Iris was the journal of students in the department for women at Owens College. The Department had been established in 1883 when women students were first admitted to Owens College. For many years, women students were socially distinct from the main body of male students. A publication such as Iris was an important means of building a corporate identity for women students, and also acted as a means of contact between current and former students of the Department. It was produced from 1887 to 1894, and usually issued twice a year. The original editors were Marion Ledward and Esther Roper (later active in a number of feminist causes). Iris published reports of the Department's work and on the academic progress of female students, both at Owens and other universities.
All issues of Iris are bound into a single volume. The last issue appeared in July 1894. A decision was then taken to merge the journal with the main student magazine, the Owens College Union Magazine (see Magazine, November 1894, p.17). Iris is an invaluable source of information for the attitudes of and to women students during the Owens College era. Former reference: UA/73