Records of See Red Women's Workshop

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive consists of papers relating to the activities and members of See Red Women's Workshop. It includes correspondence; notebooks containing minutes; press cuttings; poster catalogues and photographs showing members at work in the screen-print workshop.

Administrative / Biographical History

See Red Women's Workshop (c.1974-1984) was a screen-print workshop run as a women's collective between c.1974 and 1984. It was a radical campaigning and publicising organisation fully committed to the ideals of the second wave feminist movement. See Red's activities included the designing and printing of their own posters, postcards and calendars, as well as taking on design and print commissions for other organisations. They also gave talks and demonstrations on screen-printing. Their work was distributed through shops and mail order both nationally and internationally. The group varied in number; overall 20 women worked at See Red during its lifetime. After working from home in the early days, the collective progressed to renting shared space with Women in Print, at 16a Iliffe Yard, off Crampton St, London, SE17. The workshop was initially run without grant-aid, and the women contributed up to three working days a week to the workshop while earning a living elsewhere. In the early 1980s the collective was supported by funding from the Greater London Council.

The women were committed to the principles of working as a collective in spite of time and money constraints. They saw themselves as accountable to the Women's Liberation Movement, and wanted to design posters that were cheap and therefore accessible. They were keen to prioritise the strength of the message over slick techniques or beautiful art, making posters that served an urgent purpose that they acknowledged might ultimately be short-lived. The posters carried either a campaigning or a consciousness-raising message, and treated many subjects including: women and sexuality, health, childcare, domestic politics, domestic violence, sexual equality for girls and women, male sexist attitudes, sexist and degrading treatment of women by the media, and oppression of women in a wider political context, both nationally and internationally. The Workshop came to an end in 1984.

Arrangement

The publication 'Daughters of Britain' by Vera Douie, probably used as a photographic reference source for poster TWL.2006.02.29, was held with the papers. It was removed as a copy is held in The Women's Library Reading Room (Classmark as at Apr 2007: 331.40941 DOU).

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

Deposited by Sarah Jones, Nov 2006 on behalf of See Red (accessioned as part of Museum entry number e0016)

Other Finding Aids

The Women's Library Catalogue

Related Material

See also The Women's Library Museum collection TWL.2006.02 : a collection of 50 posters and 12 postcards produced by See Red Women's Workshop.

As at 2007 there were an additional 23 See Red objects (posters and one calendar) held in the wider TWL Museum collection [search 'Any text' for 'See Red'].

The Women's Library Printed Collections include some publications with illustrations by 'See Red'.