Skip over navigation to page content
OurStory Scotland

... recording the stories of the LGBT community in Scotland

Archiving Heritage Oral History Storytelling Drama Exhibitions Research
  Research: Research Index | Collecting, Archiving and Presenting Our Stories | Narratives of Identity | Policy and Practice

Collecting, archiving and presenting our stories depends on the socio-political climate

OurStory Weatherhouse

OurStory Weatherhouse created by Ruth Waterhouse

Broadsheet Spring 2018

Coming In and Out of the Archives
Broadsheet Spring 2018

Broadsheet Winter 2020

Transcending Distance
Broadsheet Winter 2020

Collecting, Archiving and Presenting Our Stories

In workshops, conferences and publications, OurStory Scotland has given several accounts of collecting, archiving and presenting the stories of the LGBTQ+ community.

The story of rescuing our heritage is also part of that heritage. By enabling people to tell of their lives and experiences, and to have their stories preserved for the future, we have turned out to make history. History Scotland has published the story of our first ten years (Vol 12, 1 & 2, Jan/Feb & March/April 2012):

see the two-part article
>> Turning Out to Make History - Part 1
>> Turning Out to Make History - Part 2

Our presentations have looked not only at the heritage and meaning of the stories, but at methods of storytelling - the wide variety of ways in which we have encouraged the telling of neglected narratives and untold stories.

Neglected Narratives and Untold Stories

OurStory Scotland provided the theme and title for the conference on Neglected Narratives and Untold Stories, which was held in October 2006 as the inaugural conference of the Centre for Narrative and Auto/Biographical Studies at Edinburgh University in association with OurStory Scotland. The paper on Untold Stories of the LGBT Community, with its focus on methods of storytelling, was developed for publication, together with embedded videos from the OurStory Ceilidh and storytelling workshops. The published paper can be accessed online here:

see the article >> Narrative Acts

Relating Our Selves

Through the development of innovative ways of narrating our lives, we explore different ways of relating our selves – both in the sense of telling our stories, and identifying with each other. You can read about this in an article published in Methodological Innovations Online:

see the article >> Relating Our Selves

Coming In and Out of the Archives

The launch of our 'Coming In' project, celebrating the lives of LGBTQ+ people who have come to Scotland from overseas, took place at the National Library of Scotland in February 2017. At the launch, we presented stories from our archives, which in turn inspired further storytelling on 'Coming In'. You can read about this 'virtuous circle' in an article that develops the theme of bringing stories out of the archives to encourage further stories to be told, collected and archived. The article is in Broadsheet, the magazine of the Scottish Council on Archives:

see the article >> Coming In and Out of the Archives

Transcending Distance: Recording Diversity during the Pandemic

Covid-19 brought about changes in the way we collect, archive and present our stories. You can read about the ways we adapted to these circumstances, and recorded stories during the pandemic, in an article for Broadsheet, the magazine of the Scottish Council on Archives:

see the article >>Transcending Distance

Distant Voices, Queer Lives

Developments over twenty years are briefly reviewed in a blog on the Oral History Society website, along with our response to the pandemic through Queer Distance, remote recording and podcasting. The expansion of our team of volunteers has helped us extend our consideration of new identities and developing discourse, especially around sexual ambiguity and gender fluidity, and to develop the theme of Transgressions:

see the article >>Distant Voices, Queer Lives


In 2012 History Scotland published our two-part article
Turning Out to Make History

History Scotland Vol 12 no 1

History Scotland Vol 12 no 2