Exploring Disability: an archive and history of disabled people's experience of disability and the journey from a medical to a social model perspective.


  • Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People, United Kingdom

Project summary

The GMCDP archive collection reveals the changing perspectives, language and attitudes towards disabled people that have occurred over recent decades. It highlights changes in medical practices, discussions and debates around bio-ethics and end of life issues, campaigns for independent living, the self-organisation of disabled people, development of disability culture, and the significant impact of wider health determinants (education, income/poverty levels, employment, housing etc). The GMCDP Archive is "the largest, most comprehensive archive of the lives and experience of disabled people and the activism in England" (JT Assessment)

The project will:

Work with Archives+ to catalogue and classify the collection.

Make the catalogue available online.

Establish a viable and sustainable system for viewing the collection (providing physical access to research material).

Make parts of the collection available digitally online (e.g. seminal papers).

Ensure that all openly available material is presented for viewing in a range of accessible formats and that there is an on-going system in place to transcribe new and/or restricted material. A significant challenge, but essential element of the project.

Share our learning on making collections fully accessible by developing guidance and toolkits, delivering workshops and training to other collection holders.

Connect with relevant institutions to promote the resource.