A snapshot of just some of the amazing memorabilia, ephemera and stories from our growing archive

A little research on this website and beyond it will answer all the questions below. 

November 2019: Neville Bulwer-Lytton's Letters

Seven letters from Neville Bulwer-Lytton [1879-1951] Olympian [winner of a bronze medal at Real Tennis at the 1908 Olympics], tennis champion and artist. The letters are to 'M. Fleury', French flautist. The most poignant, and perhaps the most relevant letter for this blog, is the letter in which he conveys the news that his sister (a famous/infamous suffragette) had been paralysed [she had suffered a stroke years before, possibly as a result of being force fed in prison while on hunger strike] and perhaps her death had been a 'deliverance'. This 'infamous' suffragette, had an alter ego Jane Warton, the pseudonym she used when she joined the WSPU. This suffragette was also has a link to a Derbyshire suffragette, Winifred Jones, in that they were both imprisoned together.

Question: Who was his famous sister? What key role did she play in the WSPU and in the British suffrage movement in general?

October 2019:Vintage Black Mammy/Mammie Bell Doll

In celebration of Black History Month UK 2019 we have chosen a figure from our archive which highlights an element of History.

Mammy, which rooted in slavery and the hierarchy of the races,  is perhaps the most well known and enduring racial caricature of African American women. A mammy, also spelled mammie, is a  well known American stereotype, especially in the Southern United States, of a black woman who worked  (first in in enslavement, then in servitude) in a white family and nursed the family's children. Indeed, during slavery black women would give birth only to see their own children sold off  while the mother's milk would be used to feed the babies of the white family they belonged to. The mammy represents both women and girls who had their identities restricted and distorted in ways that made slavery palatable, acceptable and even necessary. .During slavery, the mammy caricature was posited as proof that blacks -- in this case, black women -- were contented, even happy, as slaves. Her wide grin, hearty laughter, and loyal servitude were offered as evidence of the supposed humanity of the institution of slavery.This was the mammy caricature, and, like all caricatures, it contained a little truth surrounded by a larger lie. The caricature portrayed an obese, coarse, maternal figure. She had great love for her white "family," but often treated her own family with disdain. Although she had children, sometimes many, she was completely desexualized. She "belonged" to the white family, though it was rarely stated. Unlike Sambo, she was a faithful worker. She had no black friends; the white family was her entire world. Obviously, the mammy caricature was more myth than accurate portrayal. 

Question: This particular doll is made into a bell. Why might the latter add insult to injury

Task:Look carefully at the image of the black Mammie Doll. What imagine does it convey to you about black women?

September 2019: THE LISTENER MAGAZINE, Published by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), July 19th, 1945 - Vol XXXIV, No 862, article The Future of Domestic Service by Violet Markham

The Listener was a weekly magazine established by the BBC in January 1929 which ceased publication in 1991. The magazines are a wonderful resource of news and contemporary thought - giving insight to the news, politics and current affairs of the world - a truly fascinating look back at history as it was actually happening!  However, although all the articles are  well written and illustrated, the one of most interest is the article on The Future of Domestic Service by Violet Markham.

Question:So who was Violet Markham? What were her challenges and achievements?

August 2019:Ey Up Mi Duck: Images and Poetry from Derbyshire Miners Wives

Pamphlet of poetry by Derbyshire miners wives' published by Derbyshire Women's Action Group. This copy is signed with a dedication by one of the authors, Betty Heathfield. In January 2012 the thirty strong group of in Chesterfield's (a collective of former miner's wives and their supporters)  made international headlines after protesting against the favourable portrayal of former Conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher in the film, The Iron Lady. They protested outside Chesterfield's Cineworld Cinema at the first screening of the film in the town. The group contend that the real iron ladies are the women of the coalfields who defied government policy during the 1984-5 miner's strike.

Question: Who was Betty Heathfield and which  organisation did she lead?

July 2019: JACKDAW No. 49 - WOMEN IN REVOLT

JACKDAW No. 49 - Women In Revolt : The Fight for Emancipation

A compiled portfolio which includes original copies of important documents chronicling the fight for emancipation/women's rights. 

