Autograph Letter Collection: Temperance Work

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 106 9/24
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 A box (1 volume - 43 items)

Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence, mostly concerned with the activities of the British Women’s Temperance Association.

Administrative / Biographical History

The British Women's Temperance Association (1876-1925) was founded under the presidency of Mrs Edward Parker in 1876 to organise women to encourage temperance by education and other means, and to agitate for the restriction of sales of alcohol. In addition it targeted activities at the 7-30 age group, including summer schools and competitions. It was affiliated to the World Women's Christian Temperance Union. It published the 'British Women's Temperance Association Journal' from 1892 entitled 'Wings'. Lady Henry Somerset wanted allegiance between the Association and the suffrage movement, however not all members were in agreement. This caused a rift in 1893, with the formation of the Women's Total Abstinence Union (taking with them the journal 'Wings'). Lady Henry had previously taken over 'The Woman's Herald', which became the journal for the Association. In 1894 it became 'The Woman's Signal', officially the Association's journal, but now under the ownership and editorship of Florence Fenwick-Miller. In 1896 the Association started its own paper 'The White Ribbon'. In 1925 the Association and the Women's Total Abstinence Union resolved their differences and merged to become the National British Women's Total Abstinence Union. It later included gambling and moral welfare as part of its interests.


Arranged chronologically. Numbered 3877-3920

Access Information

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit. Available on microfiche only.

Acquisition Information

The letters were sent to the library by the grand daughter of Mrs AM Harvey.

Other Finding Aids

Abstracts of individual letters in the autograph letters collection were written and held alongside the letters. This work was done from the 1960s by volunteers including Nan Taylor. In 2004 Jean Holder completed a 3 year project to list the letters, copy-type the abstracts, and repackage the letters to meet preservation needs. In 2005 Vicky Wylde and Teresa Doherty proof read and imported the entries to the Special Collections Catalogue.

The original card index of all correspondents, including date of letter & volume reference, is available on the microfiche.

Alternative Form Available

A copy of this archive is available on microfilm held at The Women's Library.

Custodial History

This collection consists of letters taken from various sources and filed individually in ring binders. The original source of the item (often from archive collections) is not generally indicated. Most of the letters were written to Mrs AM Harvey of Leeds.