Friday, 30 May 2014

Glasgow Women's Library

Earlier this week I visited the Glasgow Women’s Library in Bridgeton. GWL is a charity and relies heavily on the work and support of volunteers (87 of them at present!) to advance their many projects. It is the only resource of its kind in Scotland. As well as a lending library, they hold a wonderful treasure trove of historical and contemporary artifacts and archive materials that celebrate the lives, histories and achievements of women. From Suffragette memorabilia and 1930s dress making patterns to rare 1970s Scottish Women’s Liberation newsletters. They also support thousands of women across Scotland every year to improve their lives through their services and programmes, including support and activities that tackle a wide range of issues from poverty and women’s health, sexuality and surviving violence. Empowering women is one of their key aims. They have grown from a small grassroots project into the main hub for information by, for and about women in Scotland, offering specialized learning, collections and archives. GWL has always been a hotbed of ideas and is now growing into a pioneering women’s social enterprise. I was particularly interested in the Suffragette material that they hold as we have information within our Official Publications collections on Parliament's responses to the Suffragette movement This can be found in Hansard. Hansard can be accessed digitally via the NLS’s licensed digital collections. It is contained in the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers database. More information here. Alternatively Hansard is freely available back to 1935 here Watch a short podcast on finding more information on the suffragettes in our parliamentary collections here. GWL can be found on Facebook and you can follow @gwlkettle on twitter