Suffragette Fellowship Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The Suffragette Fellowship collection comprises books, pamphlets, periodicals, printed ephemera (leaflets, posters, tickets etc), photographs, press cuttings, personal papers, textiles ( including banners) and objects recording the campaign for women's enfranchisement. The collection's strength is in twentieth century material and particularly the activities of the Women's Social & Political Union.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Suffragette Fellowship was founded as the 'Suffragette Club' by Edith How Martyn in 1926 in order 'to perpetuate the memory of the pioneers and outstanding events connected with women's emancipation and especially with the militant suffrage campaign 1905-1914, and thus keep alive the suffragette spirit'. Its aims were widened in 1947: '...to secure women's political, civil, economic, educational and social status on the basis of equality of the sexes, and [co-operate] from time to time with othe reorganisations working to the same end'. Originally the Suffragette Club was to be open to 'All suffragette prisoners, unless they desire not to be; all members of militant suffrage societies between 13 Oct 1905 and 4 Aug 1914; direct descendants of Suffragette Prisoners, pioneer women and men by invitation of the council, who declare their sympathy with the militant campaiging and the suffragette spirit.' The Suffragette Fellowship maintained an annual programme of commemorations, the birthday of Emmeline Pankhurst on 14 Jul, the first militant protest on 13 Oct 1905, and the suffrage victories of 1918 and 1928 celebrated in Jan and Feb respectively. There was also the 'suffrage lecture'. The Suffragette Fellowship published a newsletter between 1947 and 1971, 'Calling all women'. [administrative history taken from 'The Women's Suffrage Movement. a Reference Guide 1866-1928' by Elizabeth Crawford.]

Conditions Governing Access

Some items from the collection are on display in the Galleries. Additional items are open to the public by appointment.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Museum in 1950.

Other Finding Aids

Handlists exist for the majority of the collection; available at the Museum.

Alternative Form Available

A microfilm of 'The Suffragette Fellowship Collection in the Museum of London' was published by Harvester Press, 1985. This filmed part of the collection, namely annual reports and minute books from the National Women's Social & Political Union and the Women's Freedom League. Also personal papers, correspondence, pamphlets, and photographs. The microfilm is available at several institutions including The Women's Library and the University of York Library.

Archivist's Note

Description by Gail Cameron March 2002. Submitted to the Archives Hub in 2008 as part of the Genesis 2008 Project.

Custodial History

The core of collection was amassed by the Suffragette Club (later the Suffragette Fellowship) in the mid twentieth century. Founded by Edith How Martyn in 1926, the Club imed 'to perpetuate the memory of the pioneers and outstanding events?.connected with women's emancipation and especially the militant suffrage campaign 1905-1914'. Amongst its earliest activities was the creation of an archive documenting the 'militant' campaign. The majority of the material coming from a variety of women active in the campaign. Prior to Second World War the collection was housed at various locations in London before, in 1950, being offered on a permanent basis to the London Museum, a forerunner of the Museum of London.

Accruals

Passive, but irregular donation and purchase.

Related Material

Extensive collections related to the constitutional suffrage and militant suffrage campaigns are held by The Women's Library, London Metropolitan University.

Bibliography

The fighting Pankhursts : a study in tenacity by David Mitchell 1967; Queen Christabel : a biography of Christabel Pankhurst by David Mitchell 1977; Women on the warpath : the story of the women of the First World War by David Mitchell 1966.