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Women in the National Archives, Kew


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A Finding Aid to Women's Studies Resources in The National Archives, Kew, combined with original documents on the Suffrage Question in Britain, the Empire and Colonial Territories


Verlag :: Publisher

Adam Matthew Digital


Preis :: Price

Preise auf Anfrage / Prices on request

Das Angebot richtet sich nicht an Verbraucher i. S. d. § 13 BGB und Letztverbraucher i. S. d. PAngV.

Bestellnummer bei digento :: digento order number


Verlagsinformation :: Publisher's information

This resource is comprised of two distinct elements:

- a massive and unique finding aid to women's studies resources in the National Archives at Kew

- original documents on the Suffrage Question in Britain, the Empire and Colonial Territories

Scope of the Collection:

This is a unique resource that will be of great value to anyone who sends graduate students to the National Archives at Kew to research topics concerning women's studies.

At its heart is a massive 2,000 plus page guide to all sources relating to women at the National Archives. This is the result of a five year project by staff at Kew and enables researchers to quickly locate details of any document relating to women in the public records. It is far more detailed and extensive than anything available elsewhere on the web and has the benefit of ranging across all of the classes held at the National Archives. It was originally intended as a printed publication and would have run to four or more volumes - we are delighted to be able to offer this exclusively online - a format which greatly enhances the searching capabilities of this guide.

Subject topics within the finding aid include: Abortion, Clothing, Conditions of Service and Trade Unions, Divorce, Domestic work, Education and Training, Employment, Equal Opportunities and Pay, Health, Marriage, Maternity and Child Welfare, Nursing and Midwifery, Prostitution, Single Parents, Teaching and Teacher Training, Widows, Women's Organisations, Women's Suffrage, and Women's Rights and Status.

There are hundreds of entries per topic and browsing through these will suggest countless research topics. They will also provide a shortcut for researchers. For instance, there are 42 hits for "forcible feeding"; 99 hits for a search on "shopping"; 41 hits for a search on "women in South Africa"; and 134 hits for a search on "women in Kenya."

This finding aid is greatly enhanced by the provision of immediate access to original documents covering two main areas:

(1) A majority of sources concentrate on the women's suffrage movement in the UK between 1903 and 1928. The documents contain papers on government and police handling of the suffrage question, photographs and descriptions of leading suffragettes, police reports on suffrage meetings and disturbances, including attacks on the Wallace Collection and death of Emily Davidson after throwing herself under the king's horse at the Derby in 1913. There are petitions, newspaper clippings, extracts from Parliamentary debates, Cabinet opinion and Committee reports on franchise bills, including the work of the Equal Franchise Committee of 1927-1928. There are also various sources relating to the arrest of suffragettes, their transit in police vans and treatment in prison. Accounts from suffragettes and their supporters, and reports from prison authorities provide details of hunger strikes, the 'Cat and Mouse' campaign and forced feeding.

(2) Documents from the Colonial Office and the Dominions Office relate to the subsequent debate and development of universal suffrage throughout the British empire, 1930-1962. We include a report on the "Status of native women in Colonies and Protectorates, 1930" (DO 35/349/10), which looks women's living conditions in Basutoland, Bechuanaland, Ceylon, East Africa , Fiji, Kenya, Northern Rhodesia, Nyasaland, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Uganda and Zanzibar; as well as a very revealing report by the Six Point Group on the "Extension of the franchise to women in the colonies", 1939 (CO 323/1694/2). We also include a sequence of substantial files from CO 1032 on suffrage arrangements in Colonial territories, 1954-1962.

These sources will be a great asset for anyone wishing to teach a course on women's suffrage in Britain and throughout the Empire, 1903-1962. Copies of the documents can be included in course packs or attached as links in teaching materials. Students will respond to the strong visual content provided in many of the images, as well as to the graphic descriptions of the police treatment of suffragettes or of descriptions of forced marriage in Africa and India.

Our consultant editor, Martin Pugh, provides a contextual essay with hypertext links to many of the source documents.

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