LGBT Source List


A guide to some of the LGBT-related resources held by LHSA can be found below, but please don't hesitate to contact us for information on further material.


The archive of Lothian Gay and Lesbian Switchboard covers thirty years of LGBTQ+ history in Edinburgh, Scotland and beyond. Although call logs can only be accessed by legitimate researchers under strict conditions, reports, magazines (going back to the first ever issue of Gay Scotland) and publicity material collected by Befrienders tell stories of support, community and activism.


LHSA holds unrivalled collections that document Edinburgh’s response to HIV from 1983 to the 21st century, spanning voluntary groups, charities, local authorities, the NHS, and health promotion campaigns. The city’s high HIV transmission rate in the 1980s was mostly due to needle sharing through intravenous drug use, but, by the 1990s, transmission through homosexual sex increased. However, LGBTQ+ groups were always deeply involved in HIV prevention, treatment and care in Edinburgh, aware of how the virus had affected gay communities on both sides of the Atlantic.


Just a few examples in LHSA collections include:


LHB45 – Lothian Health Board HIV/AIDS Management Team and Health Promotion Department

The HIV/AIDS Management Team was formed in response to the high rate of HIV infection in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Quick, decisive action was required to try to control the spread of the virus, one of these measures being major advances in health promotion initiatives.

LGBT Sources available in this collection:


  • LHB45/1/1/1/9 - Commercial Gay Scene and Service Provision in Lothian. Gay Men’s Health report by G Wilson (1995).
  • LHB45/1/2/1 – LHB committees and working groups, 1991-2004.
  • LHB45/1/2/2/16-22 – items relating to SAM – the Scottish Aids Monitor (1990s).
  • LHB45/1/3/1 – Projects and Campaigns, 1990-2010, includes records from MSM - men who have sex with men - campaigns (LHB45/1/3/1/5, 7-11)LHB45/1/4/2 - Rainbow Trout. Issues of Rainbow Trout, an information bulletin published by Gay Men’s Health for young gay men, lesbians and bisexuals.
  •  LHB45/2/2/16 - Lothian Health Purchasing Advisory Group. Minutes, including minutes of a SOLAS gay men’s group meeting and minutes from a Lothian HIV/AIDS forum, 1995
  •  LHB45/2/3/9 - Thinking It Through. This campaign was a collaboration between LHB Health Promotion Department and Gay Men’s Health to produce a booklet and website to encourage gay men to think about sex in new ways. Includes correspondence between the Department and the graphics company hired to produce the leaflet, evaluation of the campaign, plans and reports from Gay Men’s Health and copies of the finished product.
  • LHB45/2/5/1 – Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) groups, 1995-1998. Contains reports, and correspondence.
  • LHB45/2/6/5 - Love, Sex, Relationships. Drafts of leaflet produced by LHB Health Promotion Department and suggestions for changes from organisations including Gay Men’s Health, 1998.


GD21 - Crusaid Scotland, 1990-2013

Papers of the Scottish office of the UK charity Crusaid, founded in 1986 with the aim of giving support and a better quality of living to those affected by the HIV/AIDS virus.  Includes administrative files, resource packs and grey literature. 

LGBT Sources available in this collection:


  • GD21/5/9/6 - The House Party 2. Education pack for gay and bisexual young people. 1997


GD22 – Take Care Campaign, 1968-2000

Papers of the ground-breaking, and at times controversial, awareness raising campaign jointly launched by Lothian Health Board and Lothian Regional Council.  Includes operational and administrative papers, educational resources and promotional material including posters, badges, balloons and condoms.  This collection thoroughly documents the entire campaign and includes a wealth of visual material, an impressive reminder of the visual aspect of the response to HIV.

Selection of LGBT Sources available in this collection:


  • GD22/8/1-2 – Meridian (a monthly bulletin for people involved in HIV/AIDS work). See GD22/8/1/25 (Homosexual Men and HIV Infection), GD22/8/1/47 (Gay and Bisexual Men and HIV/AIDS, Jul 1996), GD22/8/2/9 (Stonewall Youth Project, Apr 1992), GD22/8/2/15 (Scottish AIDS Monitor SAM, Oct 1992), GD22/8/2/56 (Edinburgh Bisexual Group, Mar 1996). 
  • GD22/9 - Meridian: Information at a Glance, 1989 – 1997. A number of issues include a ‘project profile’ on organisations such as Stonewall Youth Project (GD22/9/31 and 74), SAM (GD22/9/27 and 76), Edinburgh Gay Switchboard and Lesbian Line (GD22/9/48), Edinburgh Bisexual Group (GD22/9/79), and Gay Men’s Health (GD22/9/80).
  • GD22/14/1 – Leaflets, 1985-1998. Features leaflets produced by SAM (Scottish Aids Monitor), Lothian Gay Men’s Health Group and The Gay Men’s Service Providers Group. 
  • GD22/14/2 – Posters, 1990s, features posters aimed towards the gay community (for example, GD22/14/2/1/24).


