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Queer Reflections: Collections Research

Queer Reflections: revisiting our collections, our online archive of LGBTQ+ relevant objects from Saffron Walden Museum and Southend Museums explores sexuality, gender, and identity. Jenny Oxley, Collections Officer (Human History) at Saffron Walden Museum, and Vittorio Ricchetti, Assistant Curator (Social History) at Southend Museums, have delved into their collections to highlight objects that have connections to LGBTQ+ histories. In doing so they have identified a range of items that demonstrate that non-binary gender identity, queer relationships, and fluidity in its many forms are represented in our museum collections.

We cannot define or label people or movements retrospectively, if queer histories are not identified and recorded at the time an object is collected that connection is at risk of being silenced. This project seeks to revisit areas of our collections where stories may have previously been overlooked or unexplored in order to hear from people living in Essex today. We have identified objects with different degrees of connections to LGBTQ+ history in order to begin a discussion.

What's involved?

We need volunteers to research items in our collection with LGBTQ+ connections and write the text for our online archive. You will be provided with images and collection information as well as access to our collections experts. This can be done online. When restricitions allow you will have the option to come into the museum to explore the collections in person.

Why get involved?

If these connections and objects are not researched their histories are at risk of being lost or misrepresented. We need you to help us preserve and celebrate these objects and their stories.

How to get involved?

Email sts@essex.gov.uk for information on how to get started.

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