Oliver Archive of African American Music
The Paul Oliver Archive of African American Music holds a rich array of material, including letters by, and photographs of, a number of LGBTQ+ Blues musicians such as Clara Smith, Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Lucille Bogan. The collection additionally includes published books and biographies on LGBTQ+ jazz and blues artists. This includes the previously mentioned artists, as well as figures such as Josephine Baker, Billy Strayhorn, Alberta Hunter and Ethel Waters.
Books in the Paul Oliver Archive of African American Music are accessible in the Special Collections reading room and can be searched via LibrarySearch. Please note that cataloguing of the collection is ongoing, so if you’re unable to find what you’re looking for please contact us. Photographic and archive material is currently being catalogued, please contact us specifying interest in any particular artists or material.
Museum of Modern Art Collection
The Museum of Modern Art Collection houses a wide array of material, including the Exhibition Catalogues series. The Exhibition Catalogues cover the work of a wide range of artists, including exhibitions held by many LGBTQ+ artists, including Keith Haring, David Hockney, Robert Maplethorpe, Robert Rauschenberg, Claude Cahun and more.
The MOMA Exhibition Catalogues are accessible in Zone C on Level 3 of the Headington library and can be searched via LibrarySearch.