Unlocking a Hidden History

A Researcher’s Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Historical Sources in Manchester.

Outside of London, Manchester is home to the UK’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGB&T) community and has long been renowned for its Gay Village centred on Canal Street. Over the years, Manchester has also been home to many important LGB&T figures such as Quentin Crisp and Alan Turing who have made vital contributions to British society and culture.

The city has played host to numerous festivals which celebrate LGB&T culture including Pride, Queer up North, Get Bent and Sparkle, and every February LGB&T History Month is marked with a series of city-wide events which showcase the rich LGB&T heritage of the region and beyond.

The history of Manchester’s LGB&T community is an important part of the social and cultural fabric of both the city and the North West region. In 1964 Greater Manchester became the birthplace of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, while in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Manchester City Council was hugely influential in the campaign against Section 28; something they celebrated in two major exhibitions: ‘Lesbian and Gay Campaigns in the Late 80’s Ten Years On’ (c.1998 and 2000) and ‘Repealed! - An exhibition of the history of local campaigns for the repeal of Section 28’ (Manchester Central Library, 2003). Furthermore, Manchester’s LGB&T history was formally recognised in 2005 when the City Council endorsed the city’s LGB&T heritage trail by installing permanent rainbow mosaic markers along the route. 
For many reasons, however, it’s often hard to locate historical sources relating to the LGB&T past even though it has become increasingly acknowledged that more needs to be done to both capture the memories and experiences of LGB&T people and liberate historical materials relating to them.

This guide provides an introduction to the archival and printed material deposited in locations across Manchester and the North West. Whether you’re a seasoned historical researcher or a novice looking to develop your skills or knowledge, this resource will assist you in locating LGB&T sources, and provide you with helpful information and tips to get the most out of your experience unlocking Manchester’s LGB&T past.

Published: 30/09/2013
Size: 1.1mb

download document