The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has officially opened its new Reading Room for The Women’s Library @ LSE.
The Reading Room, a 40-seat research facility located in LSE Library, was formally opened last night (Wednesday 12 March) by Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation and the first woman President of Ireland (1990-1997), who gave a speech to the 300 invited guests in the Library’s atrium.
Other speakers at the opening event included Professor Craig Calhoun, LSE Director, Elizabeth Chapman, Director of LSE Library Services, and Suni Harford, Co-Chair of Citi Women.
Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation, said: “As a former female head of state, I am aware of the fierce efforts made by those women before me. The Women’s Library should be a constant source of knowledge and inspiration to us; allowing us to fulfil our responsibility to listen to women’s lives, in their own words and in their own time. LSE’s custodianship and plans for the Women’s Library will help in an area of study that I believe is critical to the continued advancement of human progress through the progress of women.“
Professor Craig Calhoun, Director of LSE, said: “The new Reading Room is the first of three outstanding facilities due to open this year for the Women's Library @ LSE, to be followed by an Exhibition Space and Teaching and Activity Room. The collection is one of the best international collections for the support of research on women's lives and gender issues, and these facilities will be a great asset to future generations of LSE students and researchers from all over the world.”
Elizabeth Chapman, Director of LSE Library Services, said: “The opening of the purpose-built Reading Room for The Women’s Library @ LSE is an important step in ensuring that the unique identity and integrity of the collection is protected. We look forward to welcoming LSE students and the wider public to our outstanding new research facility in 2014.”
The LSE Students' Union Feminist Society also marked the opening with a march on LSE’s campus on Wednesday 12 March to protest the under-representation of women in society. The society recreated the iconic image of suffragettes marching in November 1908 on what is now LSE’s campus.
The new Reading Room fulfils one of the key commitments made by LSE when it took on ownership of The Women’s Library collection, taking over from London Metropolitan University in January 2013, ensuring that the unique identity and integrity of the collection is protected.
The Reading Room will support research on women’s history, with the new area playing an integral role within the wider redevelopment plans for the Lionel Robbins Building. A dedicated Exhibition Space and Teaching and Activity room for The Women’s Library @ LSE collection are scheduled to open later in 2014.
Watch a film of the opening here.
Peter Carrol, LSE Library Communications, 020 7852 3525, email@example.com
Notes for editors:
The Women’s Library @ LSE Reading Room is located on the fourth floor of LSE Library, creating a 40-seat academic research facility. LSE students and the wider public can now use the new Reading Room to access the Library’s collections.
For information on how to access the Women's Library Reading room see: Reading Room Access
Further details on how to access LSE Library are available here: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/membership/home.aspx
The Women’s Library @ LSE
The Women’s Library is the oldest and most extensive collection of women’s history in Europe, and a key part of the UK’s national heritage. It was founded in 1926 as the Library of the London Society for Women’s Service, a non-militant organisation led by leading suffragist Millicent Fawcett. It has evolved into Europe’s leading source of documents relating to every aspect of women’s lives, including women’s rights, suffrage, sexuality, health, education, employment, reproductive rights, the family and the home.
The print collections include over 60,000 books and pamphlets and 3,000 periodical titles. The archive and museum collections include over 500 archives and 5,000 museum objects, including photographs, posters, badges, banners, textiles and ceramics.
The archives and museum pieces not on display will be kept in a purpose-built secure store with material made accessible on request.
The Women’s Library @ LSE collection is also available online via the LSE Digital Library. digital.library.lse.ac.uk/collections/thewomenslibrary
The Women’s Library @ LSE collection will support the range of public events at LSE. Further details are available at www.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents
London School of Economics (LSE) Library was founded in 1896 as the British Library of Political and Economic Science. The Library has the aim of systematically collecting all available material from around the world on the subjects studied by the School.
The Library’s collection currently contains over four million separate items, including rare books, unique archives, photographs, campaigning objects such as badges, posters and pamphlets, as well as the extensive electronic research collections required of a modern international research library.
For more information on LSE Library please visit www.lse.ac.uk/library
13 March 2014