women’s history – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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‘Only Angels Have Wings’ – Celebrating The Women Of The Air Transport Auxiliary

Women last week made history in the youngest Service, for the first delivery flights of aeroplanes from factory to storage depot, ‘somewhere in Great Britain,’ were carried out by the Women’s Transport Section of the Air Transport Auxiliary. There are nine members of this body. So reported The Sketch on 17 January 1940. Four months into the Second World War, and women were making history, and in particular, the nine women who belonged to the Air Transport Auxiliary. These women, along with

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week at The Archive we are celebrating another milestone, as we have now reached over 47 million pages in our collection, with the addition of 194,166 brand new pages over the last week alone. Meanwhile, joining us this week are five brand new newspapers, which comprise of two Irish titles (including a special ‘entertainment journal’), a local Somerset newspaper, a title dedicated to the factory industry in Yorkshire, and an ‘agricultural, commercial and family gazette.’ We have also updated 72 of our existing titles, with updates to

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‘The Girls Behind the Counter’ – The Daily Life of a Victorian Shop Girl

In November 1846, the ‘Friends of a respectable young Woman’ placed this advertisement in the ‘Wants‘ column of Saunders’s News-Letter: The Friends of a respectable young Woman wish to procure for her a Situation either as Attendant on a Lady or in a Nursery, or as a Shop Girl; she is adequate to any of the above capacities, and is willing to make herself generally useful, being of an humble, quiet and obliging disposition; she is a good needleworker, and can teach

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Una Marson – a pioneer and activist

We are taking a deep dive into the work of Una Marson.  Marson was one of Jamaica’s most influential poets, broadcasters, and activists.  She was a feminist pioneer and the first Black woman employed by the BBC.  She was also the first Black woman to have her play performed in the West End and the first Black woman to attend the League of Nations.  One blog post cannot do justice to her incredible career, but we hope to use The

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‘Vive La Miniskirt!’ – Celebrating One of Fashions Greatest Revolutions

When the miniskirt first burst onto the fashion scene in the early 1960s, its presence was divisive. Immediately, many women took to it, but others were not so sure, wondering whether it was just a passing fad. But the miniskirt was to become a symbol of the 1960s, from embodying ‘Swinging London’ to representing the greater emancipation it afforded to women – sexual, social and moral. And so, in this special blog, using newspapers taken from The Archive, we will

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 75,078 brand new pages to our collection, with a trio of very special brand new titles joining us over the past seven days from across England, Ireland and Northern Ireland. So read on to discover more about the new titles of the week, as well as to discover which of our existing titles we have added new pages to. Also, this week we will take a moment to remember the Matchgirls’ Strike of 1888, an early industrial action undertaken by

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‘The Ascent of Woman’ – Celebrating Early Women Mountaineers

In the early nineteenth century, Frenchwoman Mademoiselle d’Augeville became the ‘pioneer of women climbers‘ (The Sketch, 6 September 1911) as she made her ascent of Mont Blanc at the age of 44. And by the end of the century, she had paved the way for a generation of women mountaineers, who were astonishing the world with their climbing feats. From the Andes to the Himalayas, and all along the Alps, women were truly in ascendance, overcoming prejudice as they climbed

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Rose Heilbron – Legal Superstar of the 1950s and Beyond

‘If you want something to write, write about Rose Heilbron. She’s the greatest lawyer in history.’ These were the words of Jack Comer as he left the Old Bailey in September 1955, having been defended by 39-year-old Rose Heilbron QC, and subsequently acquitted. Who was Rose Heilbron? Born in August 1914, she was the first woman to win a scholarship at Grey’s Inn, one of the first two women to be appointed to the King’s Bench, the first woman to

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week at The Archive we have added a century’s worth of news, spanning the headlines from 1864 to 1964. We have added 90,176 new newspaper pages in all, with six brand new titles joining us from England and Wales over the past seven days. So read on to discover more about our new titles, from Hastings to Harborne, from Neath to Stockton, as well as to find out which of our existing titles we have updated during the past week. Using our new

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Far From ‘Idle:’ The Women Canal Workers of the Second World War

Nicknamed the ‘Idle Women,’ although they were about as far from idle as anybody could possibly be, the women canal workers of the Second World War performed vital war work which is all but forgotten today, some seventy years later. Some of the ‘Idle women’ arriving at a canal dock | The Sphere | 15 April 1944 The curious name of ‘Idle Women’ came from the badges that these pioneering women wore, with the initials ‘IW,’ which stood for ‘Inland Waterways’.

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