Tanner Project to catalogue Cornish women's library

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The Hypatia Trust has launched a new project to catalogue the Elizabeth Treffry Collection on Women in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Thanks to a £5000 grant from the Tanner Trust, this important collection of 3000 books and archives will be catalogued to modern library and archive standards. The collection currently lives at Trevelyan House on Chapel Street in Penzance, the headquarters of the Hypatia Trust.

Dr. Tehmina Goskar will direct the Tanner Project which formally begins this week. She said, "Building on the success of History 51, our public engagement project to promote women's heritage in Cornish communities, the Tanner Project will ensure that the books, papers and ephemera we collect and that get donated to Hypatia will be properly recorded so researchers and students can use this important resource. Properly documented, the Elizabeth Treffry Collection could be the seed of a future women's library in Cornwall."

Researchers can visit the collection by email appointment but access may not always be possible during the cataloguing process.

Yes Papa! Our latest addition

Yes Papa! by Barbara Eaton (credit: Francis Boutle Publishers) The Elizabeth Treffry Collection, like a healthy baby, seems to be growing by the minute. Our latest addition is a book by Barbara Eaton, from the Lizard in south west Cornwall, on Hester Chapone, an early Bluestocking.

Published by Francis Boutle Publishers and formally launched at the Hypatia Trust in 26 July 2012, Yes Papa! Mrs Chapone and the Bluestocking Circle is a biography of a mid 18th-century woman on a mission. She educated herself and quickly formed an essential part of the circle of Samuel Richardson. An abrupt end to married life left her in debt and she turned to writing to make ends meet. Letters on the Improvement of the Mind, published in 1773 became a bestseller for decades afterwards, quoted in the novels of Jane Austen and W.M. Thackeray. It was even famous enough to be satired in the anonymously published Anti-Chapone in 1810. Eaton restores Hester Chapone to her rightful place in the hall of fame of the Blue Stocking circle.

We are delighted to have this new addition to the collection and offer Barbara very sincere congratulations on the publication of yet another work that brings women in history to life.

In 2005, the Hypatia Trust published Barbara's highly commended book, Letters to Lydia: ‘beloved Persis’,  a story of a 19th-century love affair between Henry Martyn, a chaplain of the East India Company, and his 'beloved Persis' in Cornwall, Lydia Grenfell, based on their letters and diaries. It was runner up in the 2006 Holyer an Gof Awards for Literature of the Cornish Gorseth. George Care commented in Cornish World:

‘… this is a fascinating study and deserves to be widely read. Barbara Eaton and Hypatia have performed an excellent service’

Yes Papa! is available from all good booksellers or direct from the publishers, RRP £14.99 (Paperback 274 pages with 35 black and white illustrations. ISBN 978 1 903427 70 5).

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Name your woman of Cornwall and Scilly

Elizabeth Treffry Collection wordle 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.

 

Discover Hidden Treasures at Trevelyan House, 4th - 9th June 2012

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HiddenTreasures1

Visitors and the local community were invited to enjoy the delights of the Elizabeth Treffry Collection on Women in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Free displays and tours of the collection took place in the informal and homely surroundings of Trevelyan House, a grade II-listed Georgian gem in the heart of historic Chapel Street and home of the Hypatia Trust. The Hypatia Trust was one of 55 organisations across the UK to take part in The Independent newspaper and the Collections Trust national campaign called Hidden Treasures.

Free tours took place throughout the week led by Honorary Curator and Historian, Dr. Tehmina Goskar.

Visitors were able to view a rare copy of 'King Arthur's Wood' by artist and author Elizabeth Forbes, a fairy-tale written and illustrated for her family in 1904, 19th century photograph albums by women photographers and other items from this unique Cornish collection.

More information: www.elizabethtreffrycollection.org

Collections audit paves way to future

'New beginnings' are our watchwords as the spring months arrive.

In January of this year Dr. Tehmina Goskar accepted the post of Honorary Curator of the Elizabeth Treffry Collection of the Hypatia Trust. As friends and associates, who were with us at its Opening party in 1996 know, the collection is named for the 15th century Lady of Place in Fowey, the ancestral home of the Treffry family of Cornwall.

Elizabeth Treffry Collection at Trevelyan HouseIn a few short months, we are now in a position to make known our plans for ensuring the future of this Collection as a focal point for telling the history of women in our county, the stories that are unknown generally and glossed over often. The neglect is understandable in a region known for its long-standing poverty and traditional dependency upon the leading male occupations of mining, fishing, and farming, though women have always taken a part.

Help us to reveal more about the outstanding women who have also built this 'nation' of Cornwall. Keep watch on this blog and get ready for our campaign ----.

Read more on Curating the Elizabeth Treffry Collection

Elizabeth Treffry Collection surveyed ...

Curating the Elizabeth Treffry Collection April 2012: 'New beginnings' are our watchwords as the spring months arrive.

In January of this year Dr Tehmina Goskar accepted the post of Honorary Curator of the Cornish collection of the Hypatia Trust. As friends and associates, who were with us at its Opening party in 1996 know, the collection is named for the 15th century Lady of Place in Fowey, the ancestral home of the Treffry family of Cornwall.

In a few short months, we are now in a position to make known our plans for ensuring the future of this Collection as a focal point for telling the history of women in our county, the stories that are unknown generally and glossed over often. The neglect is understandable in a region known for its long-standing poverty and traditional dependency upon the leading male occupations of mining, fishing, and farming, though women have always taken a part.

Help us to reveal more about the outstanding women who have also built this 'nation' of Cornwall. Keep watch on this blog below and get ready for our campaign website ---- coming soon at a computer near you.

http://tehmina.goskar.com/2012/04/09/curating-the-elizabeth-treffry-collection-on-women-in-cornwall-and-scilly

You can also download a copy of the report.