Author: Lesley Hall

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Lesley Hall

Lesley Hall

Lesley Hall, FRHistS, PhD, DipAA, has been an archivist at the Wellcome since 1979. She has published extensively on the history of sexuality and gender in Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries, given many talks and conference presentations, and featured on radio and television. Further details can be found at her website.

  • The Pioneer Health Centre and positive health


    A perennial favourite of researchers in the archival collections of the Wellcome Library is the archive of the Pioneer Health Centre, Peckham, including the papers of its founders, George Scott Williamson and Innes Hope Pearse. Now thanks to a couple of recently… Continue reading

  • Studying transgender and transvestism: a new archive


    Wellcome Collection’s exhibition about the study of sex, The Institute of Sexology, highlights the profound effect that the gathering and analysis of information can have in changing attitudes and lifting taboos. Much of the display takes its inspiration from archives… Continue reading

  • Half a century of helpful people with helpful answers


    We are delighted to announce a significant addition to the Wellcome Library’s existing important archival holdings on sexual issues and birth control: the archives (SA/BRO) of Brook, the sexual health charity for young people. The organisation, which reaches its 50th Anniversary this… Continue reading

  • A Nineteenth Century Investigation of Race and Sex


    The story of Saartjie (Sara) Baartman, the ‘Hottentot Venus’ is relatively well-known and has been extensively discussed by scholars for what the discussion and exhibition in Europe of this Khoisan woman from southern Africa (whose original name is not even known) tells us… Continue reading

  • Women and the Great War


    This year has seen a huge amount of activity relating to the centenary of World War I. As March is Women’s History Month it seems appropriate to think about the sources we hold relating to the massive contribution to the… Continue reading

  • The annual archival popularity contest: 2013


    For some years we have been compiling posts based on our analysis of the statistics of use of the various archive collections we hold (2012, 2011, 2010) and in spite of the upheavals due to building works that began in… Continue reading

  • ‘Lobbied, charmed and persuaded’


    We were saddened to read the recent obituary of Vera Houghton (1914-2013), pioneer in the fields of abortion law reform and free birth control. The importance of her work, and that of her late husband, the Labour MP and Cabinet… Continue reading

  • Just to add to his ‘perfect storm’ – tea with Hitler


    Last December we announced as ‘Sex, Religion and Royalty’, the acquisition of a small group of papers of physician Bertrand Edward Dawson, Viscount Dawson of Penn, PRCP (1864-1945), suggesting that these factors are supposed to be a ‘perfect storm’ for a… Continue reading

  • Mustachios makyth the man: the rise and decline of Sir Henry’s moustache


    The advent of the men’s health campaign Movember 2013, inspires a consideration of the rise, development and decline of Sir Henry Wellcome’s moustache-action over several decades. As a young man in the USA we can see, c. 1880, his wispy early… Continue reading

  • ‘One of the great leaders among medical women in India’


    We were very excited this summer to be alerted to the existence of surviving correspondence of Margaret Ida Balfour (1866-1945), CBE, MD, CM FRCOG, a medical woman who trained at Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women under Sophia Jex-Blake, qualifying in… Continue reading