On February 13th, Hypatia was visited by five members of the Tokai Foundation for Gender Studies, from Japan. They are in the process of setting up a Gender Studies Library for their Foundation, and were touring Britain to get a sense of what was happening in similar organizations here. They visited the Women's Library at the LSE and the Feminist Library in London, before travelling to Exeter to view the University Library there (which includes the collection given to them by Hypatia), and then - not without difficulty - continued on to Penzance by train and bus. We showed them our current collections, and had a long and lively talk, comparing notes on the situation of women both here and in Japan, and discussing their hopes and aspirations for their new facility, the difficulty of fundraising, our current activities, and ways in which we might help each other in the future.
They are an inspiring group of people, and there seem to be several opportunities for us to work with them in the future. We finished up with lunch at the Lost & Found Cafe, and then said goodbye to our new friends as we saw them back to the train on their way back to London. What a hope-filled thing it is to hear of others engaged in the same work as us!
We wish them all the best for their trip back to Japan, and their work in forming a new library.