Testimonials in support of the Feminist Library

Thank you to all those who have sent us messages, statements and testimonials of support. We will add them to this page as we receive them. If you would like to write a statement of support, do please send to admin@feministlibrary.co.uk.

‘I fully support the endeavour to save the Feminist Library from eviction, and for a negotiation process to begin in order to address the sudden and huge rent increase. This is a valuable and important institution that should be supported.’ Eddie Peake, Artist

‘I rely on resources like this for the advancement of my work in London.’ Celia Hempton, Artist
‘Having been a volunteer at the Feminist Library in the past, I know from personal experience that it is an amazing institution, offering information, support and unique resources to readers, scholars and community groups. It hasbeen a significant part of women’s history – and of London history, too. Instead of threatening this wonderful archive with eviction, Southwark Council ought to be protecting and cherishing it. It would be a great shame if the kind of inspiration I found in the Feminist Library as a young author was to be denied to others because of Southwark’s shortsighted and ungenerous plans.’ Sarah Waters, Novelist

‘As someone who studies the history and culture of “the book” — which of course includes “the library” as well as the author and publisher and reader — I have admired the Feminist Library for many years. It has great research value for scholars around the world, as a collection of books, periodicals and documents produced, consumed, and preserved by the women’s liberation movement since it began. The FL is also an important cultural institution in its community, and I have fond memories of participating in a feminist sing-song there a few years ago! I hope the local government will work with the leadership of the library to set up a secure lease for this important institution.’ Leslie Howsam, FRSC Past President, Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP) Distinguished University Professor Emerita, University of Windsor and Senior Research Fellow, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities

The Belgian Archive and Research Centre expresses wholeheartedly its support for the Feminist Library in London and urges the local authorities to support it and find a good solution for the current housing problem.  As a sister organization, we know how valuable archive centers and libraries are to safeguard the cultural heritage of movements and communities. The feminist movement has played (still plays) a very important role in our societies and has initiated profound changes. Moreover, as every movement of significance , it has developed an identity and culture – or more exactly, identities & cultures, in plural. It needs “rooms of its own”, places that render the movement and its history alive. Places like the Feminist Library, that is clearly an open space, that cherishes the different strands in feminism and works with an intersectional perspective.

We are impressed by the richness of its collections and by the community work  it does. The Feminist Library does not limit its mission to safekeeping historical collections and making those accessible for research (as such a very valuable role), but manages – self funding! –  to be a very active actor in the local community and to serve as a true meeting point for women of very different backgrounds. We hope Southwark Council realizes how important this is. Archief- en Onderzoekscentrum voor Vrouwengeschiedenis www.gendergeschiedenis.be

It is with great concern that we learn of the Feminist Library facing eviction. We at the Italian Women’s Library in Bologna are well aware of the importance of preserving and making accessible feminist knowledge and archival materials. This documentation is indeed not only a testimony of our history and identity, but also a crucial tool in understanding our past, changing our present and creating projects for a better future. In the last 30 years we had the opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues at the Feminist Library in European networks that proved fundamental in the advancement of both gender knowledge and library sciences profession. We urge Southwark Council to reflect on the disastrous consequences of the intended course of action and to reconsider its stance. In solidarity, The Italian Women’s Library, Bologna, Italy, 23 February 2016

Women’s Heritage at risk? It has come to our attention that the Feminist Library in London  is facing eviction due to an increase in rent to more than double todays amount. With this e-mail we want to emphasize our deep concerns regarding this. The Feminist Library holds unique archives of feminist individuals and organizations. They also hold a book collection and periodicals from around the world. They serve an invaluable purpose as a public meeting place for researchers as well as activists and the local community. This feminist heritage is accessible thanks to their volunteer forces. They should recognized for supporting gender research and by strengthening the impact of research and knowledge related to gender and gender equality in academia and the rest of society. They are a part of a large network in Europe where similar institutions, as ourselves and our target groups, are dependent on the future flourishing of organizations in the field of gender research, gender equality and feminist history.

We sincerely hope that the Feminist Library in London will be able to celebrate the International Women’s Day this year and many more to come in the same premises they have been for more than 30 years.

Linda Marie Rustad, Director
On behalf of Kilden, Norway’s national information centre for gender

Anna Johansson, Coordinator
KvinnSam – National resource library for gender studiers

Maria Gronroos, Deputy Manager
The Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research