As work begains cataloguing items in the Dsiabled People's Archived, housed at Manchester Central LIbrary, you can view items from the collection on the archive's accessible website at disabledpeoplesarchive.com
Items from this treasure trove of photographs, objects, documents, film and music from disabled people’s history have also been unveiled on an accessible website developed over the winter/spring of 2020-21, and funded by the National Lottery Covid Emergency Fund.
The idea behind the website is giving disabled people access to the archive without going to Manchester Central Library. There are protest songs, posters, leaflets, badges, documents, newsletters, campaign t-shirts and banners from demonstrations, some to be seen again for the first time in forty years.
An independent assessment of the Disabled People’s Archive in 2020 described the archive as being “the largest, most comprehensive archive of the lives and experience of disabled people, and the activism in England.” Some photographs in the archive show disabled people protesting and marching on the streets for rights and against discrimination in the 1970s, 80s, 90s and through to 2019. Some of the documents in the archive go back to the 1950s, with many from the 1980s revealing the background to the emergence of Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People and other disabled people’s organisations.
A key feature of the website is to make it as accessible as possible. Each page has a companion easier to read page, all images have a detailed description, and the archive is striving to provide examples with as many access features as possible, including British Sign Language and captions.
The website contains about 80 items, but we plan to increase this over the next few months and years. Now the sorting and cataloguing of the archive is beginning again, we will be able to share much more material on the website.
You can email contact the Disabled People's Archive team at archive [at] gmcdp.com Call or text 07897 930 450