Community News

National Switchboard archive launch

Besi Besemar November 28, 2017

Switchboard Archive launches at Bishopsgate Institute on Thursday, November 30 at 7pm.


In March 1974 the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard was founded to provide confidential and accessible help and information on the end of a phone line.

In 2015 the organisation was renamed ‘Switchboard: the LGBT+ Helpline’ to  emphasise inclusion for persons of all sexual orientation and gender identities, and to reflect its nationwide reach.

Switchboard’s Archive provides a comprehensive history of the organisation and includes phone logbooks, promotional materials, minutes and ephemera from fundraising concerts and events.

Switchboard decision to launch the archive during National HIV Testing Week and on the eve of World AIDS Day is particularly pertinent. In the 1980s Switchboard was the leading source of information on HIV, whose volunteers went onto set up some of the UK’s leading HIV charities such as Terrence Higgins Trust and National AIDS Manual.

Join them to celebrate the valuable work that Switchboard has carried out over the last 43 years, and to welcome the Switchboard Archive to Bishopsgate Institute where it will be made accessible to the public for generations to come. There will be the opportunity to explore the Archive through a pop-up display, and hear short talks from Switchboard representatives.

Drinks will be available to purchase from the pop up bar.

Confirmed speakers include: 
Stefan Dickers – Head Archivist of Bishopsgate Institute
Lisa Power – Ex-Switchboard Volunteer and Co-founder of Stonewall & Ex THT Director of Policy
Tom Robinson – Ex-Switchboard Volunteer, Singer, BBC Radio 6Music Broadcaster & LGBT Activist
Nuala O’Sullivan & Dave Maher – Co-Chairs of Switchboard
Natasha Walker – Trustee of Switchboard & Archive Curator


Event: The Switchboard Archive Launch

Where: Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 4QH

When: Thursday, November 30

Time: 7-9pm

Cost: This is a free event, but entry by ticket only.  Click here: to secure your tickets.