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Girton College Archives, University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK)

    Sample collection on women migrants at the Girton College Archives below

    See more on our catalogue

    Collection title: Personal Papers of Bessie Rayner Parkes (UK: 1812-1984)

    Description: Belloc, Bessie Rayner (1827-1925) nee Parkes, was a writer and journalist. In the 1850s, Bessie Rayner Parkes contributed both as a conference speaker and writer to the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science and in 1854 published ‘Remarks on the Education of Girls’. In 1857, with financial backing from Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, the two women established a journal for ‘working women’ which Bessie Parkes edited from 1858 until 1862 as the English Woman’s Journal. Key issues in the Journal were employment, the need for education and training and women’s philanthropic responsibilities. The Journal offices were the headquarters of the Langham Place Group and a focus for employment and emigration issues. The papers at Girton College were arranged and listed in 1985 and consist of personal writings, diary fragments, correspondence, newspaper cuttings and miscellanea. They fill 18 archive boxes, two of which contain unpublished material for a biography of BRP’s early life. The correspondence forms a very large percentage of the archive (perhaps about 70% – there are approximately 950 letters, of which about a fifth are letters from BRP to Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon). Many letters are annotated – in various hands – together with envelopes with notes as to content, dates, explanations of persons mentioned etc. In a number of cases parts of letters are missing. Some have been transcribed and the typed transcripts annotated. In some cases, only the transcripts survive. A large number of BRP’s in-letters are thought to have been destroyed in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.[The various spellings of ‘Savile Row’ in the Parkes letters are as found.]

    Archive address: Girton College Archives. Huntingdon Rd, Girton, Cambridge CB3 0JG, UK

    Reference number: GB 271 GCPP Parkes (approx. 1300 items)

    Links: The catalogue is available from the Girton College Archives catalogue.

    Contributor: Marie Ruiz