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Discovering the Feminist Library: Gail Chester and Magda Oldziejewska
November 13, 2019 @ 19:00 - 21:00£5
Join Gail Chester and Magda Oldziejewska for an evening discussing the past and present of the Feminist Library and the importance of feminist spaces ahead of the Library’s move to its new permanent location.
The Feminist Library has been engaged with preserving and collecting women's history and feminist histories since 1975. The Library was created by and has supported the women's movement over the years, not just by protecting women's history from being lost, but also by providing a space for community meetings, events, and feminist organising. Over the years, the Feminist Library has amassed a collection of over 7,000 books, 1,500 periodical titles from around the globe, and more than 3,000 pamphlets, as well as several thousand items of ephemera, which document the story of the women's movement from the second wave through to the present day.
Since the 1970s, Gail Chester has worked in the radical, feminist, and small press book trade and has been continuously involved in feminist activism. She was in many Women’s Liberation groups, and was an organiser of the First International Feminist Book Fair (London, 1984). She co-authored Rolling Our Own: Women as Printers, Publishers and Distributors (Comedia, 1981), as well as publishing widely on feminism, book history, and radical politics. She was a founder of the Women’s Research and Resources Centre (now the Feminist Library) in 1975, returning to save it from closure in 2004, and is still on the management collective. She is deeply committed to intergenerational working, and most recently, has been part of setting up HOWL (History of Women’s Liberation) whose aim is to gather material from the WLM, including records of local campaigns and small groups, to support further activism.
Magda Oldziejewska is the fundraising coordinator at the Feminist Library and has been part of the collective since January 2016. She also writes about the Feminist Library, women’s history and feminist spaces on her blogs Angels and Witches and Herstory Diary and other feminist platforms. She’s also a feminist activist with a focus on reproductive rights, and is part of several Polish feminist, pro-democracy and human rights groups in London such as FARSA, alfa-fem, and Polish Rainbow in UK.