Records of the Women's Publicity Planning Association

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive consists of minutes of the planning, executive and annual general meetings including reports, papers and agendas (1939-1956); copies of incorporation documentation (1940) and membership documentation (1940-1944); correspondence (1943-1957); papers of the Women for Westminster group (1942-1943) and the Equal Citizenship Campaign (1944-1945); leaflets (1940-1944).

Abbreviations used in the archive include:

DEMC Dorothy Evans Memorial Committee

IAW International Alliance of Women for Suffrage & Equal Citizenship

IWM International Women's News

WFW Women for Westminster

WPPA Women's Publicity Planning Association

Administrative / Biographical History

The Women's Publicity Planning Association (WPPA) (1939-1946) was formed after a meeting of representatives from existing women's organisations in Dec 1939 led by Margery Corbett-Ashby and Rebecca Sieff. Its aim was to increase the flow of information and views between women's groups both nationally and internationally. A planning committee chaired by Corbett-Ashby commissioned articles by and about women which were sent to the Ministry of Information for publication in government news sheets. However, when, in 1940, this proved unsatisfactory, the group took over the newspaper of the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage & Equal Citizenship, the International Women's News (which had ceased running due to war conditions).

The aim was to 'enable women to make their work known to others as an encouragement and rouse all women to a sense of individual and collective responsibility in the planning of a new world.' For the purposes of publication, the WPPA was incorporated as a company in Jul 1940 and Seiff was appointed both Chair of the company and of the Executive Committee at this time. Throughout the war, the WPPA acted as an umbrella group and mouthpiece for the whole range of wartime women's issues. In the early years the group supported new types of work which women were undertaking or could aspire to, but at the same time they raised issues concerned with evacuation problems, and from 1941 the newspaper's 'After the war' column raised reconstruction topics such as education and childcare. Other activities included involvement in the campaign for Equal Compensation for War Injuries in 1941 and in the Equal Citizenship Campaign Committee. In Jan 1942 a sub-committee was established after a meeting with Dr Edith Summerskill which would later become the independent Women for Westminster group Jun 1943. The group also commissioned and published Vera Douie's survey 'The Lesser Half'. On 31 Dec 1945 the assets and running of the International Women's News was handed back to the International Alliance of Women. After the war ended the WPPA was not actively involved in any further campaigns but was never formally wound up.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Other Finding Aids

Fawcett Library Catalogue

Custodial History

The records came to the Library before formal accessions records were kept. It is believed they were with the archive collections when the Library came to the City Polytechnic in 1977.

Related Material

The papers of the national body of the Women for Westminster group are contained in the Women's Library amongst the papers of Teresa Billington-Greig: (7TBG). The Women's Library also holds the papers of the Equal Pay Campaign Committee (6EPC).

The Women's Library Printed Collections holds publications by the Women's Publicity Planning Association.