Guide to the Papers of Bessie Rischbieth
National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record
The letters, written between 1911 and 1959, are arranged chronologically. They are mostly written by Bessie Rischbieth to her family whilst she was travelling, and include a large number of letters written from London during the Second World War. Comprises Items 1-195.
Correspondents include Olive Evans and Anna Donnelly. Covers travels to Japan in 1911 and observations of the militant suffrage movement while staying in the United Kingdom in 1913. Comprises items 1-12.
Correspondents include Olive Evans, Elsie Morgan, Julia Rapke, Ethel Osborne, and A. May Moss. Correspondence is primarily with her sister Olive Evans, covering topics including her travels to the United Kingdom, Hawaii, India, Palestine, Egypt. Includes experiences of touring schools and work sites that informed her social activism, and observations at conferences. Also includes a copy of an article submission, and a card from Princesse Alexandrine Gr. Cantacuzene. Comprises items 13-41.
Correspondence primarily with her family covering her travels as a League of Nations delegate and to the 1935 I.W.S.A. Congresses. Other correspondents include M. Jamison Williams, Kerstin Hesselgren, Ethel P., Mary Hughes. Comprises items 42-80.
Correspondence with her family while travelling in South Africa, Europe and the United Kingdom. Comprises items 81-107.
Correspondence to her family while living in the United Kingdom. Includes experiences of London air-raids. Comprises items 108-135.
Correspondence to her family while living in the United Kingdom. Includes experiences of London air-raids and the progress of World War II. Comprises items 136-176.
Correspondents include Katherine Bompas, Evelyn Rowland, Amy Wheaton, Stella Newsome, Harold White, Janet Roberts, Jessie Groom, Gertrude Ruston, and Molly Lukis. Topics include alliances between women's organisations, the production of The Dawn newspaper, and correspondence with various suffrage activists seeking material for an archive/exhibit on the international women's suffrage movement. Comprises items 177-184, A1-A5.
The series contains diaries for 1927, 1946 and 1957 written while travelling; notes for articles together with copies of articles and broadcasts given by Bessie Rischbieth between 1936 and 1950, and a number of invitations to official functions. Comprises Items 1-158.
Correspondence log kept by Bessie Rischbieth in 1927 as president of AFWV; correspondence log 1946; notebooks as a delegate to the United Nations 1946; address books 1950s. Comprises items 1-7.
Notebooks and travel ephemera including tags, postcards and programs. Comprises items 8-16.
Notes for articles and prompt cards for speeches. Content is primarily focussed on global politics during the operation of the League of Nations. Comprises items 17-43, A1.
Copies of article submissions to various publications. Comprises items 44-57.
Copies of article submissions to various publications. Comprises items 58-70.
Copies of article submissions to various publications. Comprises items 71-93, A7.
Copies of broadcast addresses. Comprises items 94-108, A8-A9.
Copies of broadcast addresses. Comprises items 109-136.
This series documents in considerable detail the women's suffrage movement in England between 1908 and 1928, when English women finally achieved equal suffrage. The militant suffrage movement led by Emmeline Pankhurst of the Women's Social and Political Union (W.S.P.U.) forms the core of this series, but the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (N.U.W.S.S.), known as the law-abiding or constitutionalist suffragists are also represented. Of special interest are the medals, flags and other memorabilia collected by Bessie Rischbieth from several English suffrage activists. There are letters from 1911 to 1963, a pictorial volume of the movement in 1911-1913, pamphlets, copies of the newspapers The Suffragette and Votes for Women; court orders for the appearance of suffragettes who were charged for various offences and biographical notes on various women. Comprises Items 1-449.
Correspondents include Muriel Matters-Porter, Violet Tillard, Mary Law, Mary Probyer, Edith How-Martyn, Stella Newsome, Winifred Mayo, G. Horton, Louisa Cullen, Ruth Dawson, Letitia Withall, Mary Murphy, and Mary Howard. Includes accounts of incidents during suffrage campaigns, and also offers of memorabilia items to Bessie Rischbieth for her collection. Comprises items 1-40.
Album: "A Pictorial History of the Suffrage Movement in Great Britain 1906-1913" (Item 2004/3/41) - Folio-Box 44
Album of captioned photographs and postcards relating to the British Suffrage movement in the United Kingdom. Possibly collated by Bessie Rischbieth.
Newspaper cuttings reporting incidents in the militant suffrage movement. File also includes notes and labels created by Bessie Rischbieth to exhibit these materials. Item 43 missing. Comprises items 42-62.
Newspaper cuttings of reports and retrospectives on the militant suffrage movement. File also includes notes and labels created by Bessie Rischbieth to exhibit these materials. Item 94 missing. Comprises items 63-114. Please note that item 79 has been rehoused for preservation purposes and is now described in File 3A and located in Map folio 3A.
