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LSE Library announces Women's Walks, an interactive historical journey through London's streets


The Library at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has partnered with Arts Council England to create Women’s Walks, an exciting new mobile phone app that enables users to engage with archive materials from women’s history.

Photo courtesy of Mirrorpix.comWomen’s Walks  combines smartphone technology with the fascinating and diverse archive material from The Women’s Library @ LSE, transforming the collection into an engaging and interactive historical journey. The app will work by tracking the user’s position as they walk through the streets of London, identifying images, documents and audio clips relevant to each location, and downloading them to the user’s smartphone. Women’s Walks will be publicly available in late 2014.

Elizabeth Chapman, Director of Library Services, said: ‘Women’s Walks provides an exciting new way to access the historical collection at The Women’s Library @ LSE, combining the latest smartphone technology with women’s rich history and heritage. The project marks another stage of LSE Library’s plans to share The Women’s Library @ LSE collection as widely as possible, and we look forward to continuing to engage with new audiences in the future.’

Women’s Walks will build upon the technology used in LSE’s successful PhoneBooth (http://phone.booth.lse.ac.uk/) project, which saw Charles Booth’s socio-economic maps of London recreated as an interactive digital website and smartphone app. The Women's Library @ LSE also recently launched an Emily Wilding Davison Online Exhibition: http://digital.library.lse.ac.uk/exhibitions/emily-wilding-davison-centenary a unique collection of materials from the life and death of the suffragette.

Joyce Wilson, Area Director London, Arts Council England, said: ‘Our funding for small and medium sized museums through our Renaissance strategic support fund helps to enhance the visitors’ experience and shine a light on little known aspects of our heritage. Public access to the Women’s Library collection is at the heart of Arts Council support. The creation of the Women’s Walks app is a great opportunity to bring the collection to a wider audience, to inspire the public to engage with archive material from women’s history.’

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

The London School of Economics and Political Science became custodians of The Women’s Library collection in January 2013, taking over from London Metropolitan University. Part of LSE’s commitment to preserving and enhancing The Women’s Library @ LSE is through bringing the collection to a wider audience, with Women’s Walks forming an important part of this strategy.

The Women's Library @ LSE’s collection covers the changing social and political circumstances in the lives of women, primarily from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. The collection is recognised for its rare and historic materials, which represent the oldest and most extensive collection of women’s history in Europe and forms a key part of the UK’s national heritage.

The Women’s Walks project is funded by LSE Library and Arts Council England. EDINA, a data centre based at the University of Edinburgh, are LSE Library’s technical partners for the project.

6 June 2013