Records of the Yorkshire Federation of Women's Institutes

Scope and Content

Annual reports, c.1924-c.1981; annual and half annual meeting minutes, 1921-1983; executive committee minutes, 1920-1983; private session minutes, 1967-1969; organisation sub-committee minutes, 1922-1983; office and finance sub-committee minutes, 1933-1983; handicraft sub-committee minutes, 1920-1982; drama sub-committee minutes, 1925-1982; education sub-committee minutes, 1926-1971, 1976-1982; music sub-committee minutes, 1926-1982; folk dancing sub-committee minutes, 1933-1979; agricultural and rural domestic economy sub-committee minutes, 1938-1941; agricultural sub-committee minutes, 1941-1974; international sub-committee minutes, 1955-1982; art sub-committee minutes, 1967-1975, 1979-1982; catering sub-committee minutes, 1969-1982; public questions sub-committee minutes, 1970-1971, 1981-1983; home economics sub-committee minutes, 1974-1983; public affairs sub-committee, 1976-1981; Christmas sales ad hoc committee minutes, 1932-1933; exhibition ad hoc committee minutes, 1934; Yorkshire show ad-hoc committee minutes, 1934, 1936-1938; Denman cup committee minutes, 1937; Jubilee ad hoc committee minutes, 1968-1970, 1979-1980; scrapbooks, press cuttings and balance sheets relating to drama competitions, 1925-1967; scrapbooks for folk dancing festivals, 1929-1969; scrapbooks for music festivals, 1929-1976; scrapbooks of press cuttings, balance sheets, entry forms for county shows, 1982; notes for a day school 'Writing a local history' by J.S. Purvis, 1959; photographs of the Great Yorkshire Show, 1949-1950, 1954-1978; photographs of county whist drive, 1952; photographs of Rendsberg Displaced Persons Camp for Latvian refugees, c.1959.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Yorkshire Federation of Women’s Institutes was formed in 1920, bringing together individual Women’s Institutes on a county level beneath a National Federation of Women’s Institutes, known as the NFWI.

The Women’s Institute, or WI, had been introduced to Britain from Canada in 1915 and quickly grew in popularity. Its original aims were to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War but their activities later expanded to include cookery, crafts, educational opportunities and voluntary work. By the end of 1918 there were some 199 individual Institutes in Britain and seven county federations.

Initially formed under the auspices of the Agricultural Organisation Society, in 1917 responsibility for forming new WIs was handed over to the Board of Agriculture. In 1919 all responsibility was passed to the NFWI which had been formed in 1917 and the organisation became fully independent. A Consultative Council was set up, comprising representatives of every Federation and the members of the national executive committee, who met twice a year. At the county level the Yorkshire Federation was headed by an executive committee which presided over a range of sub-committees with responsibility for areas such as finance, education, agriculture, home economics, art, handicrafts, music, drama and dancing.

In 1948 the NFWI opened Denman College near Abingdon as a residential adult education centre offering courses in cookery, crafts and lifestyle. In 1979 a new Home Economics Centre at Denman was opened by the Queen.

In 1974 following the reorganisation of historic county boundaries in Britain the NFWI took the decision to realign Federation boundaries in accordance with the new law. This change faced fierce resistance in Yorkshire and it was not until 1983 that the Yorkshire Federation was divided into six smaller entities; namely Cleveland, East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire East, North Yorkshire West, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. The new smaller Federations were subsequently affiliated to the NFWI.

Conditions Governing Access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws. 24 hours' notice is required to access photographic material.

Acquisition Information

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute in 1983.

Note

The Yorkshire Federation of Women’s Institutes was formed in 1920, bringing together individual Women’s Institutes on a county level beneath a National Federation of Women’s Institutes, known as the NFWI.

The Women’s Institute, or WI, had been introduced to Britain from Canada in 1915 and quickly grew in popularity. Its original aims were to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War but their activities later expanded to include cookery, crafts, educational opportunities and voluntary work. By the end of 1918 there were some 199 individual Institutes in Britain and seven county federations.

Initially formed under the auspices of the Agricultural Organisation Society, in 1917 responsibility for forming new WIs was handed over to the Board of Agriculture. In 1919 all responsibility was passed to the NFWI which had been formed in 1917 and the organisation became fully independent. A Consultative Council was set up, comprising representatives of every Federation and the members of the national executive committee, who met twice a year. At the county level the Yorkshire Federation was headed by an executive committee which presided over a range of sub-committees with responsibility for areas such as finance, education, agriculture, home economics, art, handicrafts, music, drama and dancing.

In 1948 the NFWI opened Denman College near Abingdon as a residential adult education centre offering courses in cookery, crafts and lifestyle. In 1979 a new Home Economics Centre at Denman was opened by the Queen.

In 1974 following the reorganisation of historic county boundaries in Britain the NFWI took the decision to realign Federation boundaries in accordance with the new law. This change faced fierce resistance in Yorkshire and it was not until 1983 that the Yorkshire Federation was divided into six smaller entities; namely Cleveland, East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire East, North Yorkshire West, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. The new smaller Federations were subsequently affiliated to the NFWI.

Other Finding Aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute.

Archivist's Note

Created by S. A. Shearn, 08.05.15.

Conditions Governing Use

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Accruals

Further accruals are not expected.

Related Material

The records of the National Federation of Women's Institutes, 1915-fl 2008, are held by The Women's Library at the London School of Economics.

Additional Information

Published

GB 193