The Borthwick Institute: pages on sources for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgendered History

Studying Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender history can be difficult. Even the very words we use today to describe lesbian and gay people only appeared for the first time in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and many historians would argue that the concept of homosexuality, as a separate identity, dates no earlier than the 1700s.

This page aims to help begin to uncover some of this hidden history, particularly within the records held at the Borthwick. It describes some of the main collections of documents which may include relevant material. To illustrate this, you can also link to the stories of three individuals whose stories are a part of LGBT history. These case studies demonstrate how the story of an individual can be pieced together from different sources at the Borthwick together with some material from other archives. None of these case histories is complete, and an interested researcher may well be able to add to this information. Suggestions of records which may help are given.

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