Image of 11 items from the archive

Welcome to the Disabled People’s Archive online

Since GMCDP was established in 1985, we have documented and preserved our own history, as well as that of the wider Disabled People’s Movement and the trailblazing individuals within it.

The Disabled People’s Archive brings together our own historical collections with those donated to us by individuals and other disabled people’s organisations.

It holds thousands of documents and photographs as well as video and audio tapes, banners, posters, placards, badges, t-shirts, reports, rare books, leaflets and campaigning materials spanning decades.

Currently only 6% of the collections have been catalogued and are available to view at Manchester Central Library.

The current Covid restrictions mean there may not be physical access to the archive at the moment. We recognise that for many disabled people, visiting the library is not an option either now or at other times.

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage COVID Emergency Fund, we are able to bring a flavour of the Disabled People’s Archive to you through this website. This is only the start. We plan to add to this website regularly. Once we have the funding to continue cataloguing the archive, we will bring you even more.

Explore the sections on this website to:

Find out about the Disabled People’s Archive

What is it? How did it come about? What do all these words mean – archive, collection, artefact, ephemera?

Discover disabled people’s history

We’re a diverse group of people with different stories and experiences, but share a common goal of campaigning for our right to be fully included in all aspects of mainstream community life. This is a space for disabled people to ‘tell our own stories’ about our campaigns, challenges and successes.

Explore material from the Disabled People's Archive Collections

This website is the start of a much bigger project to open up the collections. You can follow the links on this page to explore some of the documents, videos, audio, artefacts and ephemera in the archive. These includes songs, poetry, newsletters, magazines, flyers, posters, postcards and more!

Where to find out more – useful resources

For now, until we develop our own resources, find links to archives and organisations that offer information and toolkits about archiving. In the next few years, we’ll be adding good practice guidance and sharing our tips on how to develop accessible and inclusive information, resources and collections. We’ll also be adding resources for schools, trainers, researchers and anyone with an interest in disabled people’s activism.

Get involved!

In time we’ll be running occasional workshops to delve into parts of the collection and reaching out through this website to complete the stories behind some of the material in the archive. You will be able to help us fill in gaps or identify photos, put together a fuller picture of a document or campaign, send in your comments or even become part of our Disabled People's Archive detectives team of volunteers.

View by accessibility

Access is a high priority for us at GMCDP. We will offer as many accessible formats of our collection as we can, although it is not always possible to modify pre-existing material. You can view by links to resources that are British Sign Language interpreted, captioned, audio, audio described, more suitable for screen readers, or easier to read.

Contact Us

Get in touch with us or find out where the archive is kept.

We hope you enjoy our website and are both informed and inspired!


- what words mean

This page tells you what some words mean. You can find a link to it on every page.

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Funded by the National Lottery Heritage COVID Emergency Fund.