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Physical & Digital Collections

LGBTQ+ Resources and Collections: Home

Introduction to this guide

LGBTQ+ studies is an emerging field of scholarship. The sources in this guide offer an entry point to resources and collections across the University of Cambridge that focus on various aspects of LGBTQ+ studies. This is, however, an interdisciplinary area of research, and so relevant materials can be found in a wide range of references sources which may not directly have an LGBTQ+ studies focus.

What is LGBT+?

LGBTQ+ is an acronym developed to encompass various queer identities, which are gender identities and sexual orientations other than cisgender and heterosexual. The 'q +' of the acronym acknowledges the breadth and diversity of this community, the fluidity of gender and sexuality, and the potential for something to be queer, outside of hetero and cis categories, without falling neatly into the categories of LGBT which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. Further, the identities and forms of expression grouped under the 'LGBTQ+' acronym are marginalised by the same forces of heteronormativity, homophobia and misogyny. Having common enemies in these societal prejudices has historically joined these groups in activist circles and a supportive community, a source of organised collective power often grouped politically as well as theoretically in LGBT+ studies. A more detailed explanation of these terms and many others which emerge in the dialogue around queerness, can be found on Stonewall's website, linked above.


black and white photo of a person spray painting on a wallA new resource for 2021: the LGBTQ Archives of Sexuality and Gender.

The archives offer a significant collection of primary sources for the historical study of sex, sexuality and gender. They include material dating back to the 16th century, allowing researchers to explore how sexual norms have changed over time, to consider health and hygiene, the development of sex education, the rise of sexology, changing gender roles, social movements and activism, erotica, and more.

See links to specific parts of the archive below:

To find LGBTQ+ related scholarly work within a specific subject area, use the suggested search terms with these databases.

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