Assorted police notices, letters, and copies of pamphlets relating to the suffrage movement (File 4) - Box 3
Correspondents include Stella Newsome. Includes police notices for Annie Williams, Lady Constance Lytton, and Minnie Turner. Also includes copies of pamphlets about the militant suffrage movement. Item 2004/3/123 was repatriated to item 2004/3/126, and the number 3/123 is no longer in use. Comprises items 114-128.
Published by Marian Lawson for the Suffragette Fellowship. Item 2004/3/119 has been signed by Edith How-Martyn and contains cuttings and labels. Second copy 2004/3/120 has not been digitised.
Published by the Suffrage Fellowship.
Suffrage Speeches from the Dock: Conspiracy Trial, Old Bailey, May 15th - 22nd, 1912 (Item 122 (File 4))
Published by The Woman's Press for the Women's Social and Political Union.
Published by the Woman's Press for the Women's Social and Political Union.
Published by the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies.
Published by The Woman's Press for the Women's Social and Political Union.
Copies of publications include: The Woman's Leader and the Common Cause; The Policewoman's Review; Votes for Women. File also includes copy of the play "Springs of Power" by E.G. Walker; and exhibit labels. Comprises items 129-136.
A page of this edition has been removed and bound into item 2004/3/143 (binding is the work of a previous owner of the item). The digitised images show the items as they exist physically.
File comprises items 3/156 - photocopy image of silk flag (object missing); 3/A1 - strips of crepe paper; 3/A2 - piece of ivory silk ribbon; 3/159f - crepe paper streamers in red and green. Other object have been transferred to folio box and are itemised individually.
"Votes for Women Official Souvenir Program" (W.S.P.U.) paper and cloth napkin with purple and green border of violets (Item 2004/3/157) - Elephant-Folio 41
Printed crepe paper napkin hand-stitched onto a cloth backing. Design is by S. Burgess, and was reused for different events. Design is of etchings of suffragettes, and has a border of violets in purple and green. This souvenir program is likely for the W.S.P.U. demonstration held in Hyde Park, London on 14 July 1912.
"Votes for Women Official Souvenir Program" (W.S.P.U.) paper and cloth napkin with Union Jack border design (Item 2004/3/158) - Elephant-Folio 41
Printed crepe paper napkin machine-stitched onto a cloth backing. Design is by S. Burgess. Design is of etchings of suffragettes, and has a border of Union Jack flags. This souvenir program is for the W.S.P.U. demonstration held in Hyde Park, London on 18 June 1910.
"Souvenir in Commemoration of Great Law-Abiding Women's Suffrage Pilgrimage" (N.U.W.S.S.) paper and cloth napkin with pink floral border design (Item 2004/3/159b) - Elephant-Folio 41
Printed crepe paper napkin hand-stitched onto a cloth backing. Design is by S. Burgess. Design is of Demonstration program, with a border of pink flower posies. This souvenir program is for the N.U.W.S.S. demonstration held in Hyde Park, London on 26 and 27 July, 1913.
Piece of handspun cotton purchased in 1929 by Bessie Rischbieth at Mahatma Gandhi's Ashram, India, 1929 (Item 2004/3/159c) - Elephant-Folio 40
Exhibition label by Bessie Rischbieth states: "Handspun cotton: Spun at Gandhi's Ashram India - 1929 (at his village uplift school & purchased by B.M. Rischbieth who was with Miss Josephine Storey & Miss Henny of Hollow visited the Ashram in 1929 as Ghandi's guests)"
Portraits of members of the militant suffrage movement (photographs and postcards), many with captions. Comprises items 160-189.
Copies of photographs of demonstrations including the Hyde Park march in 1908, and other campaign activities, supplied to Bessie Rischbieth for her exhibit. Comprises items 191-214.
Pamphlets, flyers, postcards and cuttings relating to suffrage campaigns, particularly the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (known as "constitutional" or "law-abiding" suffragists). Comprises items 215-251, A3-A4.
Newspaper cuttings of reports and retrospectives, and flyers on the militant suffrage movement. Correspondence with Mary Howard (see item 2004/3/40) refers to the donation of this material. Comprises items 252-275, A5.
Photographs, postcards and clippings from Louisa C. Cullen. Objects from this folder (2004/3/206, 2004/3/309) have been rehoused in folio boxes. Comprises items 276-312, A6-A10.
Louisa C. (Louie) Cullen was presented this brooch by Emmeline Pankhurst at Albert Hall, in recognition of Cullen's imprisonment. Similar brooches were was given to all those who served prison sentences for their activities in the suffrage movement. This brooch is referred to in corresponcence from Louie Cullen (see item number 2004/3/35).
