The Scottish Suffragettes and the Press
Funding BodyThe Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund
Start DateMarch 2017
The project aims to move away from a more traditional London-centric approach to women suffrage history and to explore the way in which Scottish newspapers reported and discussed the suffragists and suffragettes.
Particular aspects of the project have highlighted the importance of the Women’s Freedom League to the Scottish movement; the work of suffrage groups during the First World War (in particularly the Scottish Women’s Hospitals) and the politics behind the stances of individual newspapers on the question. The project has identified that newspapers both ‘had their cake’ and ate it by promoting one side of the woman suffrage question in editorials and news reporting but allowing the other side a voice in the newspaper through correspondence columns and the women’s pages.
A current strand of the project has focused on the production of an edition of a unique collection of suffragette correspondence held in Aberdeen. The letters to and from Caroline Phillips, a woman journalist and honorary secretary of the Aberdeen branch of the WSPU, demonstrate the pressures of such a position. Phillips attempted to negotiate a middle way between the demands of the London leadership and a more conciliatory approach to the local Women’s Liberal Association.
Further details of this project and associated public engagement activities: