University of Victoria Transgender Archive Set To Receive Large UK Collection

Virginia Prince circa 1960

Activist Virginia Prince, circa 1960.

The University of Victoria’s Transgender Archives — already believed to be the largest collection of its kind — is about to get about 50% bigger thanks to an acquisition of a significant collection from Northern Ireland.

More than 125 bankers’ boxes worth of material are crossing the Atlantic Ocean to join the UVic collection. Packed inside are books, magazines, newspaper clippings, audio and video recordings, photographs and other artifacts that UVic sociology professor Aaron Devor says are significant for their scope. They likely made up the largest such collection in the United Kingdom and possibly the largest in the world, next to UVic’s.

“I suspect that it is the second-largest collection in the world,” Devor said.

The archive belonged to Richard Ekins, a retired sociology and cultural studies professor, who began collecting materials in 1986.

Expected in late July, the acquisition will join more than 600 books and 500 periodical titles.

Devor said it will add significant breadth to the current collection, especially in terms of British and European transgender history.

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