Lyrics and music for popular suffragette songs. Comprises items 313-333.
A small collection of notepapers with emblems of suffrage organisations, as well as cards, postcards, speakers programs, and a copy of a speech deivered by Lady Balfour of Burleigh at the presentation of portraits to Frederick and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, W.S.P.U. leaders. Comprises items 334-339.
Editions of The Vote: the organ of the Women's Freedom League, 1920s-1930s, and newspaper cuttings. Comprises items 351-396.
Editions of Calling All Women newsletter of the Suffragette Fellowship. Sporadic coverage of 1948-1961. Comprises items 397-409.
Memorial and biographical pamphlets and cuttings including about Edith How-Martyn and Josephine Butler. Duplicate copies of pamphlets have not been digitised. Comprises items 412-430.
Photos and articles about early British female politicians and articles about women's enfranchisement. Comprises items 431-437.
This series documents the movement for women's suffrage in Australia. There is correspondence from 1900 to 1959 with the leading Australian women of the movement, as well as pamphlets, newspaper cuttings and copies of Woman's Sphere and The Woman Voter, which were both edited in Victoria by Vida Goldstein. There is a collection of biographies of Australian women, particularly Vida Goldstein. Comprises Items 1-447.
Correspondents include Vida Goldstein, Beatrice Harraden, Ellie Weymyss, John Vale, Emmeline Pethick Lawrence, Bessie Rischbieth, Harriet Newcomb, Florence Rankin, Eleanor Hinder, Anna Golding, Alice Henry, Edith How-Martyn, Dame Enid Lyons, Senator Annabelle Rankins, Aileen Goldstein, Prime Minister John Curtin, Margery Corbett Ashby, Winifred Kiek, Amelie Walford, Ruby Rich, and J. Cuthbert. Comprises items 1-44.
Women's rally programs, biographical articles, pamphlets, photographs, and "exhibit labels" made by Bessie Rischbieth. Comprises items 45-71.
Newspaper cuttings and photographs relating to Australian female parliamentarians and women associated with politics. Comprises items 73-86, A1-A2.
Photographs of early female trade unionists, and related pamphlets and flyers. Comprises items 88-96.
Includes biographical pamphlets, newspaper cuttings and notes about Australian women, including Annette Bear-Crawford, Vida Goldstein, Cecilia John, Ethel Osborne, Ellinor Walker, Joan Rosanove, Annie Besant, Blanche Stephens, Eleanor Hinder, and Edna Lucy Holmes. Also includes articles and speech notes on women's progress in Australia, a political poster, and commemorative items including a Women's Suffrage Roll of Honour. Item 105 missing. Comprises items 97-133.
"'Mother of the North': the Late Mrs. E. M. Withnell" magazine cutting mounted on board., 1 June 1928 (Item 2004/4/134) - Folio-Box (Shared), Folio-Box 46
Obituary for Mrs E. M. Withnell, J.P. Article is adhered to a card backing, and includes a descriptive label by Bessie Rischbieth. Oversized -transferred to folio box.
Editions of The Woman Voter covering 1919, and articles and pamphlets by Vida Goldstein. Comprises items 135-157.
A bound volume of editions of The Woman Voter: The Monthly Letter of the Women's Political Association August 1909 (No.1) to 7 February 1911 (No.16). Cover is stamped with V.G. in gold lettering, with inside inscription to Vida Goldstein. Comprises item 158.
Pamphlets, flyers and small publications relating to Vida Goldstein; copies of "The Woman Voter" No.1-17. Folder has been selectively digitised, excluding duplicate copies of "The Woman Voter". Comprises items 159-187.
Articles written by Vida Goldstein, and photographs and biographical articles about Vida Goldstein. Item 206 missing. Comprises items 188-225.
Notes and correspondence (copies) by Vida Goldstein. Item 226 missing. Comprises items 227-250.
Newspaper cuttings and notes relating to Alice Henry, a prominent trade unionist. Selectively digitised due to deterioration of some newspaper cuttings. Comprises items 251-259.
Correspondence, cuttings, newsletters about Australian women's suffrage and Australian activists (File 12) - Box 6
Of special interest is a letter from Members of the National Council of Women of the United States to Catherine Spence congratulating women of South Australia on achieving the vote in 1895. File also incudes newspaper cuttings about Australian women. Item 265 missing. Comprises items 260-287.
Includes newspaper cuttings and notes about Australian women, many of which are mounted and presented as labels (or draft labels) for Bessie Rischbieth's exhibit on women's suffrage. Comprises items 288-310.
Editions of "Woman's Sphere" from September 1900 (issue 1) - February 1905. Items and pages have been reordered and renumbered for digitisation in date sequence. Some copies are missing pages. Also includes copies of flyers relating to the election campaigns of Vida Goldstein. Comprises items 311-344.
