Bishopsgate Institute Special Collections and Archives document the experiences of everyday people, and the extraordinary individuals and organisations who have strived for social, political and cultural change.
Since the archive opened to the public in 1895 it has been steadily growing, with unique collections gifted and loaned to us. Some are London focused, but the lives they preserve and the issues they explore have national and global resonance.
The collections offer both breadth and depth. We have 150,000 books, pamphlets, maps and photographs of London. The Lesbian and Gay News media Archive (LAGNA) alone holds 350,000 press cuttings. The photographic archives over 500,000 images. We have a growing oral-history archive and the collections contain fascinating ephemera, from banners and badges to club flyers and condoms.
This trove of materials is supported by a searchable online catalogue.
Founded in 1977 by Bette Bourne, the cabaret and drag troupe Bloolips performed in the UK and internationally for over 25 years, in shows such as Lust in Space, Gland Motel, Sticky Buns and Slung Back and Strapless, winning several awards along the way. The collection includes photographs, posters, publicity materials and press reviews of these anarchic maestros of camp.