Primary Sources: Women in the National Archives (UK)

Women in the National Archives includes original documents related to the suffrage question in Britain, the Empire, and the colonial territories, along with a finding aid to women’s studies resources located in the National Archives at Kew.

The focus of the collection is on the campaign for women’s suffrage in Britain, 1903-1928, and the granting of women’s suffrage in colonial territories, 1930-1962. They include papers on government and police handling of the suffrage question, photographs and descriptions of leading suffragettes, police reports on suffrage meetings and disturbances, petitions, newspaper clippings, extracts from Parliamentary debates, Cabinet opinion and Committee reports on franchise bills, including the work of the Equal Franchise Committee of 1927-1928. There are also various sources relating to the arrest of suffragettes, their transit in police vans and treatment in prison. Accounts from suffragettes and their supporters, and reports from prison authorities provide details of hunger strikes, the ‘Cat and Mouse’ campaign and forced feeding. Prominent suffragettes include Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, the Pankhursts, Emily Wilding Davison, Clara Giveen and Rachel Peace (alias Jane Short).

The finding aid brings together the results of a five year project by staff at Kew and enables researchers to quickly locate details of any document relating to women in the National Archives at Kew. It is far more detailed and extensive than anything available elsewhere on the web and has the benefit of ranging across all of the classes of material held at the National Archives. The main topics include abortion, contraception, conditions of employment for women, divorce, domestic service, education, teaching and training, employment of women, equal opportunities and pay, health, marriage, maternity and child welfare, munitions work by women, nursing and midwifery, prostitution, single parent mothers, widows, women’s organizations and women’s suffrage.


Two Pioneering Women in California Wine: Zelma Long and Margrit Mondavi

We are pleased to release two new oral histories today as part of long-running series on the history of the California wine industry. Many know Margrit Mondavi as the wife of Napa Valley great Robert Mondavi, but what you might not know that she herself had a major impact on the wine industry: she was an early leader in innovative strategies to educate Americans about wine, food, and culture and to market California wine to taste-makers around the globe. Zelma Long, who we first interviewed in 1991, has left in indelible mark on winemaking in California through key posts at Robert Mondavi, Simi, and Chandon Estates, and, over the past twenty five years, on the global wine industry through consulting work in Germany, Israel, France, and her own estate, Vilafonte, in South Africa. These two interviews also mark the beginning of what we hope will be a reinvigorated wine oral history project — stay tuned for more!

Margit Mondavi was born in Switzerland in 1925 and raised in northern Italy. She married an American serviceman who brought her to the United States in the 1950s. In the early 1960s, they moved to Napa Valley, where her life?s work would really begin. She joined Charles Krug winery (owned by the Mondavi family) as a tour guide and, while there, pioneered the presentation of performances at the winery. She followed Robert Mondavi when he left Krug and started his own winery. A budding romance followed and she eventually married Mondavi in 1980. In this interview, Margrit Mondavi discusses her contributions to the development of wine education, marketing, and sales; she also discusses her combined interests in wine, food, and the arts, and how she brought those together at the winery.

Zelma Long, born in Oregon in 1945, is an American enologist and vintner. She attended the UC Davis School of Enology and Viticulture and worked for Long Vineyards and Robert Mondavi Winery, which she served as chief enologist during the winery?s 1970s heyday. In 1979 she was hired to be chief winemaker at Simi Winery in Sonoma County, eventually becoming president and CEO of the winery. While planning for her retirement from Simi in 1996, she and her husband, viticulturalist Phil Freese, started Vilafonté winery in post-apartheid South Africa. In a separate interview released in 1992, Long discusses her years at Mondavi and Simi; in this interview, Long reflects on the history of winemaking in California and the role of women in the industry; the focus of this oral history, however, is the building of Vilafonté and her work as a consultant to many wineries around the globe.


Primary Sources: The Bassi Veratti Collection

From Stanford Library’s News Release:

“In the eighteenth century, Laura Bassi was a scientist, professor at the University of Bologna, and member of the Bologna Academy of Sciences. Among the very first female professional scholars, her life (1711-1778) and work can tell us much about the personal and professional lives of early women scientists, their place in Enlightenment intellectual networks, as well as the spread of Newtonian physics in the Italian peninsula. Stanford history professor Paula Findlen is currently completing a scholarly biography on Bassi, while the Stanford University Libraries – in partnership with the Biblioteca comunale dell’Archiginnasio di Bologna and the Istituto per i Beni Artistici, Culturali e Naturali della Regione Emilia-Romagna – has brought Bassi’s family archive to the web.”

“The Bassi Veratti Collection web site developed and hosted by Stanford Libraries features high-resolution digital images of the complete contents of the Bassi e famiglia Veratti Archive in a robust discovery and display environment. This remarkable project undertaken by the Digital Library Systems and Services department is notable for the extent of cooperation with colleagues in Bologna. A fully bilingual website, it showcases the way that new technologies have enhanced the traditional print archive. 672 letters, diplomas, poems, and other documents have been digitized, while the richly detailed inventory created by Archiginnasio archivists has been transformed into a bilingual and fully-indexed search engine to the collection. These two components have been seamlessly united in an intuitive and well-designed scholarly website.”