Feminist Collections Within Larger Institutions

This part of the directory consists of other UK feminist & women’s archival/library collections which can be found in archives and libraries of other, larger/non-feminist institutions. 

The Archives Hub
The Archives Hub provides a gateway to many of the UK’s richest historical archives.

BBC archives – 70s Feminism
One of the themed BBC collections of radio and TV programmes, documents and photographs from as far back as the 1930s.

Bishopsgate Institute Library – Special Collections
Bishopsgate Institute’s printed and archival collections cover a variety of subject areas exploring the experiences of everyday people, and facilitating the study of history from below. With a special focus on activities in and around the Capital, the archives and collections can be grouped into seven major collecting areas: Co-operation, Feminist and Women’s History – including Feminist Library archives, pamphlets and ephemera, Freethought and Humanism, Labour and Socialist History, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer History, London History, and Protest and Campaigning.

Black Cultural Archives
Founded in 1981, the Black Cultural Archives’ mission is to collect, preserve and celebrate the heritage and history of Black people in Britain. Includes a collection on the Black Women’s Movement.

Bolton Women’s Liberation History Project
Created by former members of the Bolton Women’s Liberation group 1971 – 1986. Who have collected together the documents and objects created during those years with the intention of saving them and making them available to the public. With the support from the National Heritage Lottery fund and now housed at Feminist Archive North.

British Library
The British Library website contains comprehensive information about the Library, the scope of its collections, and how to use its services. There is a range of resources on women and feminism, including the Sisterhood and After oral histories archive.

Brunel University London – Special Collections
The archives date from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day. They are of local, national and international importance to the history of education and teacher training. The archives and special collections can be viewed by appointment in the public reading room in The Old School House close to the University’s campus. Several other women/feminist collections are also housed here.

Centre for the History of Women’s Education, Winchester
The Centre provides a forum for research into the gendered nature of educational provision, practice and thought in order to provide a sound evidence base for policy and practice in respect of education for women and girls.

The Centre for Women’s Studies
The CWS at York is among Britain’s longest-established bases for feminist and gender-orientated research. We adopt a women-centred and interdisciplinary approach to the changing nature of both women’s experiences and gender relations.

Disability Archive UK
The aim of the Disability Archive UK is to provide disabled people, students and scholars with an interest in this and related fields, access to the writings of those disability activists, writers and allies whose work may no longer be easily accessible in the public domain. It is hoped that the documents available via the Archive will help to inform current and future debates on disability and related issues. The Archive includes a section on women.

East London Big Flame – Organising Women
An online resource on socialist feminist activists from East London Big Flame. Set up to make sure that women’s issues were central to the political work of Big Flame.

FWSA – The Feminist Studies Association
A UK-based association promoting feminist research and teaching, and women’s studies nationally and internationally. FWSA is involved in developing policy on issues of central importance to feminist scholars in further and higher education, supporting postgraduate events and enabling feminist research. Committed to raising awareness of women.

Hall-Carpenter Archives (HCA)
Consists of around 2,000 boxes of material relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activism in the UK. Most of the archives date from after the publication of the Wolfenden Report in 1957. Held at the LSE Library.

Her Noise Archive, UAL
A resource of collected materials investigating music and sound histories in relation to gender bringing together a wide network of women artists who use sound as a medium. Whilst it exists as a physical archive, at the University of Arts, London, key elements of the original project, including video interviews with a number of artists and musicians, are available on the website, as well as documentation of more recent events, guest ‘curations’ and other responses.

History to Herstory, West Yorkshire Archive Service
Celebrating the lives of women in Yorkshire from the 1100s to the present day including the Labour Party and the Communist Party of Great Britain.

IHR Wohl Library
The IHR Wohl Library offers a guide for researching the history of sex, sexuality, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other communities across their library holdings.

London Metropolitan Archives
Includes great collections of LGBT+ community archives, including really good representation of lesbian history, as well as other special collections of interest, such as the TUC Library Collections.

Manchester Digital Music Archive
It is an online community archive established in 2003 to celebrate Greater Manchester music and its social history, including many resources on women’s and feminist music history.

Mayday Rooms Archive
Among many other things, includes archives of Wages for Housework campaign, East London Big Flame, Greenham Women’s Peace Camp, and more.

The National Archives
The UK government’s official archive, from Domesday Book to websites. Includes many resources on women, including suffragettes, women’s role in the war effort, and more. Also useful for training resources for archives and libraries professionals.

National Disability Arts Collection and Archive
Bringing to life the heritage and rich history of the Disability Arts Movement. Led by disabled people and disability arts organisations all over the UK, provides an important resource for disabled people to realise their own heritage and bring non-disabled people closer to the struggles that they have been faced with over the last 30 years.