 

Included are the following original document copies:

 

Minutes of a meeting of the medical school committee of the Middlesex Hospital, June 1861 "Women's Rights, 1881" : A Victorian cotton-print (note: "1881 is misprinted as "1981" in the bibliography) Letter from a Newnham College student, Helene Stoer, to her sister, 1890 Leaflet advocating votes for women issued by the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies Note smuggled from Holloway Prison by a hunger striker Pages from The Daily Sketch, November 19th, 1910 Notice issued by Scotland Yard concerning wanted suffragettes "PANKO", or suffragists versus anti-suffragists: a card game Four photographs from the catalogue of the Sweated Industries Exhibition, 1906 Chart : Women in Revolt 1743-1967 Seven Broadsheets: The prison house of home The petticoat rebellion The Right to learn Votes in the drawing room Votes for women Women & work Husbands and other problems. An invaluable documentation of the women's rights movement. 

Question: What year was this Jackdaw compiled? 

Question: Who compiled the portfolio?

 

June 2019: Collection of French Language Newspapers 1890 - 1916 Chronicling Suffrage Movements from the USA to Russia, Denmark and the UK

A collection of 12 complete French Language Newspapers between 1890 and 1916, using images and words to tell the story of suffrage movements around the world. The imagery speaks volumes about a movement of 'Votes For Women' which started with small seemingly isolated actions and words and gathered momentum as it caught fire and grew into a worldwide movement. This is a truly wonderful and unique find...

May 2019: Radio Times Special Edition - The Suffragettes "Shoulder To Shoulder" TV Series

"How woman fought for the vote. A full illustrated guide to the new series" published by the BBC, is 63 pages filled with countless colour and b/w photos from the series with lots of information on the history of the Suffragette movement with period photos, illustrations, etc. The magazine is broken down into chapters like the TV series. This month’s question is twofold – 1) When was the magazine published and the TV series broadcast? And, 2) how many episodes made up this iconic series illustrated in the magazine? When did women in France win the right to vote and stand in general elections?

April 2019: The Makers of our Clothes

April 2019: We are chuffed to share our copy of this groundbreaking first edition study of, The Makers of Our Clothes; A Case For Trade Boards, by Mrs. Carl Meyer; Clementina Black, 1909.

But who was Mrs. Carl Meyer and who was Clementina Black? Why was this study and the work of the latter, in particular, considered pioneering?

The Book by itself is an amazing acquisition, then we saw that it was a Presentation Copy! A presentation copy is a copy of a book that is dedicated, illustrated, or signed (without request) by the author/s, or a book that was a gift from the author/s to a particular person or organisation. This copy was gifted to the President of The Board of Trade in 1909. So we then did a bit of research (it really did not take much!) to find out who the President of the Board of Trade was when the book was published and gifted in 1909. We figured that whoever it was would have at least held the book in their hands, and given the subsequent reforms introduced under their tenure in post, read and understood the contents. Alongside the questions, who was Mrs Carl Meyer?  Who was Clementina Black?...we will leave you to find out who the President of the Board of Trade was between 1908 and 1910. Important, though the recipient is to many, the real star for us it is the woman who consistently fought for women's right to vote, to unionise and as workers, this is and always will be Cementina Black. We also have a number of Clementina's handwritten/signed letters in our collection...

March 2019: Tongue in Cheek Artistry.

March 2019: We have recently acquired this amazing publication by leading Suffrage artists using words and images to illustrate the irony of the some Anti-Suffrage rhetoric. This rare, original pamphlet is 14 pages in length filled with illustrations and tongue-in-cheek poems

 

But what are the names of the artists? Who published this pamphlet?

February 2019: Which Protest, Which Year? How Many Women?

We have recently acquired a set of eight original postcards which feature events which put women in the West at the centre of peace movements and demonstrated the power of non-violent action in the 1980s. 

