Visitors from Japan

A visit from Japan (Left to right): Polly Attwood, Emi Nishiyama, Melissa Hardie, Mrsrko Hioki, Etsuko Yasukawa, Masako Hioki and Toshiro Sato.
A visit from Japan (Left to right): Polly Attwood, Emi Nishiyama, Melissa Hardie, Mrsrko Hioki, Etsuko Yasukawa, Masako Hioki and Toshiro Sato.

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.

Bronte Society Scholarship

Ann Branwell
Ann Branwell

Melissa Hardie has been chosen to take up the Daphne Carrick Memorial Scholarship 2012, presented every three years by the Bronte Society of Haworth, Yorkshire. The purpose of the award is to explore and extend knowledge about the lives and writings of the Bronte family of creative people. The aim of Dr Hardie’s study will be to assess, for the first time, the significance of the Cornish-related material gathered and discovered over many years by a number of local investigators and historians about the maternal relatives of the Brontes, and in particular the Branwell and Carne families of Penzance.

The mother and aunt of the Bronte children, namely Maria and Elizabeth, both emigrated from Penzance to Yorkshire in the early 1800s and were to spend the rest of their lives in that moorland environment. Though generally overlooked, except in outline, the dominant cultural circle of Cornish-connected people, with their memories and stories, around the family in Yorkshire, and the strong breath of Cornish-related Methodism are among the topics that she will explore.

Help us tell our story

History 51 poster (click to download 3.4MB PDF) Now we have got over the euphoria of winning a £10,000 Heritage Lottery grant it is time to start the hard work.

We need volunteers who are interested in contributing to a pioneering and creative project. You don't have to have any particular experience but just have a love of finding out and capturing interesting information on women. Most volunteers will work on the Elizabeth Treffry Collection in Penzance, but we are also looking for others to use collections and resources from elsewhere.

The kind of tasks we need help with are:

  • researching the life stories of women who have lived, worked or come from Cornwall or Scilly
  • photographing and scanning historical documents and artefacts
  • creating art, music, poems or literature inspired by Cornish and Scillonian women
  • work on our social media channels and blog (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube)
  • writing short Wikipedia-style biographies
  • entering information into the Cornish Women's Index (a free online database of words and images)
  • participating in informal and fun workshops scheduled for venues across Cornwall in 2013.

What you will get in return

  • free training
  • a chance to undertake brand new historical research
  • your name next to contributions on the Cornish Women's Index and website
  • VIP guest at the History 51 party in November 2013.

Find out more about the women in your area or your family

Are you doing local or family history research? History 51 could be the project for you. We are looking for local and family historians to contribute new information on historical women they know about.

We would love to hear from you and help you collect and record information about these women.

Please share and display the History 51 poster!

If you think your group or organisation would be interested in History 51, please share and display our poster with them. Clicking on the poster will download a PDF version you can print out.