Norfolk Heritage Centre
Norfolk Heritage Centre is housed at the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library and holds the most comprehensive collection of published material telling the story of Norfolk and its people. This includes a significant collection on women’s movements and activities during the 1970s – 1990s, including Norwich Women’s Film Weekend, Norwich Well Woman Centre, and Norwich Women’s Centre. NHC hosts an online exhibition in partnership with the British Library showcasing digitised material called “Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights in Norfolk.”

People’s History Museum
Based in Manchester, the People’s History Museum holds the largest collection of political movements materials in Britain. Its collections include objects related to the fight for the vote. The PHM collection of trade union and political banners is the largest and most important of its type in the world. The museum also houses an internationally significant political archive. PHM also holds over 95,000 photographic images covering labour history, the Labour Party and more general political history.

Remembering Olive Collective
In her short life, Olive Morris co-founded the Brixton Black Women’s Group and the Organisation of Women of Asian and African Descent (OWAAD) and was part of the British Black Panther Movement. She campaigned for access to education, decent living conditions for Black communities and fought against state and police repression. In 2009, ROC launched the Olive Morris Collection at Lambeth Archives.

RTÉ Archives
RTÉ Archives hold hundreds of thousands of hours of moving image and sound recordings together with significant collections of photographs, and documents, including on the position of women in Irish society.

The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre
The influence of Salvation Army co-founder Catherine Booth led to gender equality amongst its clergy being enshrined in its constitution. The Army also has an extensive history of women’s social work that began in the 1880s with ‘slum sisters’ and rescue workers who provided maternity care, refuge and practical assistance to poorer women. The growing collections provide insight into the politics of gender within The Salvation Army and society more broadly. They include the personal papers of female officers who have advanced women’s role within the movement and correspondence with non-Salvationist social activists like Josephine Butler that sheds light on the wider experiences of women in the public sphere. The archive also holds academic theses and publications on the relationship between religion and gender.

Somerville College Archives
Since the College was one of the first institutions in Oxford to accept women studying at degree level, the archives of the College provide amongst other things, a valuable insight into the early days of women’s higher education.

Striking Women
An educational site about migration, women and work, workers’ rights, and the story of South Asian women workers during the Grunwick and Gate Gourmet industrial disputes. As part of this project, this website, a two-part comic that depicts the life stories of two South Asian women in the UK (downloadable from the website) and a mobile exhibition on South Asian women workers’ participation in industrial disputes from Grunwick to Gate Gourmet have been produced. The physical archives are held at Leeds University.

Survivors’ Library
Collecting resources by and for survivors of trauma, abuse, or assault.

Sybil Campbell Collection
The Collection is owned by the BFWG (British Federation of Women Graduates) Sybil Campbell Collection Trust. It is currently on long-term loan at the University of Winchester Library. It’s a small research collection of around 8,000 items, with a focus on the entry of women into the professions in the first half of the 20th century. It focuses on the educational aspirations of women of the period and the part graduate women played nationally and internationally. The Collection contains material relating to women’s writing and women’s history in the 19th and 20th centuries – women’s education, their personal libraries, biography, autobiography, women in wartime, the support BFUW gave to refugees and so on.

Wellcome Library archives
The archival collections at the Wellcome Library consist of several collections of interest to women and the feminist movement, including:  Archive of the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW), Women’s Health Library, and more.

Women’s Aid Federation of England Archive, University of Leeds Archive
One of the most recent collections acquired by the University of Leeds Special Collections is the Women’s Aid Federation England (WAFE) Archive. This collection documents the charity’s approaches to tackling domestic abuse from its radical beginnings in the 1970s right through to modern day.

Women’s Arts Association Wales
The Association began as the Arts Discussion Group within the Women’s Committee of the South Glamorgan County Council, in 1984. The group became the South East Wales Women’s Arts Association and a registered charity in 1997.

Women and Marxism
This subject section has been created to provide broad documentation both on women’s issues and Marxism, and also a space for women’s writings that are significant.

Women’s History Network
Members of the Network can log in to manage their account, view all back issues of Women’s History Magazine and submit conference notices, media appearances, new books and forum posts. Non-members can access resources, purchase back issues of Women’s History Magazine and request publication of conference posts.

WHAI – Women’s History Association Ireland
The aim of the WHAI is to promote research into the history of women in Ireland, to bring together scholars in Irish women’s history, to recognise excellence in research and to promote public engagement with women’s history in an Irish context.

Working Class Movement Library (WCML)
Based in Salford, Manchester, the WCML includes collections on 200 years of the working class movement, and amongst them collections on Grunwick women and Lancashire Women against Pit Closures, as well as on individuals like Barbara Castle and Charlotte Despard.