The collection is extremely fragmentary, and the greater part consists of Jessie Kenney's papers. A great deal of background information is contained in correspondence between the Archives Department and Warwick Kenney-Taylor and Beatrice and Dorothy Clarke, material which is outwith the collection itself.
Series KP/AK consists of nine files:
- KP/AK/1 Personal Papers, 1889, 1915-1916, 1918-19, 1921, 1953
- KP/AK/2 Correspondence, 1908-1954
- KP/AK/3 Writings, 1924-1948
- KP/AK/4 Miscellaneous papers etc, 190-, 1921-1946
- KP/AK/5 Films; Radio and TV programmes, 1944-46, 1951, 1974
- KP/AK/6 Death of Anne Kenney, 1953
- KP/AK/7 Unveiling of Commemorative Plaque in Manchester Free Trade Hall, 1959-1960
- KP/AK/8 News-cuttings, 1918
- KP/AK/9 Photographs
The personal papers include Annie Kenney's birth certificate; marriage certificate; and two passports, issued in 1915 and 1916 respectively. The marriage certificate is an elaborate affair and is kept in separate storage for large format documents. There are also official documents and letters of introduction relating to the periods of her residence in Paris, 1916-1919.
There are at present 31 files of correspondence in File KP/AK/2, the most significant of which are those relating to the Blathwayt family; Lady Constance Lytton and her mother Edith, Dowager Countess of Lytton; Christabel Pankhurst; and Frederick and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence.
The file of Annie Kenney's writings contains drafts and proofs of Memories of a Militant; drafts of All Our Yesterdays, an unpublished historico-philosophical work; and drafts of miscellaneous unpublished pieces.
File KP/AK/3 includes a commonplace book; a quantity of suffragette memorabilia; and pages torn from a 1946 pocket diary which include brief notes relating to key events of earlier years.
File KP/AK/5 is large and relates to Annie Kenney's reaction to various projects dramatising the women's movement, notably a projected film scripted by Jill Craigie, 1944-46; a radio play The Women's Rebellion, 1951, also scripted by Jill Craigie, to which Annie took exception; and a TV programme, The Suffragette, 1951. There is also printed ephemera relating to the TV series Shoulder to Shoulder, 1974.
File KP/AK/6 includes letters of condolence to James Taylor and Warwick Kenney-Taylor; obituaries; and a collection of photographs of the scattering of Annie Kenney's ashes on Saddleworth Moor.
The newscuttings are few in number and contained in a hardbound exercise book. They date from 1918 and relate chiefly to the Trades Union Congress Conference in Derby, 1918, and the visit of David Lloyd George to Manchester to receive the freedom of the city in the same year.
Series KP/CK consists at present of one file. It includes photographs of Jane Kenney in Rome, 1914, two of which also feature Maria Montessori; printed ephemera relating to the opening of the Tower Cressy school; correspondence relating to the Lenox School; and a copy of the Lenox School's annual The Lantern, volume 2, 1929.
Series KP/CLA is still being organised and listed. It includes a copy of Nell Kenney's birth certificate; an MS family tree; correspondence between Nell and Frank Kenney and Annie Kenney; and photographs of various members of the Clarke family.
Series KP/JK contains nine files:
- KP/JK/1 Personal papers
- KP/JK/2 Diaries, 1929, 1952, 1957
- KP/JK/3 Correspondence
- KP/JK/4 Writings, 1917-1966
- KP/JK/5 Career, and related, 1936-1956
- KP/JK/6 The Rosicrucian Order, 1931-1967
- KP/JK/7 News-cuttings, 1917-1977
- KP/JK/8 Interview of Jessie Kenney by Barbara Morgan, 1984?
- KP/JK/9 Photographs
Among the personal papers is Jessie Kenney's passport for 1917 and a small autograph album containing the signatures of a number of suffragettes, and a small card to which is attached a triangular piece of green, white and purple striped satin that was, according to the annotation, cut from a sash or banner worn by Emily Wilding Davison on May 25th, 1913 (Derby Day).
