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Help us create Islington's first LGBT archive

An image from the archive - Gay Liberation Front campaigners in 1971

An image from the archive - Gay Liberation Front campaigners in 1971

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Islington Council is creating the borough’s first archive dedicated to its Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender history supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) – and is urging local residents to help.  
 
The archive is based around five themes – politics, social life, health, discrimination, and community development – and will combine a rich range of cultural artefacts and historic objects, as well as oral histories and recorded memories.  
 
The council is calling on local people to help by scouring their homes and offering collected items and memorabilia, such as posters and flyers, that depict Islington’s diverse LGBT history. 
 
The new archive will become an ongoing collection to which residents can continue to contribute in future.
 
Islington has been home to a number of key events throughout LGBT and wider history, including the first public gay rights protest in Britain in 1970, the UK’s first openly gay Member of Parliament, Chris Smith, in 1984 and the UK’s first legal afterhours club, Trade, which opened in 1990.
 
The project, which has received funding from the HLF, aims to showcase these formative events that have shaped Islington’s character and history.   
 
Later, Islington Council’s Heritage Team will work with local young people to create additional educational resources and artistic material for the archive.
 
They also plan to create a ‘digital trail’ around the borough, which residents can follow and gain further insights into the Islington’s LGBT culture and community.
 
Islington Council’s Equalities Champion, Cllr Aysegul Erdogan said:
 
“This is an ambitious project – the first of its kind in Islington – which will showcase how people and events connected to the LGBT community have helped shape the borough we live and work in today.
 
“But we can’t do it alone and still hope to capture the full breadth and depth of Islington’s wonderfully rich LGBT character and history.
 
“That’s why we’re calling on local people to hunt out any items and memorabilia they may have at home or at work, and contribute it to something bigger that will be enjoyed by generations.
 
“Recent history passes into memory and can vanish forever if you don’t collect it.”
 
Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “Islington has long been at the forefront of the LGBT rights movement, and remains a place with strong links to the growth of the LGBT community in London.
 
“We are pleased that, thanks to National Lottery players we have been able to give initial support to Islington’s Pride for this excellent project to create a dedicated LGBT archive, and we look forward to seeing the detailed proposals at a later date.”
 
For more information on this project or to contribute an item, please email islington.museum@islington.gov.uk.

For more information contact:

Hannah Kirby
Communications Graduate Trainee
020 7527 3064
hannah.kirby@islington.gov.uk

Notes to editors

Heritage Grants applications are assessed in two rounds.  A first-round pass is given when HLF has endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding. A first-round pass may also include an immediate award to fund the development of the project. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second-round and as long as plans have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal, an award for the project is confirmed.
 
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery @HLFLondon