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British Library of Political and Economic Science

Gay Activists Alliance


Reference code(s): GB 0097 HCA/Gay Activists Alliance

Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science

Title: Gay Activists Alliance

Date(s): 1977-1980

Level of description: sub-fonds

Extent: 1 box

Name of creator(s): Gay Activists Alliance


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) grew out of the Gay News Defence Committee set up to support Gay News against a blasphemy charge and organise a large support demonstration on 11 Feb 1978. On 15 Feb, a special meeting agreed to form an umbrella organisation to monitor issues concerning gay people and generate and publicise action. GAA had no social function, but simply drew together individuals and groups concerned with gay issues. Regional groups were formed in Brighton, London, Oxford, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leicester, Coventry and Birmingham. A secretariat coordinating the work of these local groups rotated between them on a six-monthly basis. Local groups were autonomous and the secretariat had no decision-making powers. The GAA concerned itself with issues such as the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Scotland, the refusal of W H Smith's to stock Gay News, paedophilia, opposition to the National Festival of Light, the age of consent and police harassment.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA), 1977-1980, notably GAA minutes, 1978, especially concerning Gay News; GAA newsletters, 1978-1979, and bulletins, 1979-1980; material relating to local groups, 1978-1980, namely the Edinburgh Gay Activists Alliance and the Scottish Gay Activists Alliance; GAA leaflets and pamphlets, 1979, on subjects including fascism, the National Abortion Campaign and the Moss Side Community Press; general papers, 1976-1979, including material relating to the Gay Liberation Front and the Nighthawks.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Arranged in sections as follows: minutes, newsletters, local groups, leaflets, pamphlets and general papers.

Conditions governing access:

Apply to Archivist.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Apply to Archivist for copyright details.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Full handlist and on-line catalogue available.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

[Deposited in the Hall-Carpenter Archives prior to their move to the British Library of Political and Economic Science in 1988].

Immediate source of acquisition:


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

The Hall-Carpenter Archives at the British Library of Political and Economic Science hold material relating to the Gay Activists Alliance in the papers of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, the Gay Christian Movement, the Joint Council on Gay Teenagers, and Antony Grey, as well as in the Hall-Carpenter ephemera and journals collections.

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Sources: British Library of Political and Economic Science Archives catalogue. Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Nov 2000

Bisexuality | Sexuality
Homosexual law reform | Law reform | Law
Homosexuality | Sexuality
Legal systems | Law
Lesbian and gay press | Press
Lesbian, gay and bisexual campaigning groups | Groups
Lesbianism | Sexuality

Personal names

Corporate names
Gay Activists Alliance
Gay Liberation Front
Moss Side Community Press
National Abortion Campaign

London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Manchester | Lancashire | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe