Hand Made Tales: Women and Domestic Crafts

Drawing on the current resurgence in sewing, gardening and cooking and the historical roots of the domestic arts within the home, this exhibition at The Women’s Library in London runs until April 1 and explores the ways in which household crafts have traditionally been the domain of women, their role as sources of knowledge and self-expression shared between generations and communities, and as cultural experiences nurturing the creative spirit is celebrated in the displays. Curated by Carol Tulloch, this timely exhibition will allow visitors to explore and learn the stories of crafts and the women involved in them through personal tales and fun interactive projects.

The Women’s Library is a cultural centre housing the most extensive collection of women’s history in the UK. We run exhibitions and events in addition to the Reading Room Service. The Women’s Library has an extensive Printed collections cataloguesearch online. (books, pamphlets, periodicals and videos). Most of the Library’s books, pamphlets, periodicals and videos are catalogued and available to use. The collections cover a variety of topics, such as women’s rights, suffrage, sexuality, health, education, employment, reproductive rights, the family, and the home. The emphasis is primarily on women in Britain, but some international material is included.

The Library houses over 500 archives (arranged in 11 strands) that document women’s lives and the issues that have concerned and interested them. They date primarily from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day and extend in size from one file to hundreds of boxes. Included are the personal papers of a wide variety of individuals, ranging from the papers of the famous suffragette Emily Wilding Davison to the papers of 2nd wave feminist Sheila Rowbotham. The records of societies and associations are also covered, including female emigration societies, women’s suffrage associations, societies for the abolition of the state regulation of prostitution, societies for the suppression of traffic in persons, women’s employment organisations and a myriad of other pressure groups and campaigning organisations on issues as varied as peace, single parenthood, women clergy and home economics. The records of research and oral history projects are also collected.

An online catalogue is available for searching the archives.

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