 

But what was the name of the protest? how long did it last for? and how many women were directly involved? Too see the postcards and other memorabilia depicting the place and role of women in 'Peace Movements' then do look out for our upcoming exhibition and event 'Disarming Women on September 21st 2019. More information will follow closer to the time.

January 2019: We have recently acquired these two antique lead enamel Suffragette figures, but which board/table game are they a part of?

The Suffragette movement produced toys and games to popularise its ideas and activities. This board game was distributed and sold through a network of high-street shops run by the Women’s Social and Political Union, was first advertised in Votes for Women on October 22, 1909.  

The game takes its name from Emmeline Pankhurst and Herbert Asquith. Asquith advocated denying women the right to vote. As a result, his house became a target of the British suffragette movement’s mass window-breaking campaign in the early 20th century. 

 

 A copy of the board game complete with 6 lead figures, board and original rules figures  was sold in 2009 for £4080 (see www.bonhams.com/auction/16862/lot/129/. 

Another copy, consisting of six lead figures, dice and rules (but no board) sold for  £620 – six times its original estimate of £80-£120­– at the Derbyshire’s Hansons' Auctioneer’s saleroom in Etwall, near Derby, on March 27, 2018. Sadly we have only 2 of the figures in our possession, but we cherish them all the same.

December 2018: Which statue was restored by this Derbyshire playright? Which other women were involved in the restoration?

We have acquired a 1925 hardback copy of Gwen John’s Plays of Innocence. Gwen John', real name Gladys Jones, was a dramatist, philanthropist and suffrage campaigner alongside her sister imprisoned suffragette Winifred Jones.   As well as writing and directing many plays Gwen John also famously restored a statue of a famous woman figurehead. Whose statue did Gwen help to restore?  Which other women contributed to the restoration? Clues lie in the heart of London, with her sister Winifred and with a famous suffragist leader.

November 2018: Women's Land Army Collection

 November 2018: What do you know about Women’s contribution to WW II?

To help you in your journey of learning more, we are showcasing items from our Women's Land Army Collection. These items belonged to a Miss Dora Taylor, born in Berlin in 1924. Miss Taylor settled in Bakewell, Derbyshire some time before the war and returned to live there after 2 years’ service in the Women's Land Army. Dora later moved to Chester where she died in 2007. The items which were obtained from an online auction house includes; a photocopy of Dora's ration book (the only photocopied item in the collection which lists her residence in 1947 at 2 Castle Street Bakewell); a biographical summary of Dora's life (obtained from the relatives who sold the items) also makes for very interesting reading. All the other items, we are told, including, photographs, letters, badges etc (from Dora's service and involvement in two hostels at Wilden, Worcestershire and Rockingham near Corby) are genuine and original.  We hope you enjoy learning about these items and, if you are eager to find out more about women's contribution to the 'War Effort' and the WLA specifically please go to https://www.womenslandarmy.co.uk/tag/derbyshire/

October 2018: International Sisterhood of Women Across Intersections

October 2018: This 1970 article from LIFE Magazine '1970 Women Arise' profiles women from the Women's protesters Liberation Movement.

What is the link between the Suffrage and Women Liberation Movements in the USA and the UK and Why is it so very important to look beyond movements in the West to look at developing economies and countries like China, South Africa, Brazil, India and Japan?

 

To read more and discuss the link between women across intersections of race, class, disability, sexual orientation and location..join us at one of our archive evening events coming soon. 

September 2018: June Purvis November 2004

What does Purvis' article add to the discussion on women's History and what remains a gap in the ways those HERstories are written, who writes them and the content of what is written, read and valued?

 

To read more and discuss who is missing and why?...join us at one of our archive evening events coming soon. 

"...in the making of women’s history in the twentieth century, both in Britain and the United States, it was ‘second wave’ feminist historians, influenced by the new approaches advocated by social history, who forged the path. As activists in the women’s liberation, discussing and analysing the oppression and inequalities they experienced as women, they inevitably sought to find out about the lives of their foremothers – and found very little. History was written mainly by men and about men’s activities in the public sphere – war, politics, diplomacy and administration. Women were largely excluded and, when mentioned, were usually portrayed in sex-stereotypical roles, such as wives, mothers, daughters and mistresses. History was value laden in regard to what was considered historically ‘worthy’. Generalisations about humanity in the past had been based on what men had done". 

