The Lesbian Archive

Scope and Content

Items in the Archive date back to the turn of the century and the collection includes copies of Urania (a 'first-wave feminism' magazine published between 1918 and 1938) and a range of lesbian and gay magazines from the 1950s onwards. There are books, magazines, journals, newsletters, videos, badges, posters, t-shirts, leaflets, banners, tapes, photos, letters, diaries, conference papers, manuscripts, oral histories

Administrative / Biographical History

The Lesbian Archive and Information Centre (LAIC) was set up in London in 1984 and to collect material about lesbian lives, activism and achievements, primarily in the UK. The Archive relocated to Glasgow Women's Library in 1995. LAIC was established as The Lesbian Archives Collective in 1984, receiving grant funding from the Greater London Council. After the withdrawal of this funding after the dissolution of this Council, LAIC found itself in financial difficulties and without a permanent base. The collections were therefore sent to Glasgow in September 1995 to be housed in the upper floor of the Glasgow Women's Library. In 1996, LAIC accepted the archives and library of the Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group as a complete collection. Jackie Forster, broadcaster, comedian, lesbian activist and founder of Sappho magazine was an active member of the LAIC Management Committee from 1992 until her death in October 1998. In 1997 a BBC film crew came to the archive to film Jackie for a programme about her life which was to be part of 'The Day That Changed My Life' series. Her work has made a huge impact on shaping the archive. You can hire this inspiring documentary on video from the Library.

Access Information

Access by appointment (in 2009 the Library was relocating to Mitchell Library and access was limited)

Acquisition Information


Other Finding Aids

For more details contact the Library.

Archivist's Note

Collection Description based on a previous description by the Genesis project 2002. The updated description Jan 2009, was created using information from The Glasgow Women's Library. Submitted to the Archives Hub as part of Genesis 2009 Project.


Donations are encouraged.

Geographical Names