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Cambridge University Library

 

** This event is fully booked. To be added to the waiting list, please email fh322@cam.ac.uk with your full name and the number of tickets you would like should we receive any cancellations.**

This talk from the University Library's Head of Special Collections, Dr Jill Whitelock, will explore the admission of women readers and examine how the control of access to privileged spaces such as the University Library (alongside lecture halls and laboratories) was bound up with the status of women in the University between 1869-1923.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of Girton College in 1869 as Britain’s first residential college for women offering an education at degree level. In 1871, Newnham College began as a house for five students in Cambridge and its first principal Anne Jemima Clough wrote passionately about the need for access to books as part of the requirement for study:

‘How much more effectually, & with how much less mental strain, a woman can study, where all the arrangements of the house are made to suit the hours of study, – where she can have undisturbed possession of one room, – and where she can have access to any books that she may need.’

Both Girton and Newnham built up extraordinary libraries for their staff and students, in part because access to the University Library was contested, part of the long battle for women to be admitted as full members of the University, which ended only in 1948. Until 1923, women from Girton or Newnham had to request access in the same way as non-University members (amongst them other women readers), by applying to the Library Syndicate, and it was only in 1887 that women students under the age of twenty-one were entitled to apply at all.

Using the University Archives, this talk will explore the admission of women readers and examine how the control of access to privileged spaces such as the University Library (alongside lecture halls and laboratories) was bound up with and symbolic of the status of women in the University.

The event is free, and open to all. Suitable for ages 14+. Booking required. BOOK HERE.

This event is part of The Rising Tide: Women at Cambridge programme hosted by Cambridge University Libraries, and generously supported by Cambridge Assessment, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation, and the Friends of Cambridge University Library.

Access: The University Library has step-free access and disabled toilet facilities.

Event speaker: 
Dr Jill Whitelock
Location: 
Cambridge University Library
Date: 
Thursday, 16 January, 2020
Time: 
17.00-18.00
Audience: 
ALL WELCOME
Booking: 
Booking required