What the Archive Development Project will do

Over the next 12 months there are two main areas of work for this project:

  1. Work with Archives+ at Manchester Central Library to make sure the GMCDP archives are safely and correctly stored. To plan and begin cataloguing / categorising items, which will lead on to some of the items being made available for viewing to the public, or more restricted viewing (similar to, for example, a book in the reference-only section of a library, or one which you must have permission to look at).
  2. Update existing and create new archive and history related resources for GMCDP, such as booklets and exhibitions. This will involve collating the material GMCDP has already produced, sorting and updating it, adding more detail and making sure that the materials which show GMCDP’s history are easy to use and of good quality.


So ... what is an archive?

An archive is a collection of documents and other items such as audio and video recordings. They show the history of a place, organisation, an individual person or group of people.

Examples of items in an archive are: letters, diaries, photographs, notes from meetings, booklets, recorded interviews.


What is Archives+?

Archives+ is a purpose-built centre for local archives and heritage based in Manchester Central Library. There are computers and other resources for the public to find out more about local and family history as well as regular events and volunteering opportunities. There is also a climate-controlled vault where thousands of archives are stored (including GMCDP’s archive).

You can find out more at:


If you would like to find out more about this project, contact Linda Marsh, our Archive Development Worker:

Phone: 0161 636 7535

Email: linda [at] gmcdp.com


Background to this project

GMCDP has a substantial archive of documents, photographs and publications from our history as an organisation. Not just since 1985 when GMCDP held its first meeting, but also from before. There are minutes of meetings, publications produced by GMCDP, flyers about and photos of various events, training, meetings and exhibitions organised or attended by GMCDP and much more.

In 2005 GMCDP gained funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a one-year project to research the need for, and possibility of creating, an archive of the Disabled People’s Movement in the UK. Once people became aware of this project, they began to send their archives to GMCDP. This led to GMCDP also holding some very important historical documents relating to other disabled people’s organisations, many of which no longer exist.

In 2006 a number of boxes of archives were deposited with the Greater Manchester County Records Office for safe-keeping, and have since then been kept at their long-term storage facility in Derbyshire.

Over the summer of 2013, while preparing to move premises, it became very obvious that GMCDP still had a vast amount of archive material stored in our offices. Since that time, GMCDP staff and Executive Council have been seeking a way to make sure all these archives can be safely preserved and eventually made available as a resource for those interested in the self-organisation of disabled people.

In May, following much preparation, GMCDP deposited a further 99 boxes of archive material with Archives+ at Manchester Central Library. In July the Archive Development Project began, and will continue until June 2019.