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Authority record
Glasgow Women's Library (GWL)

1981 Investment Club, 1981-2011

  • GB 1534 IC1
  • Corporate body
  • 1981-2011

The 1981 Investment Club (1981-2011) was formed for the purpose of creating a group of women who, through shared knowledge and experience, would be able to learn how to invest their finances with minimal risk. Club membership was open to women who resided in the West of Scotland, and was restricted to 20 women at a time, all of whom would be involved in the management of the club. Shared holidays and annual meals also became tradition. In 2010, the current members near-unanimously agreed to end the club, deciding that the May 2011 AGM would mark its conclusion, and compiled these records for the GWL to ensure their past efforts would be remembered.

Association of Radical Midwives

  • ARM 1
  • Corporate body
  • 1976 - present

The Association of Radical Midwives (A.R.M) is a charity dedicated to improving maternity services both in the UK and internationally. It hosts regular meetings at a local and national level, campaigns regularly to protect women’s rights and support midwifery, and produces a quarterly magazine to provide news and updates. It was found in 1976 by a group of student midwives who were concerned with the way maternity nurses were treated during their training. The acronym is a pun on the term ‘Artificial Rupture of Membranes’, or artificially induced labour, which was routinely overused at the time. It is the hope of A.R.M. that they can restore midwifery to a position where midwives’ skills are used in full, alongside the benefits of modern technological advances to give woman and child the best possible chance.

Auxiliary Territorial Service, military organisation, 1938 - 1949

  • GB 1534 ATS1
  • Corporate body
  • 1938 - 1949

Created in 1938, the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) was created in response the growing threat of a second world war. It recruited women to fill in as cooks, clerks, orderlies, storekeepers and drivers, thereby allowing more male soldiers to be sent to the front line. The women in the ATS were given full military status by 1941, and though they were still not given combat roles, it further meant conscription expanded to include women, all of whom were drafted to the ATS unless a nurse. They were never permitted to engage in combat, but their jobs and responsibilities continued to broaden, and by 1943, over fifty thousand women served in anti-aircraft units. Black women were also allowed to enlist in. Eventually, in 1949, the ATS was absorbed into the Women's Royal Army Corps (WRAC).

Black Womantalk Press

  • Corporate body
  • 1983-c.1990s

Black Womantalk was a publishing co-operative set up by a group of unemployed women of African and Asian descent, who - in their own words - 'felt strongly about creating the space and the means for our voices to be heard'. Black Womantalk primarily focused on organising events and readings led by Black women writers and women writers of colour, as well as publishing several poetry collections.

Members of the co-operative included Gabriela Pearse, Bernadine Evaristo, Olivette Cole Wilson, Da Choong, Sylvia Parker, and others.

Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group

  • GB 1534 CLCBLG
  • Corporate body
  • 1982-1996

The Camden Lesbian Centre Project (CLCP) was founded in 1982, when several women from a loose social collective known as Kentish Town Lesbian Group (based at the nearby Kentish Town Women’s Workshop) recognised the need for a space expressly for lesbians. The group - all of whom were white lesbians - successfully applied for grant funding from Camden Council Women's Committee, and they began organising regular meetings and events with a view to establishing a centre for lesbians. In 1984, the Black Lesbian Group was founded as a support group for Black lesbians and lesbians of colour, who faced the tripartite barriers of homophobia, racism, and misogyny; the group used the term 'Black' in the broader political sense.

Having worked closely together, Camden Lesbian Centre Project and the Black Lesbian Group merged to form the Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group (CLCBLG) in 1985. Despite their differences and the fact that CLCP had originally excluded Black lesbians from its initial stages, BLG members felt the merger presented an opportunity to improve things for their community. The merger agreement stipulated that at least 50% of CLCBLG's staff and its Management Committee would comprise Black lesbians and that around half of the Centre's events and workshops would be for Black lesbians only.

