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Discrete CollectionsHall-Carpenter Archives
TitleHall-Carpenter Archives
Extent2441 boxes
Admin Biographical HistoryThe Hall-Carpenter Archives, named in honour of the lesbian novelist Marguerite Radclyffe Hall and Edward Carpenter, the writer on social and sexual reform, exist to publicise and preserve the records and publications of gay organisations and individuals. The Hall-Carpenter Archives had their roots in the Gay Monitoring and Archive Project established by the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) in 1980 with the purpose of scrutinising the media for evidence of discrimination and caring for material deposited with CHE by earlier gay rights organisations. The Gay Monitoring and Archive Project later became separate from CHE, and spent some time in the care of one of its founders, Julian Meldrum, who was employed on a part-time basis by a Manpower Services Commission grant. It was incorporated in 1982 as a limited company under the name of the Hall-Carpenter Memorial Archive Ltd, with a remit of recording and documenting the history of gays and lesbians in Britain. The first Directors were either librarians and information scientists, journalists working for gay publications, or gay rights campaigners interested in maintaining a historical resource. Charitable status was granted in 1983. During this period the Archives were given office space at the National Council for Civil Liberties. From 1984 to 1988, the Hall-Carpenter Archives were housed in the London Lesbian and Gay Centre, and were staffed mainly by volunteers, who collected archives, journals and ephemera, indexed and sorted press cuttings, wrote publications and ran archival projects. Funding was provided by various grants, most notably from the Greater London Council. GLC funding was withdrawn in 1986, and despite approaches, no replacement funding was available, forcing the Archives to leave the LLGC. They were split into several parts, with the organisational archives, the journals and the ephemera being deposited in the British Library of Political and Economic Science in 1988. The Hall-Carpenter Archives Management Committee was in abeyance between 1989-1991.
In 1991 Oliver Merrington took over as the Honorary Secretary and began to strengthen the management structure of the Archive, dissolving the Limited Company, arranging annual meetings, issuing occasional newsletters and drawing up formal agreements with the repositories which held its materials. The Hall-Carpenter Archives have continued to grow whilst at the British Library of Political and Economic Science, with new accessions every year.
DescriptionThe HCA has three sections:
1. Records and publications of LGBT+ organisations and individuals in the UK and worldwide, notably the records of the Albany Trust and the Homosexual Law Reform Society, later the Sexual Law Reform Society, 1950-1984; the papers of Rupert Beach, 1970-1972, mainly relating to the Gay Liberation Front; the records of Body Positive, 1985-2000, a support organisation for those diagnosed as HIV positive; the records of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, 1940-1996; the papers of John Chesterman, 1970-1978, mainly relating to the Gay Liberation Front; the papers of Adam Christie, 1981-1998, concerning his work as an AIDS educator; the records of the Conservative Group for Homosexual Equality, later known as the Tory Campaign for Homosexual Equality (TORCHE), 1977-1993; the papers of Robert Crossman, [1970-1990], mainly comprising material relating to his work as a Labour politician; the papers of Anthony Edward Dyson, 1958, concerning the Wolfenden Report and the formation of the HLRS; records of (National) Friend, 1970-1995, a national counselling organisation for gays and bisexuals; the records of the Gay Activists Alliance, 1977-1980; the records of the Gay Christian Movement, later known as the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, 1969-1998; records of the Gay Community Organisation, 1978-1989; the records of the Gay Liberation Front, 1970-1979; the records of the Greater London Council's Gay Rights Working Party, 1976-1987; the papers of Antony Grey, 1958-1992, relating to his work in the HLRS and the Albany Trust; the records of the Joint Council for Gay Teenagers, 1970-1983; the records of the London Gay Campaign Group, 1980-1987; the papers of Christine Murray, 1972-1980, concerning women's involvement in gay activism; the records of the National Colleges of Education's Gay Rights Committee, 1971-1975; the records of the National Council for Civil Liberties, mainly relating to gay rights, 1962-1989; the papers of Robert Palmer, 1970-1983, concerning his work with CHE; the records of the Scottish Minorities Group, later known as, successively, the Scottish Homosexual Rights Group and Outright Scotland, 1970-1984; the papers of Peter Tatchell, [1970]-1999, relating to gay rights and politics; the papers of Simon Watney, [1970-1998], mainly concerning his work as an AIDS campaigner; the papers of Christopher Woods, 1983-1993, relating to gay issues; The Press for Change Archive, trans lobby group formed in 1992; Papers of Stephen Whittle, trans activist, 1969-2023
2. LGBT+ journals, 1954-1999, collected from the UK and the rest of the world, particularly the USA.
3. Ephemera, 1953-2000, material gathered from the UK and overseas relating to gay life and culture.

Some items in this archive may contain adult content.
Related MaterialOther sections of the Hall-Carpenter Archives may be found at various repositories: the press cuttings collection is stored at the Art and Design Library of Middlesex University, the press cuttings relating to HIV/AIDS are in the custody of the Terrence Higgins Trust, and the oral history collection is at the National Sound Archive, London.
Access StatusMainly open; some items closed
Copyright TypeOther
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