Source: June Purvis | Published in History Today Volume 54 Issue 11 November 2004  

August 2018: What is Women's History?

August  2018: 11 back copies of History today 1985 including a fantastic article from June 1985. ...but which article is it and why is it so relevant 33 years later? 

September 2018: In August 2018 we showcased 11 back copies of History Today from 1985 including a fantastic article from June 1985....We asked you to do some research to identify the article and to think why it was so relevant 33 years later.

To read more and discuss who is missing and why, come and visit one of our archives evening events coming soon. 

What's this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

July 2018: Memorabilia from Processions, 2018...but what was being commemorated and where were these events held?

Essentially Processions is a Project led by art organisation Artichoke. The Procession, from the perspective of the organisers, was in fact not a protest at all, but an art installation. However, the women who participated made the event their own. The women who spent hours in thought, planning, stitching, painting and drawing…made the event a celebration, an act of remembrance and gratitude, a call to action and a protest and whatever else they conceived it to be! For Deeds Not Words Towards Liberation the main aim was to address the seeming ‘invisibility’ of Derby and Derbyshire women at Suffrage marches and processions of the past. In the process of undertaking research for the Project, we found no image or words to suggest that the women of Derby and Derbyshire were present at key suffrage gatherings, marches or processions (for example in 1905, 1907 or 1915). If mentioned at all, local women were subsumed under the umbrella of ‘East Midlands’ and or as ‘Nottingham’. Yet from that research also uncovered the contribution and activism of some amazing women from our County and City. So we feel it fair enough to conclude that some of these amazing women must have had a presence at some of these events. Processions gave us the opportunity to 'right' this lack of a specific mention of Derby and or Derbyshire women in the records and to provide evidence for future historical records – that we were there!

June 2018: Which Derbyshire born woman politician signed and made notations on/in this pamphlet?

Which Chesterfield born, former Member of Parliament,  who later became the Member of the European Parliament for Greater Manchester from 1979 to 1989. Who is described as being one of the most significant Labour Party politicians of the 20th century, served in the Cabinet under Prime Minister Harold Wilson in a number of roles, including as Secretary of State for EmploymentSecretary of State for Health and Social Services, and First Secretary of State has signed and made notations in this 12 page pamphlet, 'Reorganisation of the Cotton Industry', 1959?

May 2018: NME Women in Rock, March 29, 1980

May 2018: Check out this March 29, 1980 copy of  NME Women in Rock.   

The article gives an interesting insight into women led bands at the time. In some ways the article suggests we have retrograde steps in relation to  women musicians. Indeed in many ways women musicians have been written out of music history.

Do you recognise any of the bands featured. Are there other bands which you think should have been included. One additional note of potential interest is the mention of Derby in the Classified Ads, a band playing at the Blue Note....Where you there? 

April 2018: 1978 interview with the Slits - Britain's first all female punk band. 

Check out this 1978 copy of  an article of an interview with the original members of the Slits - Britain's first all female punk band. 

The interview gives an interesting insight into the bands raison d'etre and perspective. 

A film about the history of the Slits, Here to be Heard,  is currently on tour and will come to Derby again (they were here in January) on 18th April, 2018 Don't forget to book your tickets! ....Alongside the film Here to Be Heard being screened - 2 members of the band will also visit Derby for an after show Q&A...exciting stuff! Do you know which members will be present at he Q&A?

Check out: https://www.facebook.com/events/1671322822914461/

March 2018: Check out this 1993 copy of The International Women's Day Celebration Programme March 6th

 

The Programme is packed full of workshops, taster sessions and celebratory activities.

But also Includes a bullet point list of the 1971 Charter of Women's Rights....Can you list the 6 main demands/points highlighted by the Charter?

February 2018: Which Derbyshire woman was a pioneering interior designer?

