Proud Heritage tribute to gay history

Designers are soon to be appointed to draw up plans for a virtual museum of gay history.

Proud Heritage, a national agency promoting innovative work relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, has confirmed that it is currently working on the creation of an on-line museum, due to be launched by the end of the month, as well as a museum in London, for which plans will be drawn up later in the year.

The virtual museum is being created with the intention of being original, not only in its content on gay and lesbian history, but also in its design idea of an on-line museum.

A pre-launch site has been set up in preparation for the on-line museum ( Proud Heritage has not confirmed who will be working on the design of the final on-line project. Jack Gilbert, director of Proud Heritage, says, ‘We are currently in the process of consulting graphic and Web designers and are expecting the virtual museum to open by the end of January.’

The aim of the on-line museum is to provide visitors with ‘experiences of interpretations of historical archives’ and it will include digital, scanned and aural exhibits.

Gilbert says, ‘The museum will be highly developed in terms of modern technology. It will be cutting edge, as there will be none of the baggage of the paper-based systems of the past.’

Gilbert has also confirmed plans for the development of a physical institution in London to complement the virtual museum. This is still in the early stages and a capital application is likely to be submitted by Proud Heritage to the Heritage Lottery Fund in the next six months.

The designers and location of the actual museum are still undecided. Discussions on a design brief will begin next spring and a potential site, consisting of a listed and a new building, has been identified ‘in an area where there is a lot of national LGBT heritage’.

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