New Guide Helps Manchester Unlock it's Hidden History!

Publish Date: 04/11/2013

This year, The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF) in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund has been encouraging local people to learn more about the LGB&T past. Through a series of fun events, an online timeline, and now a modernised and easy-to-use guide to the historical LGB&T sources available in Manchester we've have been celebrating the struggles and successes of the region’s diverse LGB&T community.

The guide, a refreshed and revised version of one first printed in 2009, has been modernised to detail not only the LGB&T archival sources held in Manchester and the North West but also to draw attention to the ever-expanding materials available online.

For the first time, the guide includes a select bibliography for those just starting out in researching this community as well as a list of useful websites, web-based sound recordings and timelines, and even documentaries available on YouTube. The new guide also contains details of which archives are on social media to make it even easier for researchers to contact them.

Dr. Caroline Yorston from The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, who has been leading this project said, “This guide is an amazing tool for anyone interested in learning more about LGB&T history. It’s the most comprehensive it’s ever been due to the generous support of local archives but also because for the first time it promotes the use of internet-based sources such as documentaries and photographic collections which are helping make LGB&T history more accessible than ever. LGB&T history has definitely entered the twenty-first century!”  

Dr. Yorston added, “Everything, from the cover image - Quentin Crisp street art on Canal Street - to the inclusion of information about the heritage mosaics across Manchester is intended to highlight how paradoxically hidden yet pervasive Manchester’s LGB&T history is. We really hope that anyone who picks up this eye-catching guide is inspired to dig below the surface.”

Marking the end of this year-long celebration, The LGF are looking forward to welcoming Dr Holly Furneaux, from Leicester University, when she presents her work on queer readings of Charles Dickens at their final event on 17 December. Bringing a festive twist to the occasion, Furneaux will present some new thoughts on Dickens’ classic novel ‘A Christmas Carol’.

This guide will be one of the lasting legacies of The LGF’s history project. Copies are available from Manchester Archives and The LGF’s Community Resource Centre. It can also be downloaded at

For details about the event please email