Wondering how we could help in this time of crisis, we have collected some useful online resources, including feminist archives, libraries, museums, bookshops and more! There is a richness of online resources here with something to choose from for all book lovers. We have updated our directory with even more feminist libraries and archives around the country and beyond. Do check it out and don’t hesitate to let us know if you have anything to add. And please do use this quiet time to support your local independent bookstore or library if you can. Many might be closed for public health reasons, and in need of support to stay afloat during these trying times.
Feminist libraries & archives campaigns you can support while you’re working from home:
- Become a Friend of the Feminist Library – it helps us stay afloat and provide long-term security for our collections. The Library is independent and volunteer-run, which means sources of funding are not easy to come by and the best way to provide the Library with a sustainable source of income is by giving a small amount regularly (become a Friend).
- Sign up to be a member of FLA if you haven’t yet – similarly, this helps us keep going as an independent organisation with very limited recourse to funds.
- Donate to the any other Feminist archive or library on our directory.
- Keep an eye out for other feminist spaces looking for support – like this amazing project; a feminist library in Armenia! Their crowdfunder is now closed, but they were in touch with us recently looking for some more support, so it might come back to life soon.
- Order books from your local independent bookshop or a radical bookshop, especially during the crisis. If you’re hesitant about getting deliveries these days, why not try a special e-book offer from AK Press – with all AK e-books for just $1.99?
Our directory offers a one-stop shop access to directory of feminist libraries & archives around the country and beyond. We are a UK-based network, so our resources are similarly mostly UK-based, but we’re trying to connect with and provide information on international libraries and archives as well, as much as possible. Please let us know if you spot anything that’s missing from our directory.
Other resources that might be useful:
- Film – Feminist Library’s films collection on You Tube is a good start for film lovers (it does not include our move film, which was listed on Vimeo rather than YouTube, where you can also view our animations – produced by LCC students; on the topic of animation, Leeds Animation Workshop is a fabulous feminist animation project). Access to much larger collections and information on feminist film can be accessed in the Cinenova archives or join Club des Femmes’ #Culture Club – they’re posting about new films by women we can watch together online each week. And how about a Virtual Film Festival by Women Make Movies?!
- Digital collections – some of Feminist Library’s (and other feminist) poster archives have also been (only very partly) digitised as part of the Google Arts & Culture centenary project: Road to Equality.
- Other interesting projects encouraging online access to museums and libraries while we’re self-isolating are: the Times’ First Edition online book club; these digital museum tours of world-renowned collections; and Penguin has started a Twitter thread that is collecting other online resources in the area of improving access to bookstores. Not on Twitter? Read this article digest now.
- And here are some links to other potentially useful open-access archives: the Internet Archive, Memory of the World, Library Genesis, #ICanHazPDF, or Sci-Hub.
- Other alternative archives – Bishopsgate library’s special collections is another great resource of other alternative archives, including online archives/collections/exhibitions, and including the Feminist Library’s posters and ephemera collections, as well as some fascinating LGBTQ+ and Suffrage archives.
- Last but not least, other alternative/radical social spaces – which are not officially libraries or archives, also often include (more or less formally so) small collections. The UK Social centres network website is a good start (try also); as well as this radical booksellers list. Left of the Shelf Books also has a directory and is leading on an amazing project on the history of radical booksellers.
Looking for something to learn while you’re holed up at home? If you haven’t heard of it yet, Wiki’s Women in Red project is doing great work to add more gender balance to Wikipedia (and includes ‘how to’ tutorials in the resources section). Now might be the perfect time to help them out while learning some new skills.
Many other spaces, groups and independent educators have moved their courses, events and meetings online since the crisis has escalated, and there is a wealth of online resources to choose from here too. How about a virtual poetry workshop on pay what you can basis? Or join and contribute to a new zine online? Feeling down? How about some mindfulness to help you deal with the stress?