From the Archives to the Future

Exploring queer identity through writing and zine making

A grouo of eleven handmade zines

Lothian Health Services Archive, together with Workshop Co-Ordinator Eloise Birtwhistle, led outreach events to engage local LGBT+ groups with the history of the Lothian Gay and Lesbian Switchboard (LGLS), and to help those who took part develop their creative skills. Participants from LGBT Health and Wellbeing’s LGBT Age Project (aged over 50) and LGBT Youth Scotland (ages 13-25) were brought together and guided through a series of writing and zine making workshops.

The workshops were designed to be informal and intergenerational, and by bringing together different age groups, participants examined the past and the present, and imagined the future. This project is an example of how creative workshops demonstrate the power of archives to stimulate discussion on contemporary experiences and can work to break down barriers for community groups accessing archival material in institutional settings.