It’s official, Glasgow Women’s Library is truly a National Treasure!
2015 has certainly been an important milestone year for Glasgow Women’s Library, with the completed renovations to our permanent new home, followed by an official opening on 7th November by the Rt. Hon. Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland, who described GWL as ‘truly a national treasure’.
Today we are so proud to announce that GWL has been awarded ‘Recognised Collections of National Significance’ status by Museum Galleries Scotland, joining Scotland’s elite list of must-see museum collections. This covers GWL’s entire collection of museum and archive holdings.
This further cements Glasgow Women’s Library’s status as the only accredited museum dedicated to women’s history in the whole of the UK.
Our collection contains rare and unique items that explore every aspect of women’s lives from the early 19th Century to today, from recipe books and knitting patterns to Suffragette memorabilia and Women’s Liberation objects. The collection documents women’s ‘everyday’ popular domestic and leisurely past times, together with their demands for social change in waves of activism to address inequalities.
Receiving the Recognition award, Sue John, GWL’s Enterprise Development Manager, said:
“Glasgow Women’s Library is unique in Scotland and people visit us from all over the world to access our rare items. We are as likely to welcome a visitor from Brisbane as we are from our local community of Bridgeton, and all are welcome. Women’s stories are told through a collection, exhibitions and public events that champion, celebrate and teach us about how women have shaped lives, families, communities and the country. We are utterly thrilled to be awarded the status of a ‘Recognised Collection of National Significance’ and look forward to welcoming more people to GWL in 2016”
Museums Galleries Scotland is the National Development Body for museums and galleries in Scotland and manages the Recognition Scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government. The Scheme ensures that Scotland’s most important collections are identified, cared for and promoted to wider audiences. The award also opens up access for Glasgow Women’s Library to apply for Recognition funding from Museums Galleries Scotland to improve how people experience the collection.
Examples of just some of the items and materials that can be found in GWL’s Collection
The announcement brings the total of Recognised Collections of National Significance to 46. Along with Glasgow Women’s Library, the Highland Folk Museum collection and Kirkcudbright Artists’ Collection have also received Recognition Status today.
Ray Macfarlane, Chair of Museums Galleries Scotland’s Recognition Committee, said:
“These three new Recognised Collections demonstrate the incredible diversity and uniqueness of what lies inside museums and galleries dotted in towns and cities all across Scotland. By gaining Recognised Collection status we hope more people will get the opportunity to explore and learn about these important collections and the fascinating stories they tell.”
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:
“Scotland’s museums and galleries play a vital role in supporting tourism, the economy and our local communities. Through our funding of the Recognised Collections of National Significance scheme, managed by Museums Galleries Scotland, we are improving access to and supporting our important collections.
“More than 25.3 million people engage with Scotland’s story every year and visit our major attractions. I congratulate the Highland Folk Museum collection, Glasgow Women’s Library and the Kirkcudbright Artists’ Collection who’ve been awarded Recognised Collections of National Significance status and encourage people to visit these must-see attractions.”