The Archivist’s Highlights

Islington’s Pride Archivist, Marlin Khondoker, shows us some of her favourite items in our ever-growing collection of LGBTQ+ heritage.

Boxes of archived material in the Islington’s Pride Archive Collection

Over the duration of the Islington’s Pride archive project we’ve managed to collect material from a variety of sources that showcases the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community from the different social groups,  activities, campaigns, publications and so much more. We’re still collecting so if you’ve got anything you’d like to donate please get in touch! We welcome items from anyone who has lived, worked or played in Islington.

Items donated to the Islington’s Pride Archive by London Friend.

With the material we’ve collected we have created different activities and events including adult art classes, badge making workshops, walking tours and a LGBTQ+ heritage pub quiz. Head over to the Heritage Quizzes page to have a go at some of the rounds online.

We’ve also been cataloguing the material which includes digitised images of some of the items. To find out more about exploring the archive collection go here.

The collection holds some brilliant items including badges, banners, posters, leaflets, etc. with so much insight into the LGBTQ+ community of Islington and further afield.  Here are a few of my highlights:

Minutes of the IHGG Meetings

The Minutes of the meetings for the Islington and Haringey Gay Group are a fabulous set of documents that show not only the activities of the group including social events, campaigning and talks organised for their members, but also reveals what other organisations, campaigns and events were active around the same time. Interleaved in the reports the occasional extra gem; a song sheet and this flyer for a Kiss In/Cuddle In protest.

Outrage Kiss In/Cuddle In flyer, 1989. Archive Ref:

HIV Poster

From press cuttings to reports the Islington’s Pride archive collection holds a lot of items that relate to the AIDS/HIV crisis, focusing mostly around the 80s and 90s.

HIV/AIDS Awareness Resources. Archive Ref: S/IP/1/5/1

Amongst these items the material publicising awareness and awareness resources of HIV/AIDS are the most eye-catching, comprising of leaflets, flyers, pull-outs and booklets. This poster, produced by the Islington Council HIV Unit, was to promote awareness of HIV/AIDS in regards to travelling abroad and is one of the most prominent items in this selection.

A3 sized poster produced by the Islington Council HIV Unit, 1990. Archive ref:

North London Line Annual Reports

North London Line Annual Reports, 1989-1990.

The annual reports produced by North London Line, a LGBTQ+ youth group that previously existed in Islington, contain a vast amount of information on LGBTQ+ youth. Comprising of poetry, articles from teenagers relating their own experiences, what areas of support existed and what areas of support could be improved upon on for LGBTQ+ youth in the late 80s and early 90s. These reports paid attention to groups such as those with disabilities, BAME people and young lesbians. The covers aren’t too shabby either, and in particular both the front and back covers for the 1988/1989 report are very striking.

LGBTQ+ Magazines

Magazines in the Islington’s Pride archive collection on display in the Islington Local History Centre for an Archive Showcase for LGBT History Month 2020

We’ve got a range of magazines in the collection including issues of Spare Rib, Gay Times, Shebang, City Limits and Boyz. They are fantastic and can definitely keep you entertained for a few hours with content consisting of articles, photos, poetry, reviews, events, etc.   


It’s hard not to mention a badge somewhere in the highlights and we have a great collection of badges on display at Islington Museum, donated by the late Martin King. The Islington Museum is currently closed following government guideline in regards to Covid-19. We also have badges from BiPride UK, Galop, Hate Crime Awareness Week and more, as well as these cheerful frog pin badges from the Friends of Gay Switchboard.

FROGS pin badges. Archive Ref: S/IP/1/1/17

Although we will remain closed for the duration of the COVID-19 restrictions, the archive isn’t going anywhere, so do come in and see us when we re-open. We look forward to sharing this exciting collection of Islington’s LGBTQ+ history with the public.

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