Press Release: London’s 45 year-old Feminist Library finding new ways to survive and connect

Press release: for immediate release Sept 2020

 London’s 45 year-old Feminist Library finding new ways to survive and connect

 Archiving and Activism – virtual events, a new online shop and Friends supporter scheme.

The Feminist Library, a London-based collection of literature on feminism founded in 1975 has come through numerous struggles in its history. The unique collection and social space faced the risk of eviction from its Waterloo home in 2015, and after several years of campaigning and a successful Crowdfunder in 2019, moved to a new home in the Sojourner Truth Community Centre, Peckham earlier this year.

However shortly after officially opening its doors in February, the Library was forced to temporarily close the space, with the Covid-19 pandemic bringing new challenges. The Library’s dedicated team of volunteers has been working to find new ways of connecting with users, and putting the Library’s motto ‘archiving and activism’ into practice in challenging times.

As a charitable incorporated organisation which receives no public funding, the Library’s events programme and bookshop have been a key source of income. With lockdown closing their physical shop for now, the team launched a new online store this week (, offering digital zines and prints featuring the Library’s dragon logo, as well as designs by artists such as Lucie Russell of the Peckham-based project Drawing People Together, and comic creator, photographer and graphic designer Eva Megias. The shop’s stock is set to expand with new lines of books and merchandise added.

Online shop

The Library’s ‘Friends’ scheme (, launched in 2016 has also been gaining popularity, with over 300 supporters pledging from £3 per month to support the unique space and archive. In return, Friends receive 15% discount on purchases, bonus content such as copies of zines, and early booking to big events.

Fundraising coordinator Magda Oldziejewska said: “Our Friends scheme is key to making the Library financially sustainable, which has always been a challenge, but now we’re well on the way, with our Friends helping the Library cover over 50% of our running costs. Our community of Friends helps to keep the Library open with access to its collection and events free or by donation, so it can be enjoyed by all.”

As well as fundraising, the Feminist Library has been taking things online, with its volunteers producing a new collaborative zine exploring Care, which is available for free in digital form online. (

The team have also been developing online events, including a series of webinars themed around ‘Care in a Pandemic’, as well as meetings on Queer Solidarity, focused on recent attacks on LGBTQIA+ rights in countries including Poland and Romania.

In some ways the shift to more online events has been amazing” volunteer Anna Pigott explains “as we have been able to connect easily with activists in other countries, and people with caring responsibilities, or disabilities that make it difficult to come to physical meetings.”

But the Library has no plans to go virtual permanently. “Having a physical home has always been a very important aspect of the Feminist Library” Anna adds “an inclusive space where all are welcome to come and interact with the incredible collection. With so many spaces at risk in London, it’s more important than ever.”

The Library, which is staffed mainly by volunteers, will be looking towards reopening its doors this autumn, with plans to hold an exhibition during Black History Month showcasing material from its collection reflecting histories of black women in feminism. Sign up to the Feminist Library’s ebulletin to receive updates on forthcoming events and opening times. (

Notes for Editors:

For more information please contact:

Email: with any enquiries.

About the Library

The Feminist Library was founded in 1975 by a small group of passionate volunteers at the height of the Women’s Liberation Movement. It boasts an incomparable collection of over 7,000 books, 1,500 periodical titles from around the world, several archives of feminist individuals and organisations, pamphlets, papers, posters, and ephemera.

With no government or external funding, it has survived for nearly 45 years by the goodwill and passion of dedicated volunteers and the support of the public. It opens five days a week and welcomes visitors of any gender. It is committed to a community policy that is intersectional, non-sectarian and trans-inclusive.

The Library has a vibrant book club, shop, arts and community programme. As well as enabling research and activism, it provides a space in London for feminists and community groups to have meetings, readings, exhibitions and events. The Library supports not just archiving work, but also independent producers and artists, and publishes its own zines.

The Feminist Library

The Sojourner Truth Community Centre

161 Sumner Rd, Peckham, London SE15 6JL

Telephone: 0207 261 0879


Twitter: @feministlibrary

Facebook: FeministLibrary

Instagram: thefeministlibrary

The Feminist Library is a registered charity 1174735 (formerly 272410). Company no. CE012267.