I am a professional archivist at the Parliamentary Archives, in the area of public services and outreach. I am 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 British history in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I am interested in political history, social history and the history of commemoration. I have a strong interest and expertise in women and work, and also 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. I completed 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 was a Champion for First 100 Years, a project to mark 100 years of women in the legal profession in 2019, between 2014-2019. I was also 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 was delighted to be a supervisor for Amy Galvin for her PhD at the University of Warwick on women’s suffrage in relation to Parliament, now successfully completed.

2 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello Mari… I just saw you on the BBC news on the piece relating to the female suffrage celebrations today. It’s Paul O’Shea here… your old history teacher from Woodhouse. What a joy to see how you’ve built such a successful career as a professional historian. I seem to remember that you went to my old college, St. John’s…is that right.
    Anyway, great to see you – albeit on the TV…do message me back if you get time…

    1. Hello Paul, I can’t tell you how pleased I was to read your comment! Sorry it’s taken a few days to reply but it has been incredibly busy all week, just calming down now. Yes I went to St. John’s which was great, then became an archivist, then did a history PhD so I’m both a historian and archivist now & working at Parliament since 2000. I have very good memories of history at Woodhouse, it absolutely set me off on my career. Anyway I hope all is well with you – are you still teaching? All the best, Mari

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