There are at present 73 files of correspondence in File KP/JK/3, none of them very large. There is further correspondence here with Constance and Edith Lytton, the Pethick-Lawrences, and Christable Pankhurst, but much of the content dates from the 1960s and relates to the gathering of information by Jessie for an autobiography.
The most notable material in this series is in File KP/JK/4 and relates to Jessie's sojourn in Russia between June and September 1917. Included is her original diary; drafts of an edited text intended for publication; correspondence and visiting cards; and newscuttings and printed ephemera collected during the visit. The miscellaneous publications are some 20 draft articles believed to have been written in the late 1940s, and one published piece Clapham has an air, printed in the London Evening News, 10th July, 1945. In some cases these pieces have been typed on the versos of items of correspondence that themselves shed light on Jessie Kenney's life and career.
File KP/JK/5 consists largely of printed matter, most of it dating from 1936-1938.
The file of news-cuttings, KP/JK/7, is quite voluminous and wide-ranging.
File KP/JK/8 consists of a typescript of an interview of Jessie Kenney conducted at St Francis' Nursing Home, Braintree by Barbara Morgan of Toddington, Bedfordshire, for a school project. According to the text Ms Morgan conducted a second interview which was tape-recorded.
Series KP/JT contains nine files:
- KP/JT/1 Family background (deeds, wills, etc), 1874-1965
- KP/JT/2 Personal papers, 1918-1954
- KP/JT/3 Notes on first meeting with Anne Kenney, marriage, etc
- KP/JT/4 Career, 1930-1958, 1977
- KP/JT/5 Musical interests
- KP/JT/6 World War 2: ARP activities
- KP/JT/7 Tour of Europe, 1957
- KP/JT/8 Miscellaneous papers
- KP/JT/9 Photographs
File KP/JT/1 contains a number of legal documents shedding light on James Taylor's antecedents. File KP/JT/2 includes a copy of his birth certificate and a curriculum vitae. The MS notes in File KP/JT/3 shed light on the period after 1918 when Annie Kenney disappeared from view. File KP/JT/5 is slight but includes correspondence from 1921 relating to a trip to Italy that James Taylor made with a view to studying singing with Enrico Caruso. The singer's sudden death threw these plans into disarray and James Taylor returned to England and, apparently, abandoned the idea of a musical career.
Series KP/PHO contains photographic material that does not fit readily into other series. It is believed that most of the contents belonged to Annie Kenney. Included are photographs of members of the Blathwayt family; the Pethick-Lawrences; Christabel Pankhurst; Emmeline Pankhurst; Flora Drummond; and Constance Lytton. There is also a signed photograph of Sybil Thorndike in the role of St Joan.
Series KP/PUBS consists of two files: Periodicals, and Pamphlets; and Ephemera. The periodicals comprise bound volumes of Votes for Women, 1907-1910, and unbound and incomplete runs of The Suffragette, 1913, 1915, and Britannia, 1915-1918. There is a small number of issues of Calling All Women, 1948-1971.
The file of pamphlets and ephemera is another that contains material not readily placed elsewhere. Its contents include copies of a Roll of Honour of Suffragette Prisoners, 1905-1914; Memories of Charlotte Marsh, Suffragette Fellowship, 1961; Manifesto to the Women's Social and Political Union [from the women of the Independent Labour Party]; No Peace without Victory!, by Christabel Pankhurst, WSPU, 1917; and a pamphlet on industrial relations, issued by the Women's Party, 1918 and with an introduction by Christabel Pankhurst, that is minus its front cover.
Series KP/SWH consists of a small file of news-cuttings, 1920-1966, relating to the Kenney family. They include a report of Annie Kenney's marriage, 1920, and the installation in Oldham's shopping precinct of a plaque commemorating her life.
Series KP/WKT, which is closed, is still being organized and listed. It includes correspondence of Warwick Kenney-Taylor and his first wife, Joan, with other members of the family, and some photographs.