Papers of Barbara McCrimmon related to Barbara Bodichon [née Leigh Smith]

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive consists of 77 letters to Bodichon mainly from Helen Taylor, James Joseph Sylvester, Marianne North, the Hill Family and various other correspondents (1827-c.1891); offprints of papers written by the donor related to Helen Taylor (1978), James Joseph Sylvester (1981) and Marianne North (1989).

Administrative / Biographical History

Barbara McCrimmon (fl.1992) was a well-known American book and manuscript collector. She wrote extensively in American library theory and philosophy and was a regular reviewer in a number of periodicals. In 1992 McCrimmon donated 77 letters written by Barbara Leigh Bodichon to The Women's (previously Fawcett) Library along with three articles written by McCrimmon.

Barbara Bodichon (1827-1891) née Leigh Smith was born in 1827. Her father was a progressive educationalist and MP for Norwich. Bodichon was the cousin of Florence Nightingale. Bodichon was educated at Westminster Infants School, a pioneering 'ragged school' and later at Bedford College. Thanks to her father Bodichon was financially independent. In 1852 Bodichon opened Portman Hill School in Paddington, a non-denominational, non-conventional school of mixed social class, which she ran together with Elizabeth Whitehead. Bodichon campaigned for women's rights, collecting signatures for the Married Women's Property Bill in 1856 and writing 'Women and Work' in 1857. Also in 1857 she married Eugene Bodichon a French doctor. She helped finance 'The Englishwoman's Journal' and was co-proprietor, with Miss Bessie Rayner Parkes of the Journal from 1858 to 1864. Bodichon was on the committee of the Female Middle Class Emigration Society from 1861 to 1886. Bodichon also read the first papers on suffrage in 1865, supported the first suffrage petition in 1866 and became Secretary of the Suffrage Committee in 1867. Bodichon fought for higher education for women and helped Emily Davies to found the college that later became Girton. Barbara Bodichon died in 1891.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Acquisition Information

This collection of autograph letters was donated to The Fawcett Library in 1992 by Barbara McCrimmon ( a well known American book and manuscript collector) along with 3 academic papers drawing on her collection for source material.

Other Finding Aids

Fawcett Library Catalogue

Related Material

See also The Women's Library Autograph Letter collection (Strand 9) where there are a number of Barbara Bodichon's letters, including some from Miss Maria Rye (q.v.) and from Lord Shaftesbury, on emigration.

Bodichon's main correspondence and papers are deposited at Cambridge University's Girton College Library, which also holds her correspondence with Bessie Rayner Parkes and others (1847-80) (ref. BRP V, X).

Bibliography

Maria Rye 'The Colonies and their requirements' - A paper read at the meeting of the Association for the Promotion of Social Science, held at Dublin, Aug 1861: Transactions of the Meeting 1862, also printed in 'The Womens Journal' vol viii, no. 45, 1 Nov 1861, pp. 165-177)