Our goals are based around queer and trans knowledge: conserving it, increasing access to it, and even contributing to it. That’s why, in addition to cataloguing and lending books, we also produce original writing and research on trans subjects.
We are using access to the British Newspaper Archive, among other archives, to locate crossdressers who lived in the UK and beyond prior to 1950. These people are the historical antecedents to modern day trans and gender nonconforming people, and their stories do not receive nearly enough attention.
This project was inspired by Emily Skidmore’s True Sex.
(Image: Daisy May Cliffton, Sunday Post, 1926, accessed via British Newspaper Archive, copyright British Library Board.)
The Digital Transgender Archive and other sources have a range of 1980s-90s leaflets and magazines produced by and for the ‘gender community’. Many of these primary sources list venues and businesses friendly to transsexual, transgender and transvestite customers. But how did these businesses, some run by cisgender people, come to serve such a stigmatised and secretive community? We want to interview surviving business owners in order to create an oral history archive.
(Image: The Tartan Skirt Issue 1, 1992, Joseph A. Labadie Collection, accessed via Digital Transgender Archive.)