Papers of Alice Hemming

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive consists of papers and publicity material relating to the Commonwealth Countries League, personal correspondence and publicity for the Women’s Freedom League and the establishment of the Mermaid Theatre.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alice [née Weaver] Hemming (1907-1994) was born in London on 18 Sep 1907. The family moved to Canada where Alice received her education. She graduated from the University of British Columbia and began working as a journalist on the 'Vancouver Province' newspaper. Whilst working as a journalist, Alice interviewed Harold Hemming, a banker by profession who was leading a delegation of British headmasters visiting universities in Canada. Alice returned to London in order to work with Harold Hemming, translating books written by the French economist, André Siegfried. Alice and Harold Hemming were married in 1931. Following her involvement in war work in London, Alice returned to Vancouver in 1940 and began working as a journalist again. She was employed to write two regular newspaper columns and presenting a daily radio broadcast, all in support of the British war effort. Alice was also involved in giving lectures and created the information department of the Canadian National Film Board, based in Ottawa. In 1944, Alice returned to London with her two children and dedicated her time and energy to the women’s movement. Alice was vice-president of the International Alliance of Women and the Women’s Council for many years. She was president of the British Commonwealth League, renamed the Commonwealth Countries League in 1963, for forty years 1953-1972, and was also the Commonwealth Countries League’s representative to the Status of Women Committee. Furthermore, Alice was responsible for establishing the Commonwealth Countries League annual fair from her own home in Primrose Hill, which developed into a major international event working to raise funds to provide education for girls in Commonwealth countries. It was for this work that Alice received an OBE in 1975 as well as honours from Canadian universities. Alice Hemming died on the 28 Mar 1994.

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 Diana Dollery, a colleague of Alice Hemming in 1975.

Other Finding Aids

Fawcett Library Catalogue

Related Material

The Women's Library also holds the papers the Commonwealth Countries League (5CCL) and members such as Margery Irene Corbett Ashby (7MCA) and Chave Collison (7CHC). Please note much of this material is uncatalogued.