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. Specialfirstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Link to Major Collections: Feminist Archive South: Choose Advanced Search then drop down menu Major Collections: Feminist Archive South.
Our web page
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
7 May 2020