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Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick (Warwick, UK)

    Sample collection on women migrants at the Modern Records Centre below

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    Collection title: Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) (UK: 1855-1995)

    Description: The Young Women’s Christian Association was formed as a result of a growing interest in the welfare of young women at work and the dangers to which they were exposed on leaving home, often to work long hours for very low pay in factories and workshops in the metropolis. Additionally, in 1855, the Hon. Mrs Arthur (Mary Jane) Kinnaird opened a home in London with a friendly Christian atmosphere where Florence Nightingale’s nurses could stay both en route for and on their return from the Crimea. This home in Upper Charlotte Street also opened its doors to the many girls coming up to London to work. The China Relief Fund was set up to raise funds in England for the YWCA’s work in China following the war in the Far East, and there are records for 1937-1939. In 1938 The Domestic Training Centre for Czech refugee girls started at Richmond, later moving to Phillips House, Dinton, Salisbury. The war saw a whole hearted YWCA response: many service stations in Europe, North Africa, Asia, and as far as Malaya were set up. In Great Britain hostels for War and Munition Workers were established in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Supply; there were also 294 Land Army hostels, service centres, mobile clubs, and railway rest rooms. The YWCA records contain constitutional papers, including Memorandum and Articles of Association from the 1890s when the Incorporated Society of the YWCA of Great Britain came into being alongside the Association, and a constitution of 1909, 1891-1970; large series of minutes, 1884-1957, including those of of the British National Council from 1884 and the Industrial Law Committee from 1897; administrative records, correspondence and subject files, 1855-1979, including letters of Mrs Kinnaird and Miss Robarts from 1855, conference papers from 1884, papers relating to refugees from Czechoslovakia, China and Hungary, 1930s-1950s; publications, including annual reports, 1862-1993, almanacks, directories, journals, etc., 1879-1970, and leaflets, 1877-1980 ; branch records, 1861-1977; historical notes, press cuttings, 1870s-1979.

    Archive address: Modern Records Center – University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK.

    Reference number: GB 152 YWC – 116 boxes (92 [MSS.243], 14 [986])

    Links: The catalogue is available from the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick.

    Contributor: Marie Ruiz