First ever collection of Jewish LGBT+ history launches at London Metropolitan Archives

Rainbow Jews launches at London Met Archives


Update: The Collection is now available online and in-person via the LMA Catalogue, Reference LMA/4653

The culmination of Britain’s first ever project documenting Jewish LGBT oral history was celebrated in 2014, as the Rainbow Jews collection was launched at the London Metropolitan Archives.

Started over two years ago by project manager Shaan Knan with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the unique initiative amassed over 40 personal testimonies from British LGBT Jews, exploring the struggles, changes and issues experienced by the community from the 1950s to today.

The project has been welcomed by museums and archives across the world, receiving interest from Jewish communities in Israel and South America.

It was hosted by Liberal Judaism, whose Chief Executive Rabbi Danny Rich said he was “very proud” at the event. “This enables voices that haven’t been heard to be articulated. This part of the community now has their archive just like any other.”

The testimonies, photos and audiovisual recordings were displayed at the London School of Economics earlier and are now being archived at LMA, where they will be available for the public to browse and watch from the early autumn.

They join LMA’s rich collection of synagogue records and LGBT+ archives, including court, hospital and religious documents dating back to the 17th century.

“We’re very privileged to have this project here as part of our LGBT+ and Jewish archives,” said an LMA spokesperson. “It’s important that the contribution of these people is not forgotten or hidden, that it’s available to access for the long te

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