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Learn what a recent unusual discovery, by one of our long-term volunteers, tells us about twentieth-century LGBTIQA+ writers in our collections.

It was revealed that the old Adelaide Circulating Library shelves contained a selection of LGBTIQA+ literature from the 1950s. Unusual for the era, it indicates a determined refusal to censor on the part of Adelaide’s post-war librarians.  

Hear about an Adelaide court case involving charges of gross indecency making headlines in 1931. The result was a sentence of five years with hard labour for politician, café owner and hotelier Bert Edwards.  

Meanwhile LGBTIQA+ writers continued to explore connection, relationships, and a sense of place. Regardless of how readers identify, these mid-twentieth century writers are well worth revisiting. 


This presentation was recorded as part of the State Library's Live and Learn program on 21 November 2023.

Presenter: Isabel Story, Librarian, State Library of South Australia

Image: Bert Edwards Tea Rooms, Compton Street, Adelaide 1912. SLSA: B 1831