Woman's Library faces closure

Public access to a vast collection illustrating the history of women is under threat. The collection is the biggest of its kind in Europe.

Women's history library under threat

A collection at the London Metropolitan Museum, dedicated to women's history, is under threat.

The collection, which is the biggest of it's kind in Europe, includes a unique item from one of the bloodiest moments in the fight to give women the vote, copies of "Bridget Jones' Diary" and the teen-magazine "Jackie."

But unless more funding or a new home is found for the collection by December, the library's opening times will be reduced from five days a week to just one.

Liz Wickham has the full story.

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End of the road for the Women's Library?

The biggest collection of literature dedicated to the history of women is under threat. The collection, housed at the London Metropolitan Museum, is facing closure.

For the past ten years, the library has been part of the London Metropolitan University, attracting about 30,000 visitors every year.

The University needs to save around £1 million a year, and unless it finds more funding or a new home for the collection by December, the library's opening times will be reduced from five days a week to just one.

The collection includes a prized first edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's 1792 'A Vindication of the Rights of Women', suffrage banners, copies of Bridget Jones's Diary, as well as copies of Jackie magazine.

Since the library was established, as part of the National Society of Women's Suffrage, it has attracted writers, academics and politicians, including Vera Brittain, Eleanor Rathbone and Virginia Woolf. In the 1950s it was renamed the Fawcett Library in honour of suffrage leader, Millicent Fawcett.

Almost 9,000 people have signed an online petition to Michael Gove, the education secretary, and a host of high-profile campaigners are trying to secure the archive's future.