The Pride weekend is one of the highlights of the summer in Manchester.
Archives+ shared a stall with other representatives of the City Council so that we could spread the word.
Our reprinted Source Guide for the history of Manchester’s LGBT community was hot off the press and we were able to hand out copies to visitors to the stand and other organisations.
I was involved in workshops at the People’s History Museum leading up to Pride.
I took some archive posters and leaflets from our collection to their ‘Playing Your Part’ exhibition workshop to celebrate Pride. I met people from Out in the City and the Lesbian and Gay Foundation there. It was very exciting to see how many stories were sparked by the mix of our archive material and the People’s History Museum items.
Members of the workshop group returned the following week with their own items for loan and donation.
Two small display cases were set up in the foyer of the museum, with a mix of personal photos, publicity and information leaflets and other memorabilia. The papier mache rainbow donated by LGF linked the two cases. Images were chosen from the Manchester Archives’ Pride 2013 set on flickr photostream and personal photos. These were projected onto the wall as a slideshow.
The name for this pop up exhibition is Pride in Progress? It was amazing how quickly it came together. Catherine O’Donnell gave a talk about the exhibition, its development and some of the history it represents. As she pointed out, it’s collaborative, not definitive. The collection can be added to in the future. It can be inspiration for discussion, debate and even argument.
It is on display until September 1st in the foyer of the People’s History Museum.
In conversations with people I met at Pride and in the workshops at the People’s History Museum, I have been trying to pinpoint when Manchester’s gay scene became a tourist attraction. The development of the Gay Village has resulted in greater acceptance and visibility commercially as well as socially. It’s the shift from political demonstration to celebration that I find intriguing. Our archive material can tell that story with the help of the individuals who were there and saw it happen. I’m hoping to record some interviews to support our material collection in this way.
Manchester has played an important role in LGBT political and cultural history and we plan to tell this story when Archives+ finds its new home Central Library in Spring 2014.
It was fantastic to see the design of one of the posters in our collection used for the publicity for the parade.
Manchester City Council have produced a leaflet, LGBT History Snapshot, giving a timeline of 25 years of championing LGBT equality, from 1988 until 2013. They ask the question ‘What’s Next?’ and invite people to use the hashtag #WHATSNEXT to make their predictions.