The Feminist Library is a large archive collection of Women’s Liberation Movement literature, particularly second-wave materials dating from the late 1960s to the 1990s. We support research, activist and community projects in this field.
We are based at 5 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7XW. We are open every Monday 2-5pm, Tuesday 11am-6pm and Thursday 6.30-9.30pm. Additionally, we are open on the 1st Saturday of the month 1.30-5pm for the Writers’ Space. The Feminist Library is closed for bank holidays.***********Please note the Feminist library will not be opening on Mondays throughout May 2013.
You can hear one member of the collective talking about the Feminist Library, our history, collection and activities here.
WOMEN’S STUDIES WITHOUT WALLS: MOVING FOWARDS!
To celebrate the weather finally warming up a little, we are proud to present the first series of WSWW workshops, discussions and skill-shares at the Feminist Library, on the theme of ‘The Personal is Political’. All sessions will last approximately two hours, except where noted. Please see under the Women’s Studies Without Walls tab for more information!
To celebrate Women’s History Month, the launch of our new e-bulletin and the upcoming launch of our amazing new website, we will be holding a fundraising social at the Feminist Library from 6:30 pm on Saturday 23rd March 2013.
See here for more information and don’t forget to reserve your open mic slot by Thursday 21st March!
We’re really looking forward to Women’s Studies Without Walls gathering this weekend. Hope to see you there. Full info here.
An open letter to LWP – offer of practical support
Dear Ego and all at Lambeth Women’s Project,
I am writing on behalf of the Feminist Library management committee, to express solidarity and maintain practical and supportive sisterly relations between two of the last remaining autonomous women’s spaces surviving from the 1970s Women’s Liberation Movement.
We are very upset to hear about the project’s current predicament, especially as there is the possibility that the project may close. Lambeth Women’s Project has served the young women of Lambeth for 35 years, and it is these women who will suffer the most if the project is shut down.
As a feminist, activist and unfunded group in a similarly precarious situation, we fully relate to and recognise the difficulties that this threat poses to LWP’s survival.
The Feminist Library would like to offer support to the continuation of the project and its vision.
In terms of practicalities, we are aware that the Jo Spence event is currently planned, and the Feminist Library could potentially offer space for any associated events that may be displaced because of LWP’s current situation. The Feminist Library has access to significant networks and social media, and will forward any requests for help to our network of volunteers, supporters and friends, who can hopefully support your struggle and help maintain your physical presence in the building for as long as possible. You are also welcome to use our premises and associated resources, e.g. computer, wireless, photocopying, as well as meeting space.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything the Feminist Library can do to help.
In sisterhood and solidarity always,
Una Byrne, on behalf of the Feminist Library Management Committee
Rebel Rebel – International Women’s Day celebration
The Feminist Library opened its doors for a day of book stalls, food, drinks, discussions and celebration of rebellious women. Colorama Cinema hosted the rebel film screenings – Agnés Varda’s French new-wave masterpiece Clèo followed by Libertarias, Vicente Aranda’s evocative portrait of female militia in the Spanish Civil War. Our lovely friends from 56a infoshop helped us to provide a feast of Spanish and South American food.
From the Margins to the Page: Women Writers Give Voices to Heroines of Disrepute
On December 8th 2011 the Feminist Library and Edinburgh-based independent publishing company Linen Press joined for an evening of selected readings by authors Olukemi Amala, Hema Macherla, and Lynn Michell.
Their latest works address the figure of the heroine through multinational perspectives on cultural identity. From Scotland, to Nigeria, to India, each author investigates the role that social stigma plays in the struggle for independence and fulfillment.
Click here for more information.
On 11 September 2011 the Feminist Library hosted an event to mark the 30th anniversary of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp. Highlights of the day included a discussion led by Lynette Edwell about the camp’s history, an exhibition of the Boise quilt, a music making workshop with the Greenham Songbook, talks by Sasha Roseneil and Anna Feigenbaum, and a screening of Beeban Kidron’s Carry Greenham Home. Thanks to Emma Thatcher for organising this wonderful event, and to everyone who attended.
In June 2011, the Feminist Library hosted a discussion on SlutWalk ahead of the London march to protest against victim blaming. The march in London occurred months after the first SlutWalk took place in Toronto in response to a local police officer’s claim that ‘women should avoid dressing like sluts’ if they want to minimise the chance of being raped. SlutWalk has attracted a rare degree of mainstream press coverage and provoked much debate among feminists. As a non-sectarian organisation that exists to provide space for feminist organising and research, the Feminist Library has no collective position on SlutWalk and was able to offer somewhere for feminists to meet, share ideas and organise around this issue. Thanks to Rosa Martyn for initiating and leading the event.
Celebrating 35 years of archiving and activism
It has been 35 years since the Feminist Library was founded as a humble shelf of books seeking to preserve the (often ephemeral) literature of the women’s liberation movement. We held a birthday party to celebrate this landmark anniversary on 19th February 2011 at the Round Chapel in Hackney.
We were honoured to welcome to the party Viv Albertine, Trash Kit, Berta’s Troupe, Lorraine Jordan, Julie McNamara, Women Sing East, Martha & Eve and Girl Germs. We want to thank everybody who donated their time, labour, skills and energy to help us make the event special. Here’s to another 35 years of the Feminist Library!
Librarians for Tomorrow
In 2010, the Feminist Library ran the Librarians for Tomorrow training programme in radical librarianship. Funded by Awards for All, the project provided training in various aspects of radical librarianship for 15 unemployed or underemployed people who were interested in librarianship and information management.
The scheme was extremely important and enriching for the Feminist Library and was very much a two-way exchange. The Feminist Library has provided the volunteers with skills, training and hands-on experience of working in a radical library, while the trainees offered the library a vital injection of energy, ideas, and skills.
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