The Josephine Butler Collections comprise the Josephine Butler Papers (JB), including correspondence, personal papers, paintings, portraits, photographs and memorabilia of Josephine Elizabeth Butler, dating from 1853-1906 , with memorials of her death and the centenary of her birth, and the archive of Josephine Buttler Memorial House(JBMH).The Josephine Butler Memorial House Archive contains administrative records, examination results, papers relating to the syllabus of training courses, House publications, scrapbooks and photographs of staff buildings dating from 1920-1976 .
Josephine Butler Collection
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 141 JBC
- Dates of Creation1853-1906 (c. 1976)
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical DescriptionCa. 14 boxes and 250 volumes of books and pamphlets
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Josephine Elizabeth Butler, nee Grey(13 April 1828 - 30 December 1906) was born to a prosperous and progressive Northumbrian family, whose high social standing, religious activities and wide intellectual contacts formed the background to a life of campaigning for the treatment of men and women as individuals equally deserving of respect, and bound by the same moral standards. The feminist concerns and devout Christianity which she shared with her husband, the Reverend George Butler, informed both her work in support of the higher education of women, in which she worked closely with Anne Jemima Clough and Millicent Garrett Fawcett, and her leadership of the campaign for the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts (1864-1869) in Britain and its colonies. After the repeal of the Acts in April 1886, she continued her opposition to the official regulation of prostitution in Europe and America through her leading role in the International Federation for the Abolition of State Regulation of Vice.
After JEB's death the Josephine Butler Memorial House was set up to promulgate and maintain"the cardinal principles of the International Abolitionist Federation as laid down by its founder Josephine Butler" specifically by providing training for women to become professional administrators in the field of social welfare. The Memorial House was governed by a Council, approved by the Archbishops' Advisory Board for Preventive and Rescue Work and, by the terms of the constitution, not less than two-thirds of the students were to be Anglicans. From its inception, the Memorial House had a close connection with the University of Liverpool, which was represented on the Council, employing lecturers from the University and encouraging its best students to take the University Social Science Certificate. Following the post-war expansion in health and welfare services, the syllabus at the House was revised and updated, but it struggled to gain recognition for its courses as the social services were professionalized. In 1970 the decision was taken to shut the House, and after a brief period as a residential hostel, the house closed at the end of the summer term in 1974.
The Josephine Butler collections are arranged into two separate archives, the Josephine Butler papers (JB) and Josephine Butler Memorial House (JBMH)
The Josephine Butler Papers (JB) are arranged in three parts
- Correspondence and Personal Papers
- Artwork and Artefacts
- Death and Centenary Celebrations
The Josephine Butler Memorial House Archive is arranged in to four parts
- Administrative Records
- Students and Training
- Photographs and Artefacts
Access is open to bona fide researchers
The Josephine butler Collections were received in three main deposits, c.360 letters and personal papers of Josephine Elizabeth Butler (formerly Butler MSSS I) presented by her grandson, A.S.G. Butler, in 1958 , and a further c. 215 letters, together with paintings, portraits, photographs and memorabilia, transfered from Josephine Butler Memorial House in September 1974 and January 1975 (Formerly butler MSS III, part of III A, IIB and II C). The archive of Josephine Butler Memorial House was transferred to the University of Liverpool, via the Archdeacon of Liverpool, in January 1975 and December 1976 A small number have letters were purchased.
Other Finding Aids
A finding aid is available for consultation in the reading room.
Alternative Form Available
Readers are requested to use the IDC/Fawcett Library microfiche of the Josephine Butler letter Collections (SPEC Microcard 120) for all materials available in this form. Letters from Josephine Butler with callmarks JB 1/1 [date](I) will routinely be produced in microfiche form.
Most of the materials received from A.S.G. Butler in 1958 were microfilmed for the IDC/Fawcett Library Josephine Butler Letter Collection on microfiche
The Josephine Butler papers were originally listed by Enid Morberly Bell, for this list see JB/3/5/5.
Details of copies of many of JEB's published books and pamphlets may be found in the catalogue of Liverpool University Library and the records can be searched as a group under the local call number Spec Butler. Copy notes give provenance information, identifying books and pamphlets which formed part of the JBMH Library(see also the hahandlist for the JBMH archive), before and after the bequest from George Grey Butler's estate, and those which have presentation inscriptions by JEB.
Conditions Governing Use
Reproduction and licensing rules available on request
The Records had previously been in the custody of the Butler family and of Josephine Butler Memorial House
There are no anticipated accruals
Location of Originals
Both JB and JBMH are original material, the originals of the Josephine Butler Society library that we a hold on microfiche are held at the Fawcett Library, London Guildhall University (now the Women's Library)