Wolfson support for The Women's Library

The Wolfson Foundation has extended its significant support of LSE’s capital development programme through a gift of £100,000 towards the establishment of the Women’s Library @ LSE. 

The gift will help facilitate the relocation of these collections to our campus, which has required significant refurbishment to the Lionel Robbins building, including the creation of three new spaces dedicated to increasing public access to internationally-renowned materials on women’s history. 

The Women’s Library Reading Room is now open to the public in its home on the fourth floor of the building, following a formal opening by former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner, Mary Robinson, in March 2014. Work on an Exhibition Space and a Teaching and Activity Room is underway, and they are expected to open during the autumn.

“This project seemed the ideal match for us,” said Simon Fourmy, Director of Grants at the Foundation. “It is an important historical collection coming together with a higher education institution of demonstrable excellence. So for us it was a perfect combination and a great project to fund.”

Elizabeth Chapman, Director of Library Services, said: “The Library is delighted to continue its enduring and positive relationship with the Wolfson Foundation. Their support over the years has helped the Library maintain its position as one of the leading social science libraries, and this latest gift has been instrumental in the creation of our outstanding new research and learning facilities for The Women’s Library collection.”

The Wolfson Foundation is one of LSE’s largest donors, and has been supporting development of the British Library of Political and Economic Science since the 1970s. The Lower Ground Floor of LSE Library is being named for the Foundation in recognition of this long-term support, which includes gifts towards the original refurbishment of the Lionel Robbins Building, the 2000 Foster and Partners redesign, and the provision of dedicated IT spaces.

LSE undertook ownership of The Women’s Library collection in January 2013, safeguarding the unique identity and integrity of the collection. The oldest and most extensive collection of women’s history in Europe, the Women’s Library was founded in 1926 and includes over 60,000 books and pamphlets, 3,500 periodical titles, printed ephemera and press cuttings, and 5,000 museum objects, including posters, photographs, banners, badges, over 100 suffrage and modern campaigning banners, and 550 personal and organisational archives.

Information on giving to the Women’s Library @ LSE can be found at lse.ac.uk/supportingTheWomensLibrary