The INQUEST archive is now available to access at the Bishopsgate Institute. Join us on Saturday 11 March from 1.30pm to see our archive in progress and hear from Celia Stubbs and Marcia Rigg about their on-going fight for truth, justice and accountability. Find out more and sign up here.

For over 40 years, INQUEST has fought alongside families affected by state related deaths to shine a light on the state’s darkest corners and challenge the unjust systems that enable these deaths. 

Now, thanks to a brilliant team of volunteers, we are sorting through decades of documents and collecting materials from bereaved families, campaigners and supporters to create a public archive of commemoration and resistance. We are in the process of creating and depositing our archive at the Bishopsgate Institute, who will provide public access to over 40 years of documentation around state-related deaths, family campaigns, and crucial political and legal changes. 

The world-renowned Bishopsgate Institute archives and special collections document the experiences of everyday people, and the extraordinary individuals and organisations who have striven for social, political, and cultural change. Home to the archives of individuals and organisations who have fought to make a better world, from Bernie Grant (one of the UK’s first Black MPs) to Unite Against Fascism and Wages for Housework, there is no better place for the INQUEST archive.  

Bishopsgate welcomes researchers and anyone who is interested in learning more about the history it has to offer. As a reference library only, books and other materials may only be consulted on site. Everyone is welcome to explore the INQUEST archive in progress, come and see what’s already part of Bishopsgate’s collection, from posters and campaign flyers to abolitionist magazines and press cuttings. 

Find out what is in the archive by searching the catalogue online. Whilst lots of materials are open to view, some files will be closed for a period of time due to their sensitive nature. It is important that we preserve these records for time to come to enable future generations to understand the individual and collective trauma of state violence. We want to make sure that they can learn from the campaigning and change-making that has been generated through resistance.  

As well as preserving and providing access to our written history, Bishopsgate will soon also house recordings and transcripts from our oral history project. A collection of interviews with current and former INQUEST staff, volunteers, family members, lawyers, coroners, journalists, activists and politicians, they will provide important context, personal memory and subjective information to the physical archive.  

The archive is foundational to our 40th anniversary: Unlocking the Truth for 40 Years. This heritage project is about commemorating and reflecting upon the ground-breaking work of families and INQUEST holding the state to account over the past four decades. We are doing this by working with families, volunteers, artists, students and academics to produce regular events, a podcast, short film, an exhibition and more.  

More things to follow soon…