Queer Beyond London is delighted to highlight exciting research and projects exploring queer local histories that will be featured in our upcoming Queer Localities international conference from 30 November – 1 December 2017.
Cheryl Morgan and Julian Warren
Over the past five years OutStories Bristol, a volunteer-run local history organisation, has run a number of projects in and around the Bristol region. These have included:
- An exhibition at the M-Shed Museum which was mentioned in Parliament;
- A weekend long festival of LGBT+ history headlined by Stuart Milk; and
- Development of an online map and app showing local sites of interest to LGBT+ history.
While much of the labour for these projects has been provided by OutStories members, none of these projects would have been possible without collaboration from Bristol Museums Service (primarily M-Shed and the Bristol Archives), and Bristol University. The University of the West of England has also provided assistance, and of course funding bodies have been invaluable.
For the most part these projects have been successful in that they came to fruition and attracted a fair amount of public interest. However, not everything has been plain sailing. Confidentiality is always as issue, as is representation of trans people, bisexuals and the BME community. The current financial climate is certainly making things more difficult.
The paper will look at the history of the collaboration of OutStories Bristol with civic and academic bodies, will review the successes and failures of the various projects, and seek to provide useful lessons for other groups that might wish to undertake similar projects. Contributions will be sought from the various organisations that have worked with OutStories on these projects. Co-author Julian Warren worked for Bristol Archives during the period covered.
Julian Warren has worked as an archivist at Bristol Archives since 2010, where he has been City Archivist since 2014. This summer he moves to the University of Bristol Theatre Collection to take up the post of Keeper: Digital and Live Art Archives. As a Bristol City Council officer, he has worked in partnership with regional history society Outstories since 2012 , assisting Outstories in the development of their archive and exhibitions projects. Twitter: @bristolarchives
Queer Localities: a two-day international conference
Birkbeck, University of London
30 November – 1 December 2017
Free and open to all, but please REGISTER your place here