|Women in Leeds doing embroidery|
After nearly two months of events, talks, workshops and study days we have finally finished our Women’s History Season. We’ve heard fantastic speakers talk about a great range of subjects, and lots of people came along and learnt more about a wide range of women’s histories. We’ve learnt about women of different ages, in many centuries, leading varied and interesting lives – and also a fair bit about the resources that can help us understand more about this history.
My personal highlight of the season has to have been getting to learn about the lives of Medieval women in a one-off study day run by Liz Mylod, Sophie Harwood and Kirsty Day. Having studied both Ancient and modern history but not much in the middle, it was fascinating to hear about how nuns set off on pilgrimage getting as far as the Holy Land in a time where moving from one village to the next was a logistical nightmare.
It was also wonderful to hear about so many local women and how they have made a name for themselves. We heard about suffragettes and suffragists like Mary Gawthorpe and Isabella Ford, alongside women like Elizabeth Moxon (local author of an 18th century cookbook) and the Barnbow lasses as well as finding out about broader topics like Girl Guiding and Jewish fashion. I was also thrilled that some of our other local services like Leeds Libraries and the Feminist Archive North based at the University of Leeds were able to come and talk about the material in their collections, and the possibilities this opens up for researchers.
I couldn’t possibly write about everything in one blog as it would go on far too long, but I did want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who was involved. Whether you gave a talk or ran a session for us, whether you worked wonders behind the scenes or whether you were one of the audience – thank you for your support and for making the season such a success.
And if you didn’t manage to catch any of our events, why not book a place on our Leonora Cohen study day at Abbey House Museum on 9th June. The day costs £10 including lunch and runs from 11-3. Places are limited so please call 0113 3784079 to book. Full details can be found on our What’s On website.
By Nicola Pullan, Assistant Curator of Leeds and Social History