Here at the Hypatia Trust we are in the early days of campaigning and fundraising for a new, public and permanent home for the nationally significant Elizabeth Treffry Collection on Women in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The women represented in the collection are the cultural ancestors of over half a million inhabitants of Cornwall and Scilly today. As we compile an index of these women who, through their writing, art and work, have shaped how we and the rest of the world view and understand Cornwall and Scilly, we would like to know who you think should be included, and why.
It could be someone from the past or someone living now, what contribution have they made? Why are they special? Leave a comment!
The history and heritage of Cornwall and Scilly is still, unfortunately, based on stories of 'great men'. That is not to say that women did not play a prominent part, but it is to say that their lives were not as well documented and so we have to find these fine threads and weave them into something stronger. That is what the Elizabeth Treffry Collection aims to do. We collect and document in three areas:
1. Information and works by women from Cornwall and Scilly (Cornish by origin and non-Cornish inhabitants). 2. Information and works about women from Cornwall and Scilly (by men or women). 3. Information and works by women on Cornish/Scillonian subjects or inspired by a Cornish/Scillonian setting.
So far we have documented the lives of at least 600 women represented in the books and papers of the Elizabeth Treffry Collection. These include artists like Elizabeth Armstrong Forbes, campaigners like Judith Cook, writers like Mrs Craik (aka Dinah Maria Mulloch) and teachers like Litz Pisk. In addition the Hypaita Trust has conducted projects into the Women's Land Army of Cornwall and supported research and publication on the subject of mining women (Bal Maidens).
So please share this post, leave a comment below, tweet us, join us on Facebook and give us your thoughts on how we can best use the collection to make sure that women's heritage in Cornwall lives long into the future.