The LGBT History Project Team - 2013
Beth Brook is a civil servant at The National Archives (TNA) and chair of Archus, the LGBT network there. Being drawn to history, heritage and the proliferation of knowledge, she just couldn’t resist discovering what LGBT resources were in amongst the vast collections in archives and sharing this when she has a spare hour from her busy policy role. Spurred on by the unfaltering enthusiasm and friendship of Chris and Louise, and their creation of the LGBT History Project, she is trying (gradually!) to compile an online list of the files identified as relevant to LGBT history at The National Archives* and has written several articles on some she has come across for Past2Present. When not working, researching, or being distracted by David Bowie and red wine, Beth is being led astray by good friends (it’s never her fault, you see...) or flailing around in angry white pyjamas (aka karate).
* On the (other) LGBT History Project wiki - http://lgbthistoryuk.org/wiki/index.php?title=National_Archives
Dr Louise Chambers is a lecturer at Goldsmiths College in New Cross, where she teaches in the Media and Communications Department. Her favourite subject at school was always history and she is more than a little obsessed with the work of philosopher/historian Michel Foucault. Consequently, the ability to immerse herself knee deep in the well of documents at the National Archives, as part of the LGBT History Project, has been a brilliant experience. It also enabled her to produce three podcasts (see below), which are accessible via the National Archive’s website.
Music (mostly heavy metal) and cinema take up quite a bit of Louise’s spare time, but she also has a ‘guilty pleasure’ – role-playing videogames – which provide a much-needed hiatus from what can sometimes be overconvoluted academic theory.
Fictional Obscenities - http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/fictional-obscenities-lesbianism-and-censorship-in-the-early-20th-century/
Ministry of Pensions & gender in the 1950s - http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/when-a-woman-is-not-a-woman-how-the-ministry-of-pensions-constructed-gender-in-the-1950s/
No (inter)sex please, we’re Olympians - http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/no-intersex-please-were-olympians/
Chris Park is a retired* civil servant with lots of time on his hands and the sort of nosey nature that lends itself perfectly to rummaging through the files at the National Archives and at the Lesbian & Gay Newsmedia Archives.
He doesn’t profess to be a real historian, admitting (as he must) to having failed his History O-Level in 1973. Nevertheless he found that the stories that the LGBT History Project is unearthing mean rather more to him than the date of the Corn Laws or the Enclosure Act... Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Privately, he is a arctophile, though he rarely speaks of that in polite company, and loves to travel. In 2013, he finally made it to Hawaii but the only Magnum he found was the ice cream and, sadly, not the detective.
He also is an avid reader and recent convert to the illicit delights of the Kindle. (“All those books in a little gadget! Cool!!”)
* VERY early!
Jenni Orme works at The National Archives, delving in to all things 'hidden' as much as possible. As Diverse Histories Records Specialist, her work takes her in many different directions from attitudes to learning disabilities in the 19th century to the stories of Caribbean migrants in the twentieth century. She works to make these histories more visible and accessible and aims to encourage further research in to underrepresented histories through the documents held at The National Archives and elsewhere. Through the boundless energy and commitment of Chris, Louise, Beth and Rosie, Jenni was introduced to the amazing work of the LGBT History Project and has made her first contribution to the magazine in this edition, exploring some of her own interests. Jenni has previously written blogs on LGBT history at The National Archives (1) and the challenges facing researchers in the field (2), and is keen to share the results of the recent film competition (3) at The National Archives which brought documents relating to 'hidden histories' to life.
Rosie Logiudice is a civil servant at The National Archives (TNA) and deputy chair of Archus, the LGBT network at TNA. She is lucky in that her role as Collections Knowledge Officer allows her to be involved in LGBT research on a day to day basis. She has recently been writing several articles for Past2Present using resources from TNA’s own archive and she has also been busy drumming up interest for institutions to host TNA’s LGBT panel exhibition, so please do contact her if your organisation would be interested in displaying it.
When not ferreting around TNA’s repositories Rosie is minding her version of ‘animal farm’! Her pets include dogs, cats, hens, rabbits and fish! She also enjoys getting out into the open either walking or gardening and she has been known to bake a cake or two.
National Archives, the Lesbian & Gay
Newsmedia Archive (LAGNA) and
the Wellcome Library for enabling us to
access some of our hidden history.
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