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Women at Univ exhibition

Women at Univ exhibition

Panel display of the work of the current women academics

On Saturday 10 March at the annual Feast of St Cuthbert, the “Women at Univ 1249-2019” exhibition was put on display for the first time. Warmly received by the College and guests alike, the exhibition forms a central part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the admission of women students to Univ in 1979.

The exhibition has been curated by archivist Dr Robin Darwall-Smith, librarian Elizabeth Adams, and lecturer in English Dr Laura Varnam and celebrates the achievements of students and academics since 1979 and also uncovers the rich and fascinating history of women’s involvement in the College from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Alongside important records documenting Univ’s transformation from an all-male academic institution into the mixed college we know today, the exhibition showcases the variety of ways in which women have always had a significant role to play in many aspects of College life.

Women at Univ exhibition

Attendees at the Feast enjoying the exhibition

The vital and diverse contributions of women have been, and remain, crucial to Univ’s working life as a college. From benefactors to donors, librarians to college staff, as family members, wives of Fellows and Masters, businesswomen and writers, there have always been women at Univ whose support and labour – physical, financial, intellectual, social – has enabled the college to thrive as a place of learning.

Celebrating women’s achievements from 1979 alongside the recovery of these hidden histories offers a new and exciting view of Univ life and will, we hope, reflect the College’s wish to celebrate all its women and their work, past, present, and future.

A selection of items from the exhibition will be on display during the 1980-83 Gaudy at Univ on 16 March, alongside a panel discussion with Dr Catherine Holmes (History), Dr Laura Varnam, and Dr Robin Darwall-Smith entitled “Celebrating and Recovering the Histories of Women at Univ: 1249-2019”.

An article about the exhibition will feature in the summer edition of The Martlet and the full exhibition will be displayed in the college in Trinity and Michaelmas Terms during the anniversary year (dates to be confirmed).

A larger image of the display panel of the work of the current women academics, put together by Sara Dewsbery and Laura Varnam can be viewed here.

40 years of women Women at Univ 2019. Celebrating 40 years of achievement by women students, academics and staff, and recovering the history of women in the College from 1249 to the present day.

Published: 14 March 2019

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