Collection JBS - Josephine Butler Society

Identity area

Reference code

GB 1534 JBS


Josephine Butler Society


  • 1871 - 2010 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

15 boxes

Context area

Name of creator

(1962 - present)

Administrative history

The Josephine Butler Society, originally known as the Ladies National Association (LNA), was founded by Josephine Butler (1828 – 1906), and was created in order to oppose the Contagious Disease Acts of 1864, 1866 and 1869. These Acts focussed on suppressing venereal disease in the armed forces. The 1869 act controversially forced women suspected of being a prostitute to be examined and, if found to be infected, be quarantined for up to three months. The LNA campaigned against such measures, and in 1886 the Contagious Diseases Acts were repealed. The LNA further campaigned against sex trafficking and child prostitution, and it was their efforts that raised the age of consent to 16 in 1885, as well as introducing measures to suppress brothels and prevent trafficking. In 1915, the LNA joined with the British Branch of the International Abolitionist Federation (IAF), also founded by Josephine Butler, to become the Association for Moral and Social Hygiene (AMSH). The society took Josephine Butler’s name in 1962. The society acts to this day as a pressure group campaigning against the legalisation of prostitution, the trafficking of women and the marginalisation of those vulnerable to being forced into the profession.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection includes papers relating to Josephine Butler, the Society and those published by the Society ranging from pamphlets circa 1870s to copies of 'News and Views' from 2010. The collection includes: Editions of 'The Shield'; Editions of 'The Dawn'; Pamphlets Published by the Society including The Alison Neiland Memorial Lectures; The Association for Moral & Social Hygiene Rebecca Jarrett; Vigilance Records; Newspaper Cuttings Relating to Female Police Officers; Correspondence Associated with Society Activities, photographs, case files, and Josephine Butler's memoirs

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Collection currently undergoing cataloguing. To view material in the collection please email the archivist to make an appointment:

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

    Language and script notes

    Physical characteristics and technical requirements

    Finding aids

    Descriptive list

    Allied materials area

    Existence and location of originals

    Existence and location of copies

    Related units of description

    Related descriptions

    Notes area

    Alternative identifier(s)

    Access points

    Subject access points

    Place access points

    Genre access points

    Description control area

    Description identifier


    Institution identifier

    GB 1534

    Rules and/or conventions used

    ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000)



    Level of detail


    Dates of creation revision deletion

    Revised by Kate Aitkenhead, May 2022


    • English



      Accession area