June 30, 2015

BNY Mellon volunteers help preserve LGBT history

BNY Mellon employees with one of the panels of the UK AIDS Memorial Quilt

BNY Mellon employees with one of the panels of the UK AIDS Memorial Quilt

Volunteers from BNY Mellon’s Manchester office in the United Kingdom have worked with local HIV charity George House Trust (GHT) on a very special project over the last six months to help preserve a vital part of British LGBT social history – the creation of a digital archive linked to the conservation of the UK AIDS Memorial Quilt.

The UK AIDS Memorial Quilt pays tribute to people who died of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s. In addition to being a creative way for friends and loved ones to remember those they have lost, the HIV/AIDS quilt aims to educate people about HIV prevention, fight stigma and convey that this is no time for complacency.

The UK quilt was first displayed in Hyde Park in 1994. GHT, which is part of the UK AIDS Memorial Quilt Conservation Partnership, acquired it in 2004.

The UK portion of the quilt consists of approximately 48 sections; each section is made up of eight 12 feet x 12 feet panels which are sewn together to create a quilt. The panels – each with a name, perhaps a poem, a photograph, or a favorite item of clothing – document the tragic loss of life.

Today, the UK quilt contains memorials of more than 380 people who have died from AIDS in the UK.

This year marks GHT's 30th anniversary and BNY Mellon's 10th year in Manchester. The project took place from January to June 2015 and was a great way for both organizations to celebrate this special anniversary year.