Tag Archives: exhibition

The Feminist Archive South and Women’s Liberation Music Archive at Special Collections

Firstly may we take the opportunity to wish you and yours all the best in these very difficult times. We also wanted to reassure you that though Special Collections Staff are now working at home and away from the archives and books, our collections and buildings are also being regularly checked, and are safe. At the moment we are not able to access the archives to answer individual queries, but do get in touch and we will see what we can do to help. Special-collections@bristol.ac.uk

 For our students (and non University of Bristol students)

We know that students working on the Feminist Archive South were some of the last people to be working in our Reading Room as lockdown developed around us. You are probably being ingenious, finding other ways to approach your research, talking to your supervisors, and subject librarians, but remember to get in touch with us, we may be able to help

For our academics (and non University of Bristol academics)

We’ve met some of you or we’ve worked together before. During the Summer term 2019 we held several seminars for University of Bristol academics, using the Feminist Archive South and Women’s Liberation Music Archive. Many issues now arise, such as: planning seminars for this term; looking ahead to teaching sessions for 2020/21, in whatever shape or form it takes; thinking about your research during Summer 2020; advising your students about accessing the archive?  So many questions, do get in touch, we may be able to help.

For our friendly activists, artists, trustees

Special Collections, the Feminist Archive South, the Women’s Liberation Music Archive, and allied collections are not just open for academic study, they are open for inspiration, for activism, and for a wider perspective on the past/present/future. Along with other feminist archives, such as our sister Feminist Archive North at the University of Leeds, and many more, we try to preserve the history of the past to make it relevant for the present. We have worked with you in many different ways, so get in touch and see if we can help now.

News updates

British Library Exhibition

You may know that we were going to lend five items from FAS to the ‘Unfinished Business’ Exhibition at the British Library from 24 April to August 2020. This exhibition has been postponed until October 2020-February 2021, but check out the British Library’s blog for activities which are going on now.

For instance you can listen to an excellent Mary Wollstonecraft birthday podcast or follow  @BL_ModernMSS on twitter to find out more.

‘Unfinished Business’ Exhibition at the British Library, London. Photograph by Hannah Lowery, 29 February 2020.

Monica Sjoo Artist

A group of people are working together to curate an exhibition of the art work of Monica Sjoo.  There is an international angle to their work, and we are happy to put you in touch with people.  Check the online archive catalogue for a description of the rich archive we hold.

‘Still I Rise’ exhibition, Arnolfini, Bristol. Photograph by Hannah Lowery, September 2019.

Hatpins to Hashtags and the Politics and Protest Exhibition

Looking back to 2018 and the wonderful work which the Feminist Archive South did in their Hatpins to Hashtags Government funded workshops Special Collections recently helped exhibit the Politics and Protest banners in the University of Bristol Life Sciences Building. This was the first time that we managed to display these in the University of Bristol. Thanks to everyone involved.  It was a good opportunity for different generations of activists to get together, some who had attended celebratory meetings in Oxford so celebrate fifty years of the first Women’s Movement Conference. Current conditions mean the next planned loans of the exhibition won’t be able to go ahead, but the messages of the posters are as relevant today as they were in the recent past, so we would love to spread the word. Many volunteers were also involved in workshops in 2018, which led to crowd cataloguing of some of the thousand plus posters. The posters now are mainly onsite in ASSL, and we need to have further discussions to see if we can carry on the crowd cataloguing of the digitised posters, do get in touch if you want to find out more.

Politics & Protest exhibition banners in the University of Bristol Life Sciences Building.

Politics & Protest exhibition banners in the University of Bristol Life Sciences Building. Photograph by Hannah Lowery, March 2020.

SPAN Project

The SPAN Project (Single Parent Action Network), based at the Barton Hill Settlement, has been a collaborative project with AHRC funding, organised by Professor Josie McLellan, University of Bristol History Department, and others.  A project archivist and volunteers have been working on the archive, which, as soon as it is possible, will be housed in Special Collections, as an adjunct of the Feminist Archive South. We look forward to receiving the thirty or so boxes and catalogue. Thanks everyone.

Spare Rib

Last year, extra funding from the University of Cambridge allowed us to get an archivist colleague in Bristol to do some extra work on the Spare Rib Archive held in the Feminist Archive South.  So thank you to Lucy Delap and Jayne Pucknell for making that happen. This means we have a much better idea of the holdings and also can better provide access to the materials, as they are sensitive in their content. Thanks too to the many others involved in this project.

