Founded in the Fall of 2021, NQA developed as a formal group after a few of our members attended an inspiring talk from Stef Dickers, Librarian and Archivist at London’s Bishopsgate Institute.
In recent years, there has been a growing desire among many LGBTQ+ students at Newnham for more recorded history around Newnham’s LGBTQ+ narratives. Newnham has a strong queer heritage – over the last 150 years, countless students, staff, and fellows have identified somewhere under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. Often times, queer histories are suppressed or simply hidden, to the detriment of those researching and seeking liberation today.
This project, originally funded by Newnham’s 150th Anniversary Open Programme, aims to celebrate Newnham’s rich history of LGBTQ+ life through the creation and maintenance of a specifically LGBTQ+ archive. The project is a meaningful collaboration of members of the MCR, members of the JCR, the Newnham Library, Archive, Roll Offices, and current and past college members. We share a goal of uncovering queer experiences and establishing a lasting archive of interviews and materials relating to Newnham’s LGBTQ+ history.
Materially, the Queer Archive forms an independent collection, gathered and maintained by members of our group, which is partly embedded in the Newnham College Archive. The oral histories are collected and preserved by the NQA itself, while the physical materials are kept within Newnham’s own archive. We are currently seeking contributions from anyone who has been associated with Newnham College and identifies as LGBTQ+, or any marginalised sexual or gendered identity group.
Further, we invite all LGBTQ+ individuals who have ever been affiliated with Newnham College to fill out this online questionnaire to share memories and experiences. All of the questions are entirely optional. Please allow around 15-20 minutes to fill this out, depending on how much you would like to share.