On Tuesday 24 September we held the closing event for our Heritage Lottery Funded project, Ellen Malos’ Archives.
We welcomed Cherry Ann Knott from the Heritage Lottery Fund, project archivist Sarah Cuthill presented the contents of Ellen’s archive, and Ellen provided a response.
The evening also launched our booklet What Can History Do? which is available for a donation through this website.
After the formal presentations, attendees had the opportunity to browse material from Ellen’s archive, as well as have good chat.
Thanks to everyone who came and participated in the wider project. We are working on some new ideas for funding bids, but will of course keep this blog updated with regular information about relevant events in Bristol and beyond.
Ellen’s archive is catalogued and available to view in the Feminist Archive South, so don’t forget you can pay us a visit if you are curious about its contents.
Here is archivist Sarah Cuthill’s update for May/ June….
The archive is taking shape. Following the survey at Ellen’s, I had to weed duplicates and non-relevant material from the boxes. This takes up a lot of table and floor space! The archive shadowers came to four sessions in May and June and contributed to the next stage of the work, arranging the material into categories. With a personal archive such as this, some of the arrangement is straightforward; some can be a little less obvious.
The ‘shadows’ worked on Women’s Aid, NAFE, Women’s Liberation Movement, and History papers. For them the breadth of material seemed to be striking, and for me the opportunity to discuss the papers and to make collective decisions was definitely useful. We began to transfer the archive into more appropriate housing, using acid-free four-flap folders and records management boxes.
On June 27th there was a chance to talk briefly about the work in progress at one of the Feminist Archive South workshops. By the end of June the arranging was nearly done, and I was using my initial lists to describe the individual folders. The need for detail varies from collection to collection, but this can be revised in the next stage of the job, which will be inputting on the CALM system at Special Collections.
The next Feminist Archive South workshop in this Thursday, 23 May, 7pm at MShed.
We will be watching a TV programme featuring Ellen Malos and Germaine Greer, who appeared on the discussion show Women and Waugh in 1984.
The programme is fascinating not only for the issues the women discuss, but also for how Germaine and Ellen subvert how women are set up against each other in discussion shows as a form of public entertainment – the name of the programme itself is a pun on this, presumably!
The programme is also worth seeing for the sheer range of facial expressions Germaine Greer pulls, contrasted with the demure intelligence of Ellen.
Join us! Its free to attend, all welcome, and we will have a discussion about the issues raised in the film afterwards.
Last Sunday we held the second Feminist Archive South workshop which explored the history of print media in the Women’s Liberation Movement.
After a brief tour of magazines such as Spare Rib, Shocking Pink, Red Rag and Bad Attitude, newspapers such as Outwrite and Shrew, Enough: The Journal of Bristol Women’s Liberation and Fowaad! the newsletter for the Organisation of Women of Asian and African Descent, we leapt into action and made our own publication.
A trip to a local stationery store is planned to reproduce it, and copies will be available at future workshops!
Most women took part in ‘second wave feminism’ at a grass roots, local level. How do we find out why they became involved and what they hoped to achieve? Can we recover their voices and, if we do, how can we interpret them?
This workshop will look at different ways that historians can try to recover women’s voices. The first part will look at documentary evidence, including newsletters, pamphlets and photographs. The second part will focus on oral testimony: participants will be invited to compare summaries, full transcripts and original recordings of interviews. The workshop will explore memory and the ways in which participants construct different stories of the movements in which they took part.
June Hannam is an emeritus professor and Kath Holden a visiting research fellow in history at the University of the West of England. They are co-chairs of the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network. They both have research interests in gender history. June Hannam specialises in labour and feminist history and Kath Holden in oral history and history of the family.
Recent publications include Katherine Holden: The Shadow of Marriage: Singleness in England, 1914-1960 (2007) and June Hannam, Feminism (2012).