Whilst talking about Spare Rib, don’t forget that digital copies can be found here. However they are not complete due to copyright issues, and we look forward to having access again to our physical copies in the near future.

We would also like to remind you about recent acquisitions of archives relating to Asphodel Long  (DM2767) and Daniel Cohen (DM2966). Kind volunteers have helped us to start improving access to these collections, and we hope to be able to do more work on this in the future. For the moment these catalogue entries are not available.

Online Archive Catalogue

Link to Major Collections: Feminist Archive South: Choose Advanced Search then drop down menu Major Collections: Feminist Archive South.

FAS: DM2123

WLMA: DM2598

Our web page

Collections Strength Webpage

Feminist Archive South Website

Women’s Liberation Music Archive

Special Collections also tweets at @BrisUniSpColl, and you may well find mentions of the Feminist Archive South quite frequently.

Finally our version of a sound cloud listing some of the recent research topics in the Archive. It is an amazing resource, do ask and we will try and help make it accessible to you.

Dora Russell’s Peace Caravan; male anti-sexism newsletters; domestic violence; menstruation; Greenham Common; self care in times of protest; first Women’s Liberation Conferences in Oxford, 1970; women in the manual trades; suffragettes; peace movements; Spare Rib; Virago Publishing; Monica Sjoo.

A big thank you to everyone who has helped make the Feminist Archive South and allied collections develop since they were first deposited in Special Collections in January 2008.  A lot of important anniversaries and additional archives have happened since that time. We raise a glass to you then, now, and in the future. Cheers

Hannah Lowery

7 May 2020

‘Darwent Revisited: Shanghai now and then’ – photography exhibition

The Historical Photographs of China (HPC) project and Special Collections present a pop-up exhibition, ‘Darwent Revisited: Shanghai now and then’, in the Foyer of the Arts & Social Sciences Library, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol. The exhibition which features photographs by Jamie Carstairs (Digitisation Officer, Special Collections) and by the Reverend Charles Ewart Darwent, minister of the Union Church Shanghai (新天安堂) from 1899-1919, coincides with the Chinese New Year, fraught as it is this year.

Jamie Carstairs was inspired by the Revd C.E. Darwent’s Shanghai: A Handbook for Travellers and Residents (1904; 2nd ed. 1920). Jamie went on a first-time visit to Shanghai in May 2011, with the idea of exploring how the city might be photographed if Darwent’s instructions in his 1904 handbook about what, where and when to photograph, were followed today. Moreover, rather than simply follow them to the letter, the aim was to photograph the city in the spirit of the guidebook’s hints – inspiration was also found in Darwent’s own photographs.

Portrait of moustachioed Revd C. E. Darwent, Eastern Sketch, vol. 1, No. 6 (1904).

Portrait of moustachioed Revd C. E. Darwent, Eastern Sketch, vol. 1, No. 6 (1904).

The Yorkshireman was a leading light in the Shanghai Amateur Photographic Society, which was active on and off, with some long off periods, between 1902 and about 1924. His handbook showcases some of his work, and until an album of his original prints came to light in 2009, annotated by the man himself, the Handbook’s grainy shots were all we had. All the prints from the album are on the HPC site. After the demolition of the Shanghai city walls, Darwent predicted, in the 1920 edition of his Handbook, ‘…as time goes on, old Chinese life will assert itself … So that, as the old life masters the new conditions, the photographers of the future may hope still to find subjects’.

A woman selling a children’s toy, Nanjing Road, Shanghai, May 2011. Photograph by Jamie Carstairs.

A woman selling a children’s toy, Nanjing Road, Shanghai, May 2011. Photograph by Jamie Carstairs.

This is not a definitive exhibition of contemporary Shanghai. It is a personal response to a vibrant, colourful city, informed by the hints and suggestions, as well as the confident partisanship, of a mentor from the past. Charles Ewart Darwent died in Tianjin in 1924, five years after leaving the city with which his name has become so firmly associated, and far from the town of his birth, and the city of Hull, where he had first made his name as Minister of the harbour-side Fish Street Church.

A Foochow pole junk, with a full cargo of poles, Shanghai, c.1902. Photograph by Charles Darwent. HPC ref: Da01-21.

A Foochow pole junk, with a full cargo of poles, Shanghai, c.1902. Photograph by Charles Darwent. HPC ref: Da01-21.

Darwent Revisited was first exhibited in 2013 and was funded by the AHRC and the British Academy. This blog is a close copy of one by Robert Bickers, posted in February 2013 on http://visualisingchina.net/blog/.

The current exhibition is on until Friday 31st January 2020.

新年快樂 Happy new year