1st Edition

LGBT People and the UK Cultural Sector The Response of Libraries, Museums, Archives and Heritage since 1950

By John Vincent Copyright 2014
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines the complex and conflicting relationships between LGBT people and our cultural and heritage organisations including libraries, museums and archives. In this unique book established author John Vincent draws together current good practice, and also highlights issues which urgently still need to be addressed. To set the work of libraries, museums and archives in context, Vincent traces the development of LGBT rights in the UK. He goes on to examine some of the reasons for hostility and hatred against this minority group and critically explores provision that has been made by cultural and heritage organisations. He offers examples of good practice - not only from the UK, but from across the world - and draws up an essential 'charter' for future development. This compelling, practical book should be read by managers and staff in libraries, museums and archives around the world looking for guidance on this important issue.


    John Vincent is the Networker for 'The Network - tackling social exclusion in libraries, museums, archives and galleries'. He has worked in the public sector since the 1960s, primarily for Hertfordshire, Lambeth and Enfield library services. In 1997, he was invited to become part of the team that produced the UK’s first review of public libraries and social exclusion (from which The Network originated). John now runs courses and lectures, writes, produces regular newsletters and ebulletins, and lobbies for greater awareness of the role that libraries, archives, museums, and the cultural & heritage sector play in contributing to social justice. He is particularly interested in supporting the work that libraries do with LGBT people, young people in care, older people, and with ’new arrivals’ to the UK.

    ’We’ve made huge progress in LGBT rights and equality in recent years in Britain, and this fascinating study looks at how that has affected, and been affected by, the cultural, museum and library sectors. It charts a way for the future, too. It’s an excellent and timely book.’— Rt Hon Lord Chris Smith of Finsbury, Former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, UK

    'John Vincent has provided a robust, clear and vital history of the cultural sector and queer engagement since 1950. For us, libraries, museums and archives have been a refuge, and they continue to offer safe spaces to explore same-sex feelings, to quietly prepare a queer self that can become a public self. Needing the right kind of information has been key to queer well-being. This book furnishes the reader with an information history, and also speaks to cultural industry professionals who want to improve their communication with socially excluded groups and minorities. Inequality still exists, and the cultural and heritage sector still has a key role to play in tackling it. Vincent shows how.’— Sally R. Munt, University of Sussex, UK

    'John Vincent’s lucidly written account of LBGTQ histories in the UK cultural sector since the 1950s is a joyful read of successful resistance to prejudice, marking important battles won and those we must fight to progress human rights. Vincent’s scope is both broad and finely detailed. He seems to hold our hand and guide us through theoretical terrain with a rich range of shifting registers from personal deeply moving voices to governmental perspectives. I recommend this book to students of libraries, archives and museum studies as well as practitioners in the field.’— Viv Golding, University of Leicester, UK

    'An excellent and thought provoking history of our profession and the LGBT community in Britain'— School Librarian