LGBT History Month is here again and archives across the country are celebrating the diverse contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to our communities, societies and organisations. For me personally this month’s festivities are bittersweet though, as they also mark the beginning of the end of what has been a very rewarding, interesting and enjoyable year.
I’ve spent the last ten months as the Opening Up Archives Trainee at Gloucestershire Archives and have been involved in a wide range of activities designed to make the documentary heritage of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire more accessible. From designing online learning activities and training for colleagues and community groups, to addressing the challenges of ingesting and sharing digital deposits, these experiences have given me the opportunity to learn about aspects of archival practice I had never considered.
Since September I’ve also been running a pilot project to explore the LGBT history of the two counties that once made up the historic county of Gloucestershire. The project focuses on developing relationships between the Archives and local LGBT communities in the hopes of gathering new material, as well as beginning to search through existing records to find the hidden histories we feel are probably in the collections, albeit very well buried.