Wednesday, January 29, 2014

History of Women in Publishing

Unwin funding for WiP oral history

An oral history recording the early achievements of Women in Publishing is to receive a £10,000 grant from the Unwin Charitable Trust.

Merlin Unwin, chairman of the trust, presented the first cheque to project organiser Jane Cholmeley at the Publishers Association on Friday (24th January).
The project, which will be carried out in partnership with the British Library, will document the experience of women in the book trade involved in the founding and development of the WiP networking and training organisation through audio recordings. It will be supplemented by written contributions, photographs and memorabilia and run for two years, from May to 2014 to approximately May 2016.  
When completed, the history will be held at the British Library as a permanent public resource and will also be accessible online.

Cholmeley, co-founder of the Silver Moon Women’s Bookshop, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive the support of the Unwin Charitable Trust. So far we have raised a considerable sum from individual donors, mostly WiP or former WiP members. With the Unwin grant, the project is now viable and we expect it to be up and running from May.”

WiP was set up in 1979 to promote the status of women in the book business. It provided a forum for women to explore what they wanted from their work, and a network to help them achieve it, as well as pioneering training courses. Many of the founders and early members went on to be highly influential figures in publishing. As an example of a gender identity group working within a profession, it was not only important in the history of the book trade, but in the broader history of feminist politics and of social change.Cholmeley is seeking WiP members active between 1979 and 2000 to contribute their recollections and experiences of WiP membership. Former and current WiP members who have not already been contacted are invited to get in touch at

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