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LSE Library Launches Emily Wilding Davison Online Exhibition

The Library at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has launched a unique collection of materials documenting the life and death of Emily Wilding Davison, commemorating the centenary of Davison’s protest at the Epsom Derby.

Return ticket to EpsomThe online exhibition explores Davison’s role as a leader in the Suffragette movement. Highlights from the collection include Davison’s return railway ticket from Victoria to Epsom, her race card from the Derby, and her Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) flag. The exhibition has been curated by Elizabeth Chapman, Director of LSE Library Services, and Professor June Purvis, Emeritus Professor of Women's and Gender History at the University of Portsmouth.

Elizabeth Chapman, said: “Emily Wilding Davison is one of the most important figures in the struggle for votes for women and this truly inspiring collection provides great insight into her life. The project is a major part of LSE Library’s commitment to bringing our historical collections to the public and we are delighted to be able to contribute to the Davison centenary in this way.”

Emily Wilding DavisonOther events planned by LSE Library to mark the centenary of Davison’s Derby protest include a Hay Festival talk on 25 May 2013 by Elizabeth Chapman, who will present The LSE Lecture 100 Years And Counting. The talk will look at Davison’s legacy and take a wider view of women’s lives from the late 19th Century to the present, using a range of sources from The Women’s Library @ LSE.

On 26 May 2013, Elizabeth Chapman will be part of a Clare Balding Channel Four documentary- Secrets of a Suffragette. The programme includes the collection of materials from Davison’s life housed at The Women’s Library @ LSE, and looks at how her protest at the Derby became a pivotal moment in the suffragette movement.

Emily Wilding Davison was born in Blackheath in southeast London on 11 October 1872. She was a student at Royal Holloway College and the University of Oxford. In 1906, she joined the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), the leading militant organisation campaigning for Women's suffrage in the United Kingdom. Davison was involved in a number of protests which led to eight short periods of imprisonment where she attempted to starve herself and resisted force-feeding.

On 4 June 1913, Davison stepped out in front of the king's horse as it was taking part in the Epsom Derby. She died on 8 June 1913 as a result of her injuries.

The Women's Library @ LSE is Britain's primary resource on women’s history and the women's movement. In January 2013 the collection joined LSE Library, the largest social science library in Europe. The Emily Wilding Davison Online Exhibition is the first of a number of planned projects to increase and improve public access through digitising The Women's Library @ LSE's collections.

For more information contact  Peter Carrol, LSE Library Press Office: 0207 852 3525, p.carrol@lse.ac.uk

24 May 2013