Scope and Content

Please note there is no section 5FWI/G/1/1, the sequence goes straight to 5FWI/G/1/2

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1917 the Literature and Publicity Subcommittee was established with the aim of assisting with and organising the 'propaganda' work being done to publicise the new organisation and increase the number of branches in England and Wales. It was also involved in producing syllabi for officers' schools and other leaflets on the organisation of Institutes and the roles and responsibilities of officers in order to educate members regarding the running of an autonomous organisation. In 1920, its focus shifted to drafting work for publications, leading to the publication of the first National Federation of Women's Institute (NFWI) handbook in 1921.

In 1926, it was decided by the Executive Committee that the work of the Education, Literature and Publicity subcommittee and the Agricultural and Horticultural Subcommittee was largely educational in nature and that they should be replaced by a General Education Subcommittee responsible for dealing with questions affecting the education of the Institutes in agriculture, horticulture, health and other branches of education not dealt with by other subcommittees and a Printing subcommittee responsible for the technical side of NFWI publicity and the management of the literature department including printing and sales. It also advised the Executive Committee on the organisation of the literature department. This was concerned solely with the creation and distribution of books, pamphlets and related materials such as stationary for the NFWI. This became the Literature Subcommittee in 1940, then the Literature and Equipment Subcommittee the following year. Despite a name change in 1944 to Literature and Supplies, the scope and function of the body remained stable until 1968 when it became the Publications Subcommittee.

The subcommittee was dissolved and its function taken over by WI Books Ltd. in 1977. This was a separate trading company created on legal advice in the wake of the taxable profits of past years which it had generated and which endangered the NFWI's charitable status. WI Books Ltd was dissolved, and from 2002 WI Enterprises Ltd had responsibility for dealing with WI publications as the trading company of the NFWI.