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UK AIDS Memorial Quilt Panels

Identifier: GD1-152

Scope and Contents

Ten textile mixed media UK AIDS Memorial quilt panels, each with hanging loops.See item-level catalogue entries for individual descriptions and dimensions.


  • Creation: 1989 - 1996


Conditions Governing Access

Open to public access.

Conditions Governing Use

All ten panels have been digitised to an extremely high standard. If possible, access to digital surrogates is encouraged over repeated viewing of physical panels, since frequent removal from and return to housing risks accumulated wear and tear. If access to physical panels is requested, please note that their size means that dedicated space and staff time needs to be booked in advance. Therefore, please be advised that at least two week's notice is needed for any appointment to view these items.

Biographical / Historical

The NAMES Project was founded in San Francisco in 1987 by AIDS activist Cleve Jones. It is the largest community arts project in the world. The Project organised and co-ordinated the making and collecting of fabric panels (each the size of a standard grave plot) which could be stitched together and subsequently displayed as a memorial to those who died as a result of AIDS-related illnesses. Individual panels were made by family and loved ones, and could be dedicated to an individual, to groups, or to a cause. The initiative spread around the world, with the UK chapter of the NAMES Project beginning in the late 1980s, eventually based in Edinburgh under the leadership of Scottish LGBT activist, Alastair Hume. The UK NAMES Project organised exhibitions of quilt panels, ran education workshops around the quilt and HIV awareness, collected finished panels from around the country, assembled them into quilts, and raised funds. The UK NAMES Project ran until the mid 1990s.


10 items (3 large cube tubes: panels are stored rolled) : Panels are fabric, with decorations made from various forms of textile and other material. ; Panels average 2 metres x 1 metre when laid out flat.


Since no arrangement by creator or date is obvious, no hierarchical order has been imposed.

Custodial History

The ten panels cared for by LHSA were donated in 2015 by Waverley Care, on whose premises they were being stored. When the UK chapter of the NAMES Project ceased operating, panels in their care were initially transported to George House Trust in Manchester, before eventually being acquired by the UK AIDS Memorial Trust Partnership, with most panels now being held in London by HIV nutrition charity, The Food Chain. Exhibitions of the Quilt took place in the SOLAS Centre (run by Waverley Care) during 1990s, therefore it is possible that these panels remained in Waverley Care's custody, or were passed on after the UK NAMES Project wound up. Since some panels do not seem to have been created in Edinburgh or Scotland, it seems most likely that the ten panels in LHSA's custody were amongst those originally sent to the NAMES Project from around the UK for assembly into quilts and display.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by the Spiritual Care and Faith Communities’ Coordinator, Waverley Care, in 2015 (Acc15/016).

Related Materials

  • GD21/3/3 - CRUSAID: The Names Project Exhibition
  • GD24/1/53 - Lothian Regional AIDS Team: The Names Project


UK AIDS Memorial Quilt Panels
In Progress
Louise WIlliams
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Lothian Health Services Archive Repository

Centre for Research Collections
Edinburgh University Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44 (0)131 650 3392