A newly updated information guide to historical archives linked to the LGBT community in the North West is due to be launched following the huge success of earlier issues.

The LGBT History Source Guide (html version) is an introduction to the extensive archive and printed material held at Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives and elsewhere relating to the history of Manchester’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. It is sponsored by Manchester Metropolitan University and the Lesbian Community Project.

The guide (pdf version), which was last reprinted in 2009, will be launched at an evening event at the Lesbian and & Gay Foundation on Richmond Street on Monday 22 August, between 6 and 7pm.

Police Gazette, 1880

On the night Jeff Evans, a researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University, with help from Sylvia Kölling, will tell the dramatic and salacious story of the police raid on a drag ball in Manchester and its aftermath which caused a national scandal in 1880. Here’s how the Manchester Guardian reported the ‘Scandalous Assembly in Hulme’, naming and shaming the respectable men involved and giving titillating details about the costumes and the password to the secret ball! (By kind permission of Guardian News Media.)

Crown Copyright

This incredible story was researched by Jeff and Sylvia using original local and national newspapers and court reports held in archives across Manchester and beyond. Many of these primary sources, and others like them, will be on display at the event.

The guide is being newly-reprinted after demand outstripped supply of the 2009 version. The new and updated guide will feature up to the minute information, including the influential papers of Alan Horsfall – the founder and secretary of the North Western Homosexual Law Reform Committee, the organisation which lobbied for homosexual equality and later became the national Campaign for Homosexual Equality after the passing of the Sexual Offences Act in 1967.

Never Going Underground (ref: M775/5)
Councillor Paul Fairweather, lead member for gay men, said: “Manchester’s LGBT community has been incredibly influential in the city’s social and cultural history and although it is sometimes difficult for people to find historical information about the community, the interest in the subject is undeniable. For people who are looking to research the LGBT history and community, the guide is an indispensible source.”

If you hold archive or historical material relating to Manchester’s LGBT community, or would like to be interviewed to document your own involvement with them, then please do not hesitate to contact us for advice on either 0161 832 5284 or archiveslocalstudies@manchester.gov.uk.