Records of National Union of Women Workers (St Andrews branch)

Scope and Content

Minutes of executive committee of St Andrews branch, 1904-1936; Minutes of general meetings, 1927-1936.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1895 the Union of Women Workers was formed to provide a platform for women who worked, mostly voluntarily, in the social sector. (The name was changed to the National Council of Women in 1918). The Union quickly appreciated that discussion alone was not sufficient to bring about change and that action needed to be taken to improve the quality of life for all and in particular, the status of women. The first conference was held in Nottingham on 1895 when nine papers were given on topical subjects by such well known women as Beatrice Webb on 'State Regulation Affecting Women's Work' and Mrs Fawcett on 'The Probable Effect on the Position of Women of Granting them the Parliamentary Suffrage'. Annual Conferences have taken place since that date and have continued to voice contemporary concerns of women.

Very quickly, a network of branches developed throughout the United Kingdom and other organisations became affiliated to the Union because of the range of work and wide membership. The St Andrews branch was established in 1904 and many prominent women in the town were members. It survived until 1936. Although not actively engaged in social work, as it is recognised today, during the First World War members took part in activities promoting child welfare and showing concern for women. At the same time NCW began its campaign for 'Equal pay for Equal work'. In the Second World War, members and branches looked after child refugees from Europe. The Council was also particularly concerned with the position of women in the armed forces. In 1897 the organisation became affiliated to the International Council of Women and has since that date participated in discussions on the difficulties faced by women in other countries.

Access Information

By appointment with the Archivist. Access to unpublished records less than 30 years old and other records containing confidential information may be restricted. Special conditions apply to photographs.

Acquisition Information

Volumes were deposited on permanent loan in 1975.


Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives Hub Project.

Other Finding Aids


Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Geographical Names