LGBT Archive:Writing for this Wiki

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Getting started

If you want to enter or edit information, create an account by emailing with your name, email address, a chosen "Username", for this site, and Jonathan will send you a password. If you have an area of interest or represent an organisation, please include that in your email.

Once you have your password, you can log in and search for a term, using the search field below the login field. Use the correct spelling, upper- and lower-case letters, as appropriate, because, if the article does not exist already, it will ask you to create a page with this exact title. If you’re creating a page that’s the name of an organisation, use the full name (e.g. “The European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation”), then put the initials (e.g. “EGLSF”) in brackets after the name in the body of the article. We recommend missing out the word “The” in the page title, as it makes it easier for people to find the page.

e.g. The European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF) is the umbrella association for LGBT sports clubs in Europe…

If the page already exists, you may edit it using the “edit” tab, if the page does not already exist, it will ask you if you want to create it – click the red title to create the page. Then start writing.

If you're not sure what to write about, you could have a look at the "Articles needed" page which lists items we think ought to be written up, but don't yet have their own articles. For a much longer list, click "Special pages" in the left-hand Toolbox and then "Wanted pages". We would also very much like some information about the remaining small number of Districts with no LGBT history.

We've created a category of "Stub" pages - there are pages with only the most basic information, which we haven't yet had the time or the information to make into a proper article. Any help on these would be very welcome. See Category:Stubs.

If you edit a page that someone else has been working on, it’s always a good idea to describe what you did in the "Summary" field, before you save it.

Guidelines to writing

  • use a neutral point of view, avoid articles that read like adverts
  • use the third person throughout — avoid "I", "we", or "you" (except in direct quotations)
  • be careful with statements about living people that could be libellous
  • don’t mention people’s HIV status unless relevant and publicised
  • make sure that any facts that might be queried are substantiated by references giving the source of the information (more about this below)
  • don’t copy from other websites and books without permission from the copyright owner
  • be aware that you don’t own what you’ve written and other people may change it
  • use modern UK spelling and punctuation conventions, for instance "theatre" rather than "theater" and "E M Forster" rather than "E. M. Forster" (but keep the original spelling etc in direct quotations)
  • for consistency, we've chosen to use plural for category names

For some examples of articles that we're reasonably happy with (although even these are not guaranteed to be complete) see Category:Selected articles.


Almost all articles will refer to things or people about which have their own articles on this Wiki. It's extremely useful to mark these cases by putting double square brackets round the words in question, [[like this]]. If you've spelt the words correctly the user will see them highlighted in blue, and be able to click on them to go to the other article.

Once you've created your article, you might like to check any other articles that should be linking back to it.


Flag with horizontal stripes in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple
The rainbow flag, a picture from Wikimedia Commons
A picture tells a thousand words! Pictures are welcome on all articles, but we need to beware of the law of copyright. Wikimedia Commons - – is a very useful source of illustrations that are free to use, and very easy to incorporate into an article on this Wiki. We also welcome pictures for which you have the copyright (for instance photos you've taken yourself) or where you've got written permission from the copyright owner. You might even consider uploading your pictures to Wikimedia Commons, so that other sites such as Wikipedia can make use of them.

To include a picture in an article use the following code: [[File:Myphoto.jpg|thumb|Caption]], replacing "Myphoto.jpg" with the filename of the picture (on this Wiki or on Wikimedia Commons), and "Caption" with a short caption which will appear under the photo. Take a look at some of our illustrated articles (or the rainbow flag in this section) for examples.

Citing your sources

It's very important to give the sources of your information, so that other people can check out the facts for themselves. The most usual way to do this is with a footnote. You can create a footnote with Wiki markup, by adding ref tags around your source, like this:

<ref>Your Source</ref>

If you are adding the first footnote to an article, you also need to make sure that there is text that tells our software to display footnotes. You should add two lines as follows, at the very bottom of the article text:

== References ==


The == References == line will produce a heading, and the <references> line will causes all the references you've put into your article to be listed as numbered footnotes.

If this isn't completely clear, please let us know and we will be glad to help.

Note that other Wikis, such as Wikipedia, shouldn't be quoted as the source of information – however a Wikipedia article may have references that you can follow up. Remember however that they should always be checked, and that Wikipedia's way of formatting references is not quite the same as ours.

Referencing web pages

Very often, particularly for current events and organisations, the only source of information will be a website. To reference something on the web, put the web address first (note we don't follow the Wikipedia approach of hiding the actual address) followed by the author, title, etc – see recent articles for the layout.

One big problem with referencing web pages is that they may disappear without trace. Unfortunately this has happened with a number of sites that we referenced early on in this Wiki. The solution, from now on, is to use the Web Citation service for any web page that's likely to change in future. In fact it's probably best to use it for any web page except those giving the text of books or major newspapers, where it should always be possible (in principle) to access the paper copy. We can give guidance on how to use the service.

Suggested topics

Remember, this is aimed to be UK-only LGBT History. Take a look at our main categories page.

And see also our Articles needed page for a list of subjects that ought to be covered but haven't been yet.