I.W.S.A. Subject Files

Scope and Content

The series apparently consists of the contents of several drawers of a filing cabinet. Letters, notes, news cuttings, publications, advertisements, agendas, minutes, receipts, and so on, are filed according to subject.

The subjects represented cover: the general administration of the office; the preparation and publication of Jus Suffragii; the biennial international congresses; information and propaganda; women's suffrage groups worldwide (with the emphasis on those affiliated to the I.W.S.A.); influential workers within the women's movement worldwide; international progress in obtaining the right to vote; and other issues of pressing concern and campaign, such as equal pay for equal work, the nationality of married women and state regulation of prostitution.

The series is predominantly written in English but a large proportion of the files contain a small percentage of foreign language pieces and a couple of the files are written exclusively in French or German. The foreign languages represented are Afrikaans, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Roumanian, Spanish and Swedish.


The Drawer Index to the filing system, the first item in this series, gives a list of contents in imperfect alphabetical order. The series also includes a number of files which were presumably added at a date after the index was last amended and which do not appear on it. Where the subject is one not covered on the Drawer Index this is noted in the description.

As the system was clearly supposed to be alphabetical and as the Drawer Index appears to be a guide to what was in the drawer and where it was misplaced on the one day when it was written out, rather than a comprehensive and inviolable structure for contents and location, the files have been arranged correctly according to the alphabet rather than according to the index.

The series finishes with an untitled file, the original position of which is indeterminate. 2 files included at the end of Class 2, IWSA/2/37 and IWSA/2/38, may perhaps have originally belonged to this Class although they were found with files from Class 2 and have been included there.