This guest post was written by Lorraine Screene of the Archives at Queen Mary, University of London. It highlights to fantastic collections related to women’s history and is just in time for Women’s History Month!

The archives at Queen Mary are a rich and diverse resource for those interested in women’s history.

The archives of Westfield College a pioneering higher education college for women established in 1882, provides an excellent resource for the history of women’s education.  As a college based on Christian principles and with links to similar institutions abroad, it also provides a resource for the study of religion, missionaries in the Victorian and Edwardian period. A selection of images depicting the Student Experience at Westfield College is available here.

Westfield College staff and students 1885

Westfield College staff and students 1885


The private papers of former Westfield College staff such as the historian Caroline Skeel and botanist Ellen Delf Smith also provide resources concerning women’s experience in education during these periods. Constance Maynard’s experiences of joining the first generation of female students at Girton College, her role as Mistress of Westfield College, and her religious beliefs and relationships with women, were widely documented in her diaries and autobiography, which have been digitised and are available to download here. Highlights from her archives are also available in the Archive Galleries and additional diaries and papers are available in the Archives.

The recently launched Meanings of Military Service website draws upon archive material from the Royal London Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital highlighting the role of female doctors and nurses during the First World War.

The newly catalogued Lyttelton family collection is another great resource for those looking into women’s history.  With many of the family’s female members getting involved in various projects, including: the establishment of the East London Nursing Society, the role of women on the home front during the First World War, the rights and education of women in India, and women’s involvement in sport. Previous blogs about the endeavours of the Lyttelton women can be found on the archive website.

The Women at Queen Mary website (created in 2007) also provides and range of stories, achievements and contributions of women at QM.

For more information on any of these collections, and the other records held in the archives please see the Guide to Archives or to arrange a visit please see here or email