From 1985-86, CLCBLG sought out premises across Camden. Although initially unsure of how the site would work for them, the group eventually applied for a change of use for a former retail space at 54-56 Phoenix Road, which they were granted amidst vocal resistance and homophobia from some local residents. The group signed the lease in September 1986. CLCBLG worked with Matrix Feminist Design Co-operative, Support Community Building and Common Ownership Design and Construct (CODAC) to renovate and alter the Centre before opening its doors to the public on Saturday 31 October 1987. From this point onward, the Centre was a social and political hub for many strands of London's lesbian community, becoming home to workshops, socials, seminars, discussion groups and other events. It became the base of groups like the Older Lesbian Network, Zamimass Black lesbian group, and GEMMA, the friendship network for disabled and non-disabled lesbians.

With successive and ever more severe cuts to grant funding from Camden Council, CLCBLG was forced to scale down its paid staff members and operations from c.1990 onwards. The Centre eventually wrapped up its operations in 1996, when the group was informed that they'd receive no grant funding in that year's budget.

Catholic Women's Ordination, catholic equality group, 1993 -

  • GB 1534 CWO1
  • Corporate body
  • 1993-

Catholic Women’s Ordination (CWO) began in 1993 as a national group of women and men demanding that women be equal with men in the church community, not only in the vocational sense, but in the ministerial priesthood. They aim to achieve a forum for examining, challenging and developing the present understanding of priesthood, with the desire to achieve ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church a secondary, though equally important, goal. By 2000 there were CWO groups throughout Britain and a membership of 500 people. Campaign activities include support networks, newsletters, conferences, advertising, participation in ecumenical activities, and monthly vigils in London and Edinburgh. It is run and organised on a volunteer basis, with members of CWO contributing to their National Co-ordinating Group (NatCog) in order to maintain a cohesive message across the UK. By 2014 there were two hundred Roman Catholic Women Priests across four continents, though on ordination to the priesthood they are automatically excommunicated. CWO continues to campaign for reformation of the Roman Catholic priesthood and for women to be recognised as priests in Canon Law.

Cathy McCormack

  • GB 1534 CM
  • Person
  • 1952-present

Cathy McCormack (July 5th 1952 – present), is a Scottish grassroots activist based in EasterHouse, Glasgow, prominent for her involvement in local and international anti-poverty campaigns. Becoming part of the EastHall Residents Association (ERA) in 1982, McCormack began her activism through a Glasgow-wide Anti-Damp campaign, helping to tackle a chronic damp housing problem experienced in EasterHouse and other post-war housing schemes. McCormack’s continued campaigning in the 1990s led to her involvement in setting up the Scottish Public Health Alliance in 1992, her attendance as a Scottish representative at the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development in 1994, and two study trips to Nicaragua and South Africa in 1992 and 1998. Today, McCormack still resides in Easterhouse Glasgow and is the author of a 2009 autobiography, ‘The Wee Yellow Butterfly’.

Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT)

  • Corporate body
  • 1973-

The Centre for Alternative Technology is an eco-centre in Powys, Wales. They educate people on sustainable development and living, alternative technology, renewable energy, organic farming and gardening. They run postgraduate courses, residential and day courses, and publish information on the above topics.

Close the Gap, 2001-

  • GB 1534 CTG1
  • Corporate body
  • 2001-

Close The Gap was launched by the Social Justice minister and the Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Minister on 8 March 2001. It was launched as a campaign to raise awareness about the gender pay gap in Scotland, and has since continued to host conferences and seminars on the subject, provide training and evaluations to ensure companies are able to commit to the equality act, as well as working with trade unions in order to educate and advise their representatives. They are also a prolific source of articles pertaining to the gender pay gap. Originally a partnership initiative, it has operated as a charity since 2017.

Elizabeth Anderson

  • BA/1
  • Person
  • 1901 - ?

Elizabeth Anderson was born 12th October 1901 in Clydebank and worked as a crane operator throughout much of her life. From 1922 to 1932, she worked at Babcock and Wilcox, and later served as a crane driver during World War 2 at John Brown’s shipyard. The shipyard, at the time, was internationally renowned, and produced many famous ships. Whilst driving the biggest gantry crane on site one shift, she misjudged a load and blew a fuse, resulting in a whole area of the yard losing electricity, though she continued to work there. She remained single throughout her life due to the death of her fiancé during the war. She was a devoted Methodist, and a member of the temperance and social welfare department of the church.

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