Papers of A Muriel Pierotti

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive consists of minutes and working papers for the organisations in which Pierotti was involved, namely the National Union of Women Teachers (1924-1964), the Joint Standing Parliamentary Committee of Women’s Organisations (1942-1950) and the Status of Women Committee (1945-1978) including details of its establishment; Suffrage material relating to the movement in general, her membership of the Women’s Freedom League (1919-1928). There is also material related to the Pethick Lawrences and Charlotte Despard; various press cuttings, pamphlets, photographs, postcards and objects. The pamphlets include material on equal pay and equal rights.

Administrative / Biographical History

A Muriel Pierotti (1897-1982) was born in Bristol in 1897 and her family moved to London when she was ten. Her mother joined the Women’s Freedom League shortly after moving to London and involved her daughters from an early age. Muriel’s father, a committed socialist, worked as a Post Officer sorter before working in the Assistant Controller’s office at the PO headquarters at Mount Pleasant. Muriel was educated at elementary schools, leaving her London Secondary School at 18 for a wartime position in the Civil Service. Muriel qualified as a secretary and worked for some years at a hospital school in the country, run by Mrs Kate Hervey, a friend of Mrs Despard. When the hospital school closed, Muriel moved to the National Union of Women Teachers in 1925, becoming Assistant Secretary in 1931. When Miss Froud retired as General Secretary in Sep 1941, Muriel replaced her and remained in post until the NUWT closed down. She wrote its history ‘The story of the National Union of Women Teachers’ in a pamphlet published in 1963. Muriel Pierotti was closely involved with a number of women’s campaigning organisations throughout her life. She was a member of the Women’s Freedom League, before 1918, along with her sister Lilian (who died in 1956) and knew both the Pethick-Lawrences and Charlotte Despard. She remained with the organisation throughout the 1920s and was active in the campaign for equality of suffrage until 1928 when it was granted. In 1925, she was the author of a pamphlet entitled 'What We Have and What We Want!' She was also an active trade unionist and involved with the Equal Pay Campaign which took place during the 1940s and 1950s. She continued to engage with the issues affecting the status of women throughout the next few decades, becoming a member of the Joint Standing Committee of Women's Organisations in the 1940s to consider questions relating to the civil and political status of women. Muriel was also involved in organising the production of Jill Craigie’s film ‘To Be A Woman’ which was co-sponsored by the NUWT and the Equal Pay Campaign Committee. She was also a member of the Status of Women Committee from 1945 to 1978.

Arrangement

The material has been arranged as follows –

A Joint Standing Parliamentary Committee of Women's Organisation

B Status of Women Committee

C National Union of Women Teachers

D Suffrage

E Miscellaneous

F Pamphlets

Appendices

Appendix A List of objects

Appendix B List of photographs

Appendix C Detailed list of pamphlets (section F)

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

The papers were donated in Mar 1983 by IC MacDonald.

Other Finding Aids

Fawcett Library Catalogue

Related Material

The Women's Library also holds an interview with Muriel Pierotti in Oral Evidence on the Suffragette and Suffragist Movements (ref 8SUF). Records of the National Union of Women Teachers, are held at the Institute of Education (ref GB/366/DC/UWT).