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Exhibition exploring 10,000 years of LGBTQ history comes to library

03 June 2019

Desire, love, identity: exploring LGBTQ histories, a British Museum Partnership Exhibition, is to be on show at the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library over the summer months with objects spanning almost 10,000 years of LGBTQ history.

From ancient historical find Ain Sakhri lovers, the earliest object in the exhibition, to contemporary artwork, the exhibition will explore how diversity in gender and sexuality has always been an integral part of the human experience, with famous figures including the Greek poet Sappho and Roman emperor Hadrian and his lover Antinous.

Based upon Professor Richard Parkinson’s award-winning book A Little Gay History, the exhibition offers glimpses into the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning) experience through the British Museum’s collection as part of the British Museum’s National Programme partnership of touring exhibitions, generously supported by the Dorset Foundation in memory of Harry M Weinrebe.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet Member for Communities and Partnerships at Norfolk County Council, said: “We are really thrilled to be hosting this exciting exhibition, which builds on a host of fantastic LGBTQ events we already hold at libraries. It’s also a testament to our Millennium Library, which will be the only library to be hosting the touring exhibition.”

Joe Edwards, Dorset Foundation Head of National Programmes at the British Museum said: “Sharing the British Museum’s collection of LGBTQ material with Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library is a fantastic opportunity for more people to experience these thought-provoking objects. We are particularly delighted to be working with a library, and hope that the exhibition will attract a wide range of visitors who will be able to appreciate the new stories revealed by these objects displayed alongside local material from Norfolk’s own LGBTQ history.”

The exhibition will showcase Norfolk’s LGBTQ history with material from Norfolk Heritage Centre, which is actively collecting LGBTQ stories to help tell Norfolk’s hidden histories.

Desire, love, identity: exploring LGBTQ histories will run from 8 June to 31 August at the Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library.

There will also be an extensive programme of events for all ages, including zine making workshops, talks and performances. For more details visit

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