I visited the archives at the Bishopsgate Institute, Tower Hamlets and Hackney. The staff at all three archives were very helpful. Each has its own strengths I found, particularly Bishopsgate Institute and Tower Hamlets Archives.
I found the Bishopsgate Institute’s catalogues the easiest to search and find relevant materials, partly due perhaps to very good cataloguing, but also because they hold a several specialist collections in my topic, the labour movement. Tower Hamlets holds a collection of images from the early twentieth century for which they hold the copyright and photocopying is easy and cheap there too. At Bishopsgate, I could take copies on my phone (difficult with some books) or pay 30p a page for photocopying.
Doing this project has given me greater confidence in archive searching and an interest in looking at other areas where women’s contribution is poorly recognized if not ignored altogether!
Dr Jean King, November 2015