The Women’s Library

The Women’s Library

Did you know that a library in London is dedicated solely to Women’s History? It’s true! The Women’s Library, founded in 1926 and has provided valuable resources to women ever since. This library has a fascinating history, and it is still going strong today. If you have an interest in learning more about the Women’s Library, keep reading! This blog post will inspect the Library and its importance to women’s history. We will also discuss some of the interesting things that can be found in this library’s collection.

The Library began its life in a converted pub in London, England and was founded by the London Society For Woman Suffrage (LSWS) with two aims:

First, they wanted to preserve how far gender has changed since colonial times;

Secondly, they wanted to provide resources for newly enfranchised women to enter public life.


After moving from Marsham Street into larger premises near Gower Street, Westminster in 1929, the library changed its name to The Fawcett Library. In 2002, it changed back to The Women’s Library.

The first Librarian at the Women’s Library was Vera Douie

The Women's Library
Vera Douie, the firsts Librarian at the Women’s Library (image copied from google search)

Vera Douie was the first Librarian, taking her position in 1926, and remained the Librarian for over 41 years. The first library committee meeting took place on 25 January 1926, where the conversation revolved around finding space for the books, filing cabinets and raising funds. In the 1930s, Lady Astor donated 330 books, and Ruth Cavendish-Bentinck donated another 1000 books.

The Library moved several times before finding its home in Aldgate in 2002. During World War II, the library moved to Corsham Court in Wiltshire for safety, where it remained until 1947. The library returned to London and opened again on Gower Street. It is at The Legion, a building which also houses shelters for homeless women and library services for residents.

Not just books!

The Library is home to a wide variety of resources, including books, pamphlets, periodicals, photographs, posters, and more. The library also has an extensive collection of oral histories from women of all walks of life. These oral histories provide valuable first-hand accounts of what it was like to be a woman in the past. In addition to its collection of resources, the Library also offers a variety of services, such as talks, exhibitions, and educational programs.

The Women’s Library houses an impressive collection of books, archives, and artefacts relating to women’s history for equality. Besides its regular collection, the Women’s Library also has a unique collection of rare and valuable items. Some highlights of this collection include a copy of the first edition of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women, suffrage banners from the early 20th century, and a dress worn by Emmeline Pankhurst.

The Library offers a vital resource for anyone interested in learning more about women’s history. If you are ever in London, be sure to check it out!

Have you been to the Women’s Library?

Do you have any interesting stories about the Women’s Library? Share them with us in the comments section below! If you are interested in learning more about women’s history, then the Women’s Library is definitely worth visiting. This library has something for everyone!

The Library is a fascinating place and I’m so glad it exists. It’s important to have a dedicated space for Women’s History, where we can come to learn and appreciate all that women have done throughout the years. I definitely recommend paying a visit if you’re ever in London. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find something in the collection that sparks your interest! Until next time, happy reading! Please feel free to share this blog post on social media or on your own website! Julie.

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