GD24 – Lothian Regional AIDS Team, 1983-1997

Operational, administrative and correspondence files of the Lothian Regional AIDS Team, later known as the LHB HIV/AIDS and Drugs Team. Includes minutes and papers of various committees combining to document the individual and joint responses of the Lothian Health Board, the Lothian Regional Council, charities and campaign groups to HIV/AIDS.  Also includes the Team’s library, an extensive collection of grey literature relating to HIV, and copies of Meridian (1989-1995) the Team’s newsletter. Selection of LGBT Sources available in this collection:

  • GD24/1/228 - Act-Up (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power – Non-Statutory Pressure Group). Campaigning information and newsletters produced by Act-Up Edinburgh.
  • GD24/6 – Meridian Information Sheets, 1989-1995. See GD24/6/2/11 – List of books ordered from West and Wilde, c.1994 (a gay bookshop in Edinburgh)

 Items from the Spittal Street Centre Library:

  • GD24/7/1/21 – Report on Bar Jar Evaluation – Compiled by Harm Reduction Team. Concerns the distribution of free condoms in gay bars in Glasgow and Edinburgh, c.1992
  • GD24/7/3/5 - Confidence and Assertion and Negotiating Safer SexWork Group [CANSS] – E – Survey with Gay and Lesbian (mixed (urban) Project. Relates to database at GD24/X/1/10 and files 2-7 relate, 1991.
  • GD24/7/5/7 - Outreach Work with Men who have Sex with Men, 1991.
  • GD24/7/16/38 - Some Problems in Defining and Sampling Non-Heterosexual Males - Project Sigma Working Paper 3, 1986
  • GD24/7/16/39 - Report of the Pilot Study – Project on Sexual Lifestyles of Non-Heterosexual Males – Project Sigma, c.1985
  • GD24/7/16/64 - Gay Men’s Health – Education and Training Services and Gay Men’s Health – Care and Support Services. Two leaflets.
  • GD24/7/18/9 - Local Government, AIDS and Gay Men – results of a survey into the HIV and AIDS services of local government in England and Wales. Produced by NAM (National AIDS Manual).
  • GD24/7/37/26 - Rainbow Trout – for Lothian’s young gay men, lesbians and bisexuals.
  • GD24/7/60/10 - London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard 17th Annual Report.

GD25 - Helen Zealley, Director of Public Health, 1964-2005

Dr Helen Zealley was the Director of Public Health (DPH) - also known as the Chief Administrative Medical Officer (CAMO) - of Lothian Health Board (LHB), which later became NHS Lothian. Her papers were collected or created before and during her role as CAMO/DPH, from 1988 until she retired in 2000. Helen Zealley worked during many challenging periods for LHB, reflected in papers relating to a financial crisis in the early 1990s and initiatives to combat the high rate of HIV infection in Edinburgh.

Selection of LGBT Sources available in this collection:

  • GD25/3/6/3 - [Health promotion for gay men.] Correspondence, meeting minutes, reports, notes and promotional material relating to the development of health promotion services for gay men and HIV infection risk, 1993-1999.
  • GD25/3/8/4 - Thinking it through – a new approach to sex, relationships and HIV for gay men. Booklet and associated correspondence, 1997.
  • GD25/3/8/7 - [Gay Men’s Health service.] Promotional material, correspondence, and reports relating to the official launch of Gay Men’s Health, 1995-1996.
  • GD25/3/8/13 - [Stonewall Youth Project.] Correspondence and promotional material relating to the Stonewall Youth Project responding to the needs of gay, lesbian and bisexual young people, 1996.

GD1/96 HIV/AIDS Awareness Postcards, c. 1990

A collection of highly visual postcards, the majority of which originated in the US.  This collection provides an international dimension to the campaign to fight HIV and AIDS, and complements the promotional material held in GD22. Selection of LGBT Sources available in this collection:

  • GD1/96/2 - Jaded Lounge “The Last Deadly Sin...”, Gay Asian Community Health Empowerment Project promotional card.
  • GD1/96/20 - The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center “Braking the Cycle” 2003 appeal card.
  • GD1/96/21 - The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center Billy Heekin tribute information card.
  • GD1/96/36 - Gay/Lesbian History Stamp Club “AIDS Memorial Quilt” October 1996 promotional card.
  • GD1/96/41 - Gay Men’s Health Crisis information card “Soul Food is Cookin’ at GMHC”.
  • GD1/96/47 - Programs and Research Studies for Gay/Bisexual Men information card.
  • GD1/96/49 - 13th Connecticut Gay and Lesbian Film Festival promotional card: “The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me”. In the 1980s, Larry Kramer was a contraversial figure in New York ACT-UP.
  • GD1/96/60 – Health Gay Manchester Gay Men’s Safer Sex Pack portaloo promotional card.
  • GD1/96/61 - Health Gay Manchester Gay Men’s Safer Sex Pack bed promotional card.

GD1/135 HIV/AIDS and Sexual Health Pamphlets, 1984-2006

A collection of leaflets and pamphlets about HIV, AIDS and sexual health.  This collection complements the promotional material held in the collections listed above. Selection of LGBT Sources available in this collection:

  • GD1/135/4/3 - The Pink Paper World AIDS Day Special, including article ‘Fifteen Years of AIDS’,  c.1997.
  • GD1/135/4/6 - Paper to the Greater Glasgow Health Board recommending the repeal of Section 2A of the Local Government Act 1986 (which prevented local aufthorities from ‘promoting’ homosexuality); accompanying memo to the authors of the paper (including Dr Nandwani) giving the Board’s approval of the recommendation; and a ballot paper on the retention of Section 2A (Section 28). 2000.

GD39 - Haldane Tait, Principal Medical Officer, 1839-1990

Dr Haldane Philip Tait MD, FRCP (Edin.), FFCM, DPH was the Principal Medical Officer for the Child Health Service, Edinburgh and helped found the Scottish Society of the History of Medicine(SSHM) in 1948 at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. As the first Secretary of the Society he was in charge of its organisation and held the position for fifteen years, before becoming a joint Secretary for several years after that. He collected pamphlets charting the development of the National Health Service and public health issues.

  • GD39/2/18 - ‘Report of the Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution’. Home Office. Pamphlet, Sep 1957.