Lesbian voices: the Hall Carpenter Oral History Archive and post-war British lesbian history

Rebecca Jennings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The article examines life history interviews conducted with lesbians, which form part of the Hall Carpenter Oral History Archive at the National Sound Archive. This material is used in order to examine lesbian identities in Britain in the years 1945-1970. The article also explores the issues with using this form of oral history material, in particular, it was necessary to question both how these narratives were constructed to articulate a specific notion of lesbian identity and how they might be deconstructed to reveal the more fractured and contingent nature of post-war lesbian identities. The interviews produced accounts of lesbian experience and identity in the post-war decades, which were profoundly shaped by recent understandings of lesbian identity. It is this impact of contemporary notions of identity on personal narrative, and its significance to the lesbian and gay historian, which forms the focus of this article.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-445
Number of pages16
JournalSexualities
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • archives
  • lesbian identity
  • lesbian politics
  • post-war Britain

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