The Collection is owned by the BFWG Sybil Campbell Collection Trust, an independent charity closely associated with the British Federation of Women Graduates. The Collection is on long-term loan at the University of Winchester Library.
The Collection was established in 1928 as the Crosby Hall Library and became a charity in 1955. It was moved to a purpose built room in Crosby Hall in 1959 as the Sybil Campbell Library. From 1992 to 1995 it was in storage before being re-opened in 1998 at 28 Great James Street in Bloomsbury. In June 2006, after intensive work on cataloguing and conservation (aided by generous grants from the Pilgrim Trust and the Charitable Foundation), it was moved to the University of Winchester.
It is now a small research collection of some 8,000 items, reflecting the entry of women into the professions in the first half of the 20th century. It focuses on the educational aspirations of the period and the part graduate women played nationally and internationally.
The Collection contains material relating to women’s writing and women’s history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – women’s education, their personal libraries, biography, autobiography, women in wartime, the support BFUW gave to refugees and so on.
There are reports and publications of the British Federation of University Women (founded 1907) and the International Federation of University Women (founded 1920). It contains some records of past BFWG Award Holders and BFWG Charitable Foundation Grant Holders. There are records of the Women’s National Commission and interesting material on Crosby Hall and Chelsea.
The general material includes philosophy, history, literary criticism, fiction, poetry, travel, art, crafts and much more, some of it bequeathed by early members of BFUW. Some books are interesting for their provenance. Material was donated by significant figures of the 1920s and 1930s – Sybil Campbell, Ivy Davison, John Galsworthy, L P Hartley, Harold Laski, Eleanor Rathbone, Alys and Bertrand Russell, Caroline Spurgeon, Lytton Strachey, Beatrice and Sidney Webb, Virginia and Leonard Woolf to name some of them.
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