Central Library Backstage Tour
Last week we visited Manchester Central Library where we met our guide, Siobhan from Archives+. She showed us around the interactive items on the ground floor before visiting the lower ground floor strong rooms – an area not normally accessible to the general public.
The archives include documents, books, maps, photographs, plans, newspapers and magazines. Siobhan explained to us how to access the archives and collections free of charge.
A section of the archives is dedicated to the history of the LGBT+ community as it is an important part of the social and cultural history of Manchester and the North West.
Manchester has the United Kingdom’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community outside London and is renowned for its Gay Village centred around Canal Street. It has been the home of festivals such as Pride, It’s Queer Up North and Get Bent as well as celebrations around LGBT History Month.
The LGBT Foundation is the UK’s biggest LGBT charity while The Proud Trust has supported young people for more than 30 years. Manchester was the birthplace of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality in 1964 and we were hugely influential in the campaign against Clause 28 in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The LGBT Foundation’s archive is now held at Central Library. It includes the LGBT Foundation’s own project and event files on HIV, sexuality, LGBT culture and sexual health as well as press cuttings, photographs and lots more.
There is also a wide range of published sources including Attitude magazine (1994 to present), the Pink Paper (1991 to present) and many other lesbian and gay publications such as Gay Times, Gay News, Diva, Boyz and Outnorthwest. The LGBT Foundation published Outnorthwest, the North West’s only free LGBT bi-monthly lifestyle, health and listings magazine, from 2000 to 2014.
The library archives even includes a copy of Tales from Out in the City: an Anthology of Memories (2009) – a volume of memories and reminiscences from older members of the gay community in Manchester, published by Out In The City / Age Concern.
It’s Queer Up North archives
Dance and debate, clubs and comedy, literature and live art, films and fairies, plays and puppetry, thespians and theory – these were just some of the experiences on offer from our city’s very own international LGBT arts festival, It’s Queer Up North.
Thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, the archives have been catalogued, repackaged and made available at Central Library. The collection as a whole includes promotional materials, artists’ files, photographs, and film from 1992-2006. In addition, an oral history project has recorded the memories and experiences of those involved with the festival.
Lots of great photos can be seen here.
Community Group of the Year Award
Out In The City has been shortlisted for an award at Forever Manchester’s annual Birthday Party on Friday 10 February 2023 at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, Oxford Street, Manchester.
The Forever Manchester Birthday Party brings together over 400 passionate and dedicated Forever Manchester supporters to celebrate another great year of helping local people to do extraordinary things together.
This award is in the “Community Group of the Year” category and given in recognition of a community group or project that has made a meaningful and significant impact, strengthening communities, making a difference, and putting smiles on peoples faces.
The shortlist of Community Groups is:
Ashton Community Chess Club, Buile Hill Mansion Association, Community Buds, On Top of the World, Out In The City and Trafford Handball.