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Special Collections: LGBTQ+ Research Resources

Welcome to the LGBTQ+ Research Resources Guide

This resource guide highlights archives and books held at the University of Exeter Heritage Collections relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer lives, history and culture. These resources may not always easily identifiable via our webpages or catalogues, so we hope this guide will provide a more accessible means of exploring this material. The collections highlighted in this guide have been identified using our catalogues, but are not exhaustive. If you come across any other sources within our collections that you think should be included in this guide, we would be very pleased to hear about them.

We acknowledge that there is ongoing discussion concerning terminology around sexuality and gender identity. Some of our collections may contain offensive terms or terms that have changed meaning over time. In some cases these terms are included in our catalogue descriptions in order to provide information about the content and nature of the source. The inclusion of these terms does not reflect the views of the University of Exeter Heritage Collections and we apologise for any offence that may be caused. 

To discuss our research resources in more detail, please contact us at We would welcome your feedback on our approach to this resource guide, its content and the terminology used. We believe there may be many more LGBTQ+ stories to explore within our collections and we warmly welcome everyone, particularly those from LGBTQ+ communities, to get in touch if they wish to work with us to bring these stories to light.

Image: EUL MS 271/4 - Article entitled 'Growing up Gay' by Anna Searle, 'Exeter Flying Post' (July 1982)

Detailed guidance on researching sexuality and gender identity in archives can be found on the webpages of The National Archives.

LGBTQ+ Resources guide created by the University of Exeter Library provides links to digital archives, e-books & audiovisual materials available to University of Exeter staff and students. A LGBTQ+ reading list is also available.

Archives and rare books held by Special Collections and the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum are available to everyone. More information about accessing the collections can be found in our Visiting Heritage Collections LibGuide. Please note that there may be some restrictions on accessing and copying (including photography) material in the archives and books held by Special Collections and the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum in line with current data protection and copyright legislation. Always make sure to check the access conditions on the archive catalogue and email Special Collections before your visit for more information about specific restrictions.

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