Papers of Lady Florence Priscilla Norman

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive consists of Priscilla Norman's personal collection of pamphlets, publications and propaganda material relating to the suffrage campaigns. There was a strong tradition of Liberal support in Lady Norman's family, and some of the material is concerned with their activities. The archive includes circular letters and memoranda from the Workers' Suffrage Federation, the National League for Opposing Woman Suffrage and the Men's Liberal Suffrage Union. Also included are pamphlets dating from the late 1870s, a series of annual reports of the Edinburgh National Society for Women's Suffrage (1875-1883), and some anti-suffrage material sent to Sir Henry Norman as a Member of Parliament.

Administrative / Biographical History

Florence Priscilla Norman (1883-1964) (nee McLaren) was the daughter of the 1st Baron Aberconway and sister of the Liberal politicians Henry D McLaren and Francis McLaren. In 1907 Priscilla McLaren became the second wife of Sir Henry Norman, also a Liberal MP. Both the McLaren and the Norman families were strong supporters of the women's suffrage movement. Priscilla herself was an enthusiastic suffragist, though not a militant, and before the war held the post of Hon Treasurer of the Liberal Women's Suffrage Union. When hostilities broke out in 1914 she and her husband ran a small voluntary hospital at Wimereux, in northern France. She was awarded a CBE for her war services. After the founding of the Imperial War Museum (IWM) in 1917 she became Chair of its Women's Work Subcommittee, responsible for recording the work of women during the war: the large Women's Work Collection held by the Museum is her committee's legacy. Norman remained a Trustee of the IWM for over 40 years, and was an active member of many other organisations, notably the League of Nations and the National Adoption Society. She was also interested in mental health issues and was the first woman to be appointed to the board of management of the Royal Earlswood Institution in 1926. During the Second World War Norman joined the Women's Voluntary Service, driving a mobile canteen in London through air raids. She died in 1964 at the Château de Garoupe, her home in Antibes, France.

Arrangement

The following items are held in The Women's Library Printed Collections and so were removed from the archive as duplicates:

* Tod, Isabella. 'Women and the New Franchise Bill', Belfast: Printed for private circulation, 1884

* Wright, Almroth. 'Suffrage Fallacies' Reprint from 'The Times' dated 28 Mar 1912

* Aberconway, Christabel McLaren, Baroness. 'The Prime Minister and Women's Suffrage', London: Grosvenor Press, 1913

* 'The Englishwoman', Enfranchisement Number: vol 37 no 3 (Mar 1918)

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

Donated by Lady Norman’s son in 1995.

Other Finding Aids

The Women's Library Catalogue.

Related Material

The Imperial War Museum, holds Department of Documents 1920-1962 correspondence and papers re work as trustee of Imperial War Museum (ref. NRA 43205 Norman)