I work full-time as a professional archivist at the Parliamentary Archives, in the area of public services and outreach. I see myself as a heritage professional and worked on secondment to Parliament’s Curator of Works of Art Office during 2016-2018.
I am also a historian of women and Parliament. I have a strong interest and expertise in the women’s suffrage struggle, particularly in how it affected Parliament in terms of petitioning, lobbying and militant activity within the Palace of Westminster.
Between 2014 and 2018 I was joint project manager and co-curator for ‘Voice and Vote: Women’s Place in Parliament’, a major public exhibition which ran 26 June – 6 October 2018 in Westminster Hall with 107,000 visits. This was the culmination of Parliament’s Vote 100 project to mark 100 years of votes for (some) women in 2018.
I was delighted to be an Advisory Editor for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for a group of articles about women connected with Parliament, published in August 2018.
I started this website as a blog when I was a History PhD student researching Parliament and women in the UK, c.1900-1945. After seven years of part-time study I finished my PhD at the Institute of Contemporary History, King’s College London in August 2012. My PhD research was on the passage of legislation affecting women’s lives and gender equality, especially the following Acts of Parliament:
- Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918
- Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919
- Equal Guardianship Act 1925
- Equal Franchise Act 1928
One of the things the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 did was to allow women to enter some professions, including law. I’m a Champion for First 100 Years, a project to mark 100 years of women in the legal profession in 2019. I’m a contributor to the Women’s Legal Landmarks project, writing articles on the Representation of the People Act 1918 and the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, which you can read in this beautiful book.
My PhD also examined the role of women in Parliamentary select committees and standing committees in the interwar period (especially the women MPs, but also women as witnesses and advisers). I also researched women staff in Parliament, c.1900-1945. I’m primarily interested in women who worked for either the House of Lords or House of Commons administrations. If you have a woman ancestor who worked for the Lords or Commons in this period, I would be very interested to hear from you! I’d particularly love to see photos of any such women. If you want to read the full thesis it is online at the King’s Research Portal.
Finally I’m delighted to be a supervisor for Amy Galvin-Elliott, a PhD student at the University of Warwick who is doing sterling work researching women’s suffrage in relation to Parliament.