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Time capsule with LGBT Archive logo, labelled "Arts", "Sport", "Business", "Pubs & Clubs", "Health", "Press", "People"
LGBT Archive time capsule

The UK LGBT Archive records the the history and memories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people living in the UK.

It’s a virtual time-capsule, capturing the experiences of our time, and a chronicle of the achievements and challenges of previous centuries – the changing law, the amazing response to health epidemics, the newspapers and magazines that come and go, TV programmes, sports, lesbian, gay, bi and trans businesses, arts, music and theatre, events, pubs and clubs, and of course the amazing diversity of people who have had a part in our history.

The project was launched in June 2011 and was originally called The LGBT History Project. It was re-launched as The UK LGBT Archive in December 2015.[1]

In 2015 this project became a Key Partner of LGBT History Month.[2] and CHE voted to support it.[3] In February 2016 Ross Burgess read a paper about this site at the LGBT History Month academic conference in Manchester.

By early 2021, articles on this Wiki had been viewed twenty million times.

Finding information

There are several ways to find information on this site. Note that anywhere you see a word or phrase in blue, you can click on it and be taken to the item in question. If you see words in red, they are links to an article that hasn't been written yet

Who is writing it?

You could be! We need more people as volunteer editors, researching and writing up new articles, or improving existing ones. If you're interested in LGBT history, or if you've been involved in some area of LGBT life that's not well covered in our articles, we want to hear from you. We also want to hear from those that run gay clubs, businesses, venues, media – when did they start, who started them?

Why were they started? Who joined? The one thing that we do ask, wherever possible, is that you document the sources of the information so that other people can follow it up.

Alternatively you can write something personal to you, a "Vox Pop". This could be your "coming out" story, or your experience of visiting your first gay bar. These first-person stories are valuable for academics who seek "qualitative primary sources". If you have been a member of a gay club, read a gay newspaper, have a memory of going out with your mates to a gay pub, we want to hear about it – wherever you are in the country. If you’ve never done anything gay, because there was nothing in your area, or you were too scared, we want to hear about that too! We've got a small number of articles with Vox Pop entries, and would welcome some more.

The Articles needed page gives a list of items that we think out to be written up, but don't yet have their own articles. We would also very much like some information about the remaining small number of Districts with no LGBT history any help on these would be very welcome. See Category:Stubs.

For more about contributing to this Wiki, see LGBT Archive:Writing for this Wiki.

Some recent articles

Bang Disco (photo courtesy Bob Workman Archive, Bishopsgate Institute)
. A few of the articles we've added recently:
  • Bang was the name of a popular gay disco which started in 1976 in London.
  • William Mahoney was a gay man who kept diaries that are now in the Bishopsgate Institute.
  • With the often highly polarised debate about transgender Detransition has become a newish feature of lgbt affairs.
  • William Longchamp (died 1197) was Bishop of Ely and virtual ruler of England while Richard I was away on the Crusades.
  • Sir Edmund Backhouse (1873–1944) was an expert on Chinese history and a suspected forger.
  • Mary Allen was a prominent suffragette and pioneer of early policewomen.
  • Lesbian Line created in 1977, was a volunteer-run telephone helpline for those needing to talk about their lesbian identity.

For a full list of recent additions, see New Pages.

Did you know?

Edward White Benson
  • Edward White Benson (pictured), Archbishop of Canterbury, is thought to have been a repressed homosexual; his wife, his brother-in-law, and five of his children were almost certainly gay or lesbian.
  • Chelsea Manning, American soldier serving 35 years in gaol for leaking military secrets, went to school in Haverfordwest.
  • The poet Lord Byron swam from Europe to Asia in 1810, which is said to have started the sport of open water swimming.
  • Sir Winston Churchill was accused in 1895 of "gross immorality of the Oscar Wilde type".
  • The Ladies of Llangollen eloped from their families in 1780 and lived together for the rest of their lives.
  • Sex between men was illegal in the Isle of Man until 1992.
  • the sixth century King Maelgwn of Gwynedd in North Wales was described as "addicted very much to the detestable vice of sodomy".
  • In 1981 the London Pride march was moved to Huddersfield.
  • The former Spitfire pilot and racing driver Robert Cowell had gender reassignment surgery in 1951, becoming Roberta Cowell.
  • In the 18th century, gay lovers Stephen Fox and John Hervey were both MPs and subsequently members of the House of Lords.

Some other resources

Some sources of information about LGBT history

Copyright issues and reuse

All text in this wiki is freely reusable with certain provisos - see LGBT Archive:Copyrights. Some of the images may be subject to copyright restrictions. See LGBT Archive:Illustrations. Please email us if you consider we have infringed your copyright.


  1. Jack Flanagan, "LGBT wiki is 'necessary' for the preservation of our history". Gay Star News, 5 December 2015. Archived by WebCite® on 2015-12-05.
  2. About LGBT History Month Archived by WebCite® on 2015-11-10
  3. CHE: Campaign Priorities. Archived by WebCite® on 2015-06-24.