In addition to being a pioneering interior designer this amazing woman was also an author, sat on the first executive board of the NUWSS (for she which gave many early speeches and campsigned tirelessly before her untimely death from Typhoid in 1882).

January 2018: Which woman suffragist, communist pacifist was born on January 27th?

Which Derby suffragist, Communist anti-war campaigner was born in Derby on January 27th? She, along with several members of her family were infamously tried and convicted of conspiracy to commit murder based on very questionable evidence and a less than fair trial. Find out more about this Derby Woman of Valour in our Derbyshire100 Women List. 

December 2017: Where in Derby was This Diocesan Teacher Training School located?

This is postcard is one from a collection of around 20 postcards of the  Diocesan Teacher Training College in Derby at which hundreds, if not thousands of women trained to become educators in the County and much further afield.   But where is this building today? 

November 2017: "Now you see it now you don't...but it really was there"!

This is an image of the original 1930's Derby Bus Station prior to its redevelopment....Why did Derby Bus Station hit the headlines in 2006? Which of our 100+ Derbyshire Women are responsible for the activism which led to national and even international coverage of Derby Bus Station?

October 2017: Handwritten and Signed letter by Famous Derbyshire Actress and Theatre Director

The Month we are featuring a letter written by a famous 19th Century Derbyshire born actress and Theatre Director with the initials M.L. Question: Name at least one West End Theatre amd one play which she performed in? 

September 2017 Commemorative Wall Hanging

The Month we are featuring a panel made for our Deeds Not Words 100+ Years of Women's Social and Political Activism in Derbyshire wall hanging. This panel  depicts the 11 women in Derbyshire who signed the 1866 Votes for Women Petition. Question: What were the Names of the 11 signatories to the Petition? We are hosting more workshops this time in Derby for people to come along and help to create more panels starting Sept 20th 11.30am to 1pm. Everyone is welcome. 

The item being signed will feature in our exhibitions in 2017. But who is signing it and which script is it? A clue is in the visible part of the photograph.

July 2017: The Meaning of The Tri-Colour Flag

The Month we haven't quite gone for an item associated with Derby or Derbyshire but have chosen to focus on an item of HERitage which has permeated the Women's Movement over the last 100 years or so....The colours depicted in the Flag have long been associated with the The Women's Movement in its various forms....When was it first used? What do the colours symbolise?

June 2017: Game on Sisters...

Which 48 playing card game, named after Emmeline Pankhurst and sold to ensure the campaign for universal women’s votes remained in the the media limelight, featured cartoons by E.T. Reed of Punch magazine and was coloured purple and white on one side and on the reverse? 

May 2017: Which organisation used this badge?

Badges are an interesting and easy way of spreading campaign slogans and messages. This one was used by a reknown suffragist organisation some 100+ years ago to create a sense of comraderie and corporate identity. Can you identify the organisation in question?

April 2017: Which National Organisation was founded in Derby in 1974

What is the link between two Derby Women, who went on to fight on a platform of consumer based issues, and the founding of a national organisation in 1974?

Image courtesy of Derby Telegraph: 

March 2017: Which Derby Born Woman Was a Suffragette Artist?

An interesting and iconic image and one that was used again and again throughout various suffrage campaigns...but what is the link between this image and a Derby born artist?

February 2017: Which Chesterfield Born Sisters?

Question: Which Chesterfield born sisters  together with Millicent Fawcett and her sister Agnes Garrett financed the restoration of the Statue of Queen Elizabeth I at St Dunstan’s in the West in 1828?

January 2017: Which Former Derby Borough Mayor?

Question: Which former JP and Mayor of Derby authorised her stamp on hundreds (perhaps thousands) of  King George's Coronation mugs? It is believed that she then gave these mugs away to children and young people who had achieved various goals.

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The Mandela Centre, 179 Pear Tree Rd, Derby, DE23 8NQ  E:vox.feminarum@gmail.com T: 01332 347066

Deeds Not Words Towards Liberation has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to record, preserve and raise awareness about women's social and political activism in Derbyshire. Shoulder to Shoulder events are funded by the Celebrating Votes for Women Fund

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