LGBT+ History Month: Research Guide

To tie in with LGBT+ History Month, the Local and Family History Library have created a new research guide with some of the most relevant items of stock for anyone researching the history of LGBT+ Leeds. This weeks blog looks at some of the items in more depth.

West Yorkshire Queer Stories was a project running 2018-2020 and gathered stories of the LGBT+ community across the region. Their website stores the audio files and transcripts of these stories but they have also produced a book with just some of the stories in print.

West Yorkshire Queer Stories, published 2020. Classmark YQ 306.766 WES

Our photographic archive – Leodis – has a curated gallery on LGBT+ Leeds which was curated by Ross Horsley of West Yorkshire Queer Stories. Try keyword search ‘LGBT’ for even more images.

The Lynn Daniel Collection (SRF2 307.67 DAN) came about due to West Yorkshire Queer Stories. After taking part in the project Lynn Daniel donated books from her personal library, newsletters and badges. You can read Lynn’s story about her involvement with Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp here. Please note that ID will be required to view this collection, which forms part of our Special Collections.

Lynn Daniel Collection, donated to Leeds Libraries 2021

The Leeds Other Paper (LQ 335 L51L) was an alternative to the established Leeds media and gave a voice to ordinary people and under represented groups such as LGBT+ and Black and Asian communities. Leeds Central Library holds the full run of this paper from 1974 – 1991, both in printed volumes and on microfilm. It was then amalgamated with the Northern Star Magazine but only ran until 1994.

Leeds Other Paper, held in the Local and Family History Library at LQ 335 L51L

In 2018 Leeds Civic Trust worked with Leeds LGBT+ Hub to create a Rainbow Plaque Trail. This saw the installation of 15 rainbow plaques across the city centre celebrating buildings associated with the LGBT+ community. The trail can be viewed online and paper copies can be viewed within the Local and Family History Library.

Rainbow Plaque Trail, available at LP 306.76 LEE in the Local and Family History Library

The library holds many guides to Leeds – listing attractions, restaurants and nightlife. Gradually, LGBT+ events and venues began appearing in listings beginning with the Leeds Other Paper and then came the publication of Shout: West Yorkshire’s free monthly listings paper for the lesbian, gay and bisexual community. The library only has a few copies of this magazine from February – April 1996 and they are held at YQ 306.76 SHO. Later publications such as the Itchy Guides to Leeds (L914.2819 ITC) and Leeds Fax (L 914.2819 LEE) included a ‘Gay’ section and in 2001 a Pocket Guide to Gay Friendly Leeds was published by the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Switchboard (LP 306.76 POC). In 2010 a Gay Leeds Map and Guide was produced by Leeds City Council (LP 912 LEE).

A selection of LGBT+ guides to Leeds.

The new research guide also provides some works by and about notable LGBT+ people of Leeds. The works of poet, socialist and philosopher Edward Carpenter can be located in our catalogue and the guide also lists some newspaper articles on the painter Robert Hawthorn Kitson. Angela Morley has a mini biography by David Ades (LPQ B MOR) and the library also holds an Alan Bennett collection made up of signed books and ephemera (ABC 823 BEN).

Over time we hope to expand this guide to include more stories of LGBT+ people of Leeds and uncover more hidden histories.

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