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Mapping LGBT+ Bristol project kicks off

Image of detail of the cover of the Mapping LGBT+ leaflet

Press release issued: 6 November 2015

Mapping LGBT+ Bristol, a major new project to create a permanent digital archive and online map of the LGBT+ history of Bristol and the surrounding areas: Bath, South Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire, launches this week.

Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the project is a collaboration between local LGBT+ history group OutStories Bristol, the Know Your Bristol project at the University of Bristol, the LGBTQ youth group Freedom Youth, the online historical mapping website Know Your Place, and Bristol Record Office.

The project involves local residents researching, writing and mapping LGBT+ history (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender including all gender, sexual, and romantic minorities).  Its aim is to make LGBT+ history mainstream – to put it on the map as part of the official history of Bristol.  In doing so, the project hopes to make the voices of LGBT+ people heard in public, in the local authority planning process and in local schools.

Over the next year the project partners will be training volunteers to carry out oral history interviews with local residents, researching LGBT+ history in the city archives at Bristol Record Office and holding a series of events to gather stories, images and artefacts to create a permanent LGBT+ archive.  

They will then digitise and edit this material in order to create an LGBT+ layer on Bristol City Council’s online history map Know Your Place, and will work in partnership with LGBTQ youth group, Freedom Youth, to create curriculum resources for schools using the material collected.

Finally, they will launch a mobile app at Bristol Pride 2016 that allows users to explore Bristol’s LGBT+ history on the move.

Co-investigator on the project, Dr Nate Eisenstadt of the University of Bristol, said: “We knew about OutStories from the impressive LGBT history work they’d done as part of their Heritage Lottery funded project and exhibition Revealing Stories at Bristol’s M Shed museum. They knew about us from the community historical mapping we have been doing with Know Your Bristol.  When Outstories got in contact and suggested an LGBT+ history mapping project, it seemed like a perfect match.  We can’t wait to get mapping!”

Volunteers are needed for all aspects of the project so anyone interested in helping should please get in touch:

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