Huddersfield Branch of the British Federation of Women Graduates

Scope and Content

This collection contains the records of the Huddersfield branch of the British Federation of Women Graduates. It contains minutes of meetings, membership records, treasurer and president project files and cuttings of the activities of the federation. It also contains photographs and records of individual members, details of anniversaries, and copies of nationally and regionally important circulars.

Administrative / Biographical History

The British Federation of University Women (1909-fl.2017) was founded in 1909 as an organisation of graduates to promote friendship and networking among university women and increase their prospects of finding work. The first local association formed in Manchester in 1907 and others followed in Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield. In Jun 1909 a meeting of delegates from these Associations was held in the rooms of the Manchester University Women's Union. Also present were representatives of women's colleges and graduate institutions. The meeting passed a resolution 'That a Federation of University Women in the British Isles be formed' and a constitition and rules were drawn up. The objects of the Federation were to 'afford opportunity for the expression of united opinion and for concerted action by university women on matters especially affecting them'; 'to encourage independent research work by women'; 'to facilitate inter-communication and co-operation between the women of different universities'; and 'to stimulate the interest of university women in municipal and public life'. Members of the Local Associations that comprised the Federation were women who held university degrees or who had passed their final examinations; registered medical women or registered dentists; or women who had passed Oxford Honours Moderations. Women who had studies for two years at a university might be admitted as associates whilst those who had advanced the higher education or interests of women were admitted as honorary members. Further Local Associations were formed during the first year of the Federation in Bangor, Cambridge, London and St Andrews. The British Federation occupied the International Clubhouse called Crosby Hall in Chelsea. It was opened in 1927.

The organisation seeks to promote women’s opportunities in education and public life and to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide. It does this through its local associations and regions, national and international activities, and through the University Women of Europe. It has been providing scholarships to women in their final year of PhD study since 1912.

In 1995 the organisation renamed itself the British Federation of Women Graduates.

[Source: LSE Archives]

Access Information

Original available for consultation by appointment

Custodial History

Donated from the possession of the President, Jane V Carter, former Governor of Polytechnic and Head of Student's Union.

Related Material

The archives of the British Federation of Women Graduates are held in The Women's Library at the LSE. Online catalogue available at:

'History of the British Federation of University Women: 1907-1957' [by JH Sondheimer] [1957]

'The British Federation of University Women and the Status of Women in Universisties 1907-1939' by Carol Dyhouse Women's History Review Vol 4 No 4 1995

'The history of the American Association of University Women: 1881-1931' by Marion Talbot and Lois Kimball Mathews Rosenberry (1931)

'The history of the Missionary Settlement for University Women, Bombay' by Elizabeth Lindsay [1925]

'Crossing borders: academic refugee women, education and the British Federation of University Women during the Nazi era' by Susan Cohen in 'History of Education', vol 39, pp 175 - 182.