Cork LGBT Archive

Who are we?

Cork LGBT Archive gathers, preserves and shares the rich history of Cork's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities, bringing this previously hidden history to light and making Cork's queer history impossible to ignore!

While focused on Cork, the work of the Cork LGBT Archive is of national relevance and importance. Many of the firsts of Irish LGBT history happened in Cork, for example the first National Gay Conference (Cork 1981), the first motion passed by a Trade Union supporting LGBT workers' rights (Cork 1982), the first Irish AIDS leaflet (Cork 1984), the first LGBT Film Festival (Cork 1991), the first LGBT float in a Patrick's Day Parade anywhere in the world (Cork 1992) and many more. Prior to the establishment of the Cork LGBT Archive accounts of Irish LGBT history and heritage focused primarily on activities in the capital, ignoring and excluding the rich history of activism throughout the country. The work of the Cork LGBT Archive also gives us a better understanding of how social change happens in Ireland and of the interconnections between campaigns for LGBT rights, feminism, and social change activism. It helps to develop a more inclusive and nuanced understanding of Irish history and heritage.

The Cork LGBT Archive makes a wide range of historical materials available and accessible for the general public, students, researchers and activists, through our digital archive, physical collection and through publications, exhibitions, film, walking tours and talks

Physical Archive: The Arthur Leahy Collection forms the core of the Cork LGBT Archive physical collection, which is housed in Cork Public Museum in Fitzgerald's Park, Cork.

Digital Archive: The Cork LGBT Digital Archive is at Some of our digital collections have also been added to the Digital Repository of Ireland and to Europeana.

Animating the Archive - bringing the history to life and making it more accessible for a wide range of people. Publications - Queer Republic of Cork, Diary Of An Activist Documentaries - I'm Here, I'm Home, I'm Happy and Loafers Exhibitions - Queer Republic of Cork, Cork Queeros, Diary Of An Activist Walking Tours

Volunteers: A vibrant group of volunteers assist with the work of the Cork LGBT Archive.

Cork LGBT Archive was established by Orla Egan in 2013. It was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee in 2022. Most of the work of the archive is done on a voluntary basis. We have received some short-term grants from the Heritage Council and Cork City Council. Please donate to support the ongoing work of the Cork LGBT Archive. (link to donate button)



The Cork LGBT Archive won the inaugural Community Archives Scheme from the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) in 2019.

The Cork LGBT Archive received a Hidden History Award from the Heritage Council in 2016 for our Queer Republic of Cork Exhibition.

The Cork LGBT Archive is one of six Heritage Finalists in the Irish National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2021.

Orla Egan was awarded the UCC Athena Swan Equality Award in 2021 for her work with the Cork LGBT Archive.

The Cork LGBT Archive was shortlisted for the GALAS Digital Change Maker Award in 2020 and nominated for a Cork Rebel Spirit Award in 2022.


Donations will help to support the work of the Cork LGBT Archive. The archive does not have any core funding and most of the work is done on a voluntary basis.

We are currently renting office space but our funding for this space runs out soon. We need funding to continue to rent our office space and support our activities.

Having space has facilitated an expansion of work at all levels, including expanding the digital collections and exhibits, work on the physical collection and outreach work. Of particular significance the office space has enabled us to engage with volunteers. The Archive has recently begun hosting weekly volunteer evenings, involving primarily young LGBTQI+ people from all parts of the city and county. The volunteer evenings also enable us to benefit from the energy and enthusiasm of the young volunteers and have them input into the work of the archive.