PALMER, Eileen, fl 1913-1952, feminist and birth control advocate

Scope and Content

Correspondence and financial details concerning the organisation of the Birth Control International Information Centre (BCIIC) tours (including China, India, Jamaica and the Middle East) along with a series of travel books giving details of meetings contacts and press reports of the work. There is also a collection of publications on birth control and related issues.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1928 a birth control information centre was established in London under the direction of Edith How-Martyn (1875-1954). In 1930, following the Seventh International Conference on Birth Control in Zurich, the centre was re-organized as the Birth Control International Information Centre (BCIIC), with Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) as president and How-Martyn as director. Eileen Palmer was secretary of the BCIIC mainly during the 1930s. She worked closely with How-Martyn to forward the spread of information world-wide and maintained close links with Sanger's movement for planned parenthood in the USA. The BCIIC merged with the National Birth Control Association of England (name later changed to the Family Planning Association of England) in 1938, which continued much of the international agenda of the Centre until the formation of the International Committee on Planned Parenthood in 1948. The stated purpose of the BCIIC was to "spread the knowledge of birth control all over the world." The Centre acted as a clearinghouse for birth control information, responding to inquiries regarding the location of clinics, availability and effectiveness of particular contraceptives, methods, and legal restrictions. The Centre published numerous pamphlets, transcriptions of speeches, newsletters, bulletins and other information about contraception, new research and clinic updates. The BCIIC co-ordinated international birth control activities (the organisation of clinics and conferences) with the help of correspondents in over 30 countries. Centre staff also arranged for visitors to tour clinics in London and New York, and hosted weekly meetings in London with guest speakers from various countries.


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Archivist's Note

Output from CAIRS using template 14 and checked by hand on May 8, 2002

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