Holden Lecture 2020: Bulgarian Tendencies: Stories from the Queer Library of Jonathan Cutbill

In the 2020 Charles Holden Lecture, Dr Justin Bengry examines the histories of books drawn from the vast and important LGBTQ collections of Jonathan Cutbill, recently donated to Senate House Library, and tells the stories behind some dangerous queer books.

Watch the 2020 Holden Lecture

Even in the first decades of the twentieth century, Edward Carpenter’s, Rose Allatini’s, and Radclyffe Hall’s defenses of homogenic love, homosexuality, and sexual inversion illuminate the challenges encountered by authors and publishers whose trade included these subjects. But their books also illuminate how authors and publishers imagined potential queer markets for writings that promoted tolerance, understanding, and even advocated legal reform.

About the speaker

Dr Justin Bengry is Director of the Centre for Queer History at Goldsmiths, University of London where he convenes the world’s first MA in Queer History. He is a cultural historian of sexualities and the queer past focusing on popular culture, media and policy in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Britain. Read more about Dr Bengry

Cutbill Collection of over 30,000 LGBT books gifted to Senate House Library

Senate House Library was recently gifted the remarkable book collection of over 30,000 books and archives from Jonathan Cutbill, one of the founders of the Gay's The Word Bookshop and leading LGBT rights activist. The collection which will help fill fundamental gaps in LGBT history has been packed up and is in transit from Cutbill's Shrewsbury home to Senate House Library where they will be catalogued and added to our collections. Read more about it on BBC Online.