LGBTQIA religious collections and archives resources

By India Patel, UCL

For Pride Month we have been compiling organisations that are exploring the intersection of religious and LGBTQIA histories in their collections. This has also included archives that seek to gather information and document the work of the LGBTQ+ individuals and activists within religious communities.

A useful source is the LGBTQ+ Archive Project that compiles archives, research guides and newspaper archives covering all manner of LGBTQ themes and histories. Of particular interest is the:

Other useful sources are the:

  • St Andrews produced a LGBTQ+ reading list that includes a number of texts that discuss LBTQ+ history and themes in religions such as Christianity and Islam

Many museums as part of a wider move to become more inclusive spaces have sought to “queer” their collections, which in part has included researching and sharing the LGBTQ+ connections of their objects.

Below is a list of museums whose LGBTQ+ trails include objects that intersect with religious histories and themes:

British Museum: Desire, Love and Identity: LGBTQ histories trail

Pitt Rivers: Out in Oxford

University of Exeter:  Out and About  

V&A:  Out In The Museum  

The Museum of Croydon: Queer+ Archive  

Figure of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara 1300-1400 as part of the V&A Out in the Museum trail. The sculpture shows how depictions of the Buddhist Lord of Compassion transcends binary constructs of gender and became more androgenised as the deity’s popularity spread eastwards (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This information will be added to the website’s permanent collection of resources. This list is by no means exhaustive, and we aim to continually add to it, so if you are aware of any other relevant resources or organisations please contact us at religionandcollections@gmail.com


Main image: Daniel Quasar pride flag via Wikimedia Commons

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