Power of Heritage

Glasgow has the U.K.’s only museum dedicated to women’s history

Part of the collection of the Glasgow Women's Library. (Twitter)

If you’re looking for inspiration for your next trip, why not go to Scotland, and visit the Glasgow Women’s Library? It’s the United Kingdom’s only museum dedicated to women’s history, which celebrates its 25-year anniversary this month. When the newly renovated museum opened last November, Nicola Sturgeon — the country’s current and first female first minister — called it  a “national treasure.” Visitors will find all kinds of treasures and artifacts from feminist history — the archives of women’s rights campaign groups, anti-suffragette stationery and rare domestic artifacts such as cooking books and journals. The library was originally started by a feminist arts group called Women in Profile as a tiny, volunteer-run museum in a storefront. Now, a quarter of a century later it features 20,000 books and 300,000 archival items, all donated, and boosts a paid staff of 22 as well as some 100 volunteers. Besides the many visitors from their local community, in the last month the library has been visited by people from Kuwait, the U.S., Canada, England, and Wales.

“There’s no other library in Europe like it,” Adele Patrick, one of the co-founders of Women in Profile told The Guardian. “It’s not purely academic, not hand in glove with government; some of it just feels like a crazy accident.” Patrick is one of the driving forces behind the library, together with Sue John, who sees the library as an embodiment of their ideal. “There has been a shift in understanding now, and an acceptance of the idea that women can preserve their own heritage,” she said, “and about the power of that heritage.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

Related:

U.S. gets its first national monument to women’s history

Dedicated Women’s History Center to open in New York

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