Local Studies Librarian Kate and Archivist Eve recently attended Outing the Past hosted by Taunton Library as part of LGBT History Month.
The event included speakers talking on a range of subjects in LGBT history particularly in the South West; drag queen story time; and representatives from a wealth of local organisations committed to celebrating the history, and future, of the LGBT community in Somerset.
Researching LGBT history in Somerset in the run-up to the event revealed that records documenting gay life in Somerset are scant, and few and far between. Those records that we do hold within our collections too often reflect historic attitudes and stigma, focusing on the criminalisation of homosexuality for example, rather than representing the voices of individuals.
At the Outing the Past event our team were able to explain more about the role of archives and to encourage local groups and individuals to deposit their records as a way of increasing the diversity of the historical record of Somerset.
If you are interested in depositing records with us you can find out how here.