A Penzance organisation has donated 600 books on Cornish literature and feminist theory to boost teaching and research for students in Cornwall. The Hypatia Trust has given the collection of books to the University of Exeter's English department in Cornwall for the library on the Tremough campus.
Among the significant items are a substantial range of books on feminist theory between 1960 and 2000, and the complete works of Oscar Wilde and Maria Edgeworth.
Doreen Pinfold, head of library and information services in Cornwall, said "Melissa Hardie (founder of the trust) has been collecting books by and about women for over 25 years and this donation provides a record and celebration of women's history. "These books will also complement the larger Hypatia collection of books, documents and artefacts held at the University of Exeter, and around Cornwall and America that concern women's role in history and contemporary life."
Dr Hardie recently visited Tremough at the invitation of the Department of English to give a talk entitled, 'Cornwall in her words: Diaries and Documents of some Literary Women Travellers'.
There is a close connection between the organisations. The Trust is named after Hypatia, a Greek woman scholar, interested in science and ethics, who was born in Alexandria in 355AD and assassinated in 415AD. The Hypatia Trust has been created to collect, and make available, published and personal documentation about the achievements of women in every aspect of their lives, with a particular emphasis on Cornwall.