This morning started with a folder called, unassumingly, ‘Old Papers’. The past few boxes have been a bit of a disorganised mix of documents, possibly all collected together from the office of a Central Council member prior to the union disbanding. These have contained a lot of duplication and Ministry of Education printed reports rather than NUWT produced reports or correspondence so I wasn’t expecting much from this folder. However I was surprised and delighted to find lots of photographs inside!
My favourite being these photos of a celebration to mark Agnes Dawson’s year in office as Deputy Chairman of London County Council, and to celebrate her 60th birthday. Handily enough the letter (also shown in the slide show above) was attached to the photos and gives us all the information on the event depicted and one of the photos shows her being presented with the album referred to in the letter.
If there’s time at the end of the project I’ll scan them all but for now I thought I’d scan a few which are different to the usual photographs in the collection. Photographs of demonstrations, marches and NUWT meetings are the most common themes, with portrait photographs of individual members also making up a significant number. This folder is different in that it contains more photographs of social events.
I’ve yet to find any clues regarding the whereabouts of Agnes Dawson’s papers so I’m particularly happy to find these less formal photographs of her to complement what we already have in the NUWT collection. Hopefully at some point her papers will turn up somewhere as she was a very important figure, not just in the history of the NUWT, but also in the wider women’s movement. A great example of this is in regards to the marriage bar – it was Agnes Dawson who moved a resolution on London County Council in 1935 which meant that women teachers and women doctors were from then on allowed to keep their jobs after marriage. I’ve put some information, and another photograph of Agnes Dawson in my current exhibition in the foyer of the library. Tomorrow I’ll remember to bring my camera in and take some photos of the exhibition to post here.