A Queer Century, 1869-1969

Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library is excited to announce a new public exhibition, “A Queer Century, 1869-1969,” opening to coincide with UBC’s hosting of the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

“A Queer Century” tell stories from the history of sexuality, progressing from the emergence of homosexuality as a named concept in 1869 to the announced decriminalization of homosexual activity in Canada in 1969, and highlighting cultural events in the changing perceptions of gender and sexuality. The exhibition features books, ephemera, and archival materials in English, German, and French from RBSC’s collections, as well as original correspondence held in UBC’s University Archives, and materials generously loaned by local private collectors.

This exhibition is made possible by the Queer Collections Project (QCP), a joint, interdisciplinary initiative organized by faculty in the Faculty of Arts with the support of UBC Library and housed at Rare Books and Special Collections. The QCP began with seed funding from the Jane Rule Endowment for the Study of Human Relationships (JRE), with the goal of making significant additions to the UBC Library’s collections, thereby putting in place primary resources for undergraduate and graduate research into the study of the history of sexuality.

Since 2017, the faculty curators—Dr. Kyle Frackman (Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies) and Dr. Gregory Mackie (Department of English Language and Literatures)—have aimed to add to the University’s collections and to surface items that UBC Library already owns. The QCP has received generous funding and support from the JRE, UBC Library, the UBC Provost’s Office, and the Ulrich Maché Memorial Fund.

“A Queer Century, 1869-1969,” which is free and open to the public, will be on display in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room from June 1 to September 11, 2019. The RBSC reading room is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A catalogue of the exhibition can be downloaded here. For more information, please contact Rare Books and Special Collections at (604) 822-2521 or rare.books@ubc.ca.