Includes newspaper cuttings and notes about Australian women, many of which are mounted and presented as labels (or draft labels) for Bessie Rischbieth's exhibit on women's suffrage Comprises items 346-372.
Photographs, pamphlets, cuttings and notes on Australian women, including early female parliamentarians. Comprises items 373-399.
Material relating to the Edith Cowan memorial and cuttings on Australian activists and parliamentarians (File 16) - Box 6
Cuttings and notes on Edith Cowan and the development of Cowan's memorial in Perth. File also includes various notes, cuttings and scraps on Australian suffragists, activists and early female parliamentarians. Comprises items 400-447.
Contained in this series are records of the Australian Federation of Women Voters (A.F.W.V., formerly Australian Federation of Women's Societies for Equal Citizenship), formed in 1921, including correspondence from 1901 to 1966 with other women's organisations and with the Commonwealth Government. The Federation was formed out of the Women's Service Guilds. It lobbied for change across a range of issues related to the rights and welfare of women, children, indigenous Australians, and other groups. The Federation was part of a worldwide network of women's organisations, and was able to put forward woman delegates for various international congresses and conferences, as well as successfully lobby for woman delegates to the League of Nations. Bessie Rischbieth was the first President of the Federation from 1921-1942. In this series, there are also records relating to the National Council of Women, the United Association of Women of New South Wales, the League of Women Voters of Queensland, the Women's Non-party Association of South Australia, the Women's Non-party League of Tasmania, the Women's Service Guilds of Western Australia and the League of Women Voters of Victoria. Comprises Items 1-3032.
Correspondence regarding the history and formation of the first Advisory Committee, and the Australian Federation of Women's Societies for Equal Citizenship, 1921 (later known as the Australian Federation of Women Voters). Comprises items 27-78.
Newspaper cuttings primarily relate to reporting on A.F.W.S. business, and travel for conferences. Comprises items 79-116.
File contains Australian Federation of Women Voters correspondence regarding equal pay and equal work, maternity allowance, financial and annual reports; correspondence regarding constitution and the formation of the British Dominions Women Citizens Union Australian Federation, and later correspondence under the new name Australian Federation of Women's Societies. Also included are papers relating to national and international activities, congress and meeting reports. Comprises items 117-163.
Correspondence regarding international activities, conferences, congresses and national affiliations. Comprises items 164-200.
Much of the correspondence is with international women's organisations on conferences, congresses and discussions of international affiliations. Comprises items 271-336.
Incoming and copies of outgoing correspondence, mainly about organisation of delegations to congresses, and Rischbieth's appointment to the Board of the International Women's Suffrage Alliance. Comprises items 337-406.
Incoming and copies of outgoing correspondence regarding affiliations, conferences and activities. Includes correspondence between the Australian Federation of Women Voters (A.F.W.V.) and the Prime Minister regarding the potential reservation of land in Canberra for future use of Australian Women's Organisations. Comprises items 407-534.
Incoming and copies of outgoing correspondence. Topics include nominations of delegates to the League of Nations Assembly. Comprises items 535-606.
Correspondence regarding conferences and activities. Includes Bessie Rischbieth's correspondence with the National Library of Australia, particularly with National Librarian Harold White, about donating her collection. Comprises items 1950-2025.
The Pan-Pacific Women's Association (P.P.W.A.) was formed in 1928 when its first triennial conference was held. It was renamed the Pan Pacific and Southeast Asia Women's Association (P.P.S.E.A.W.A.) in 1955. There is correspondence from 1929 to 1957, photographs, newspaper cuttings and copies of proceedings of each conference, most of which Bessie Rischbieth attended, including as leader of the Australian delegations. Comprises Items 1-575.
This series mainly includes records of the British Commonwealth League, which was formed in 1925 as a branch of the International Woman's Suffrage Alliance. There is correspondence from 1925 to 1949, reports of meetings and annual conferences as well as miscellaneous records of a few other international committees. The British Commonwealth League is now known as the Commonwealth Countries League. Comprises Items 1-616.
Correspondence is primarily to Bessie Rischbieth. Correspondents include Florence Underwood, E.M. Turner, Norah March, Princess Alexandrine Cantacuzene, Dr Noel, Alison Neilans, Marie-Louise Berg, Belle Sherwin, Elizabeth Hawes, Louise Stanley, Margery Corbett Ashby, Alice Parsons, Clara Novello Davies, Prime Minister John Curtin, Mary Wingman, Dr A.W. Henny, Dorothy Woodman, M.S. Niblock, Daisey Bates, Katherine Bompas, Elizabeth Gainsworthy, Sylvia Moore, Joseph Green, Sir Keith Officer, Norah McCarthy. Comprises items 1-60.
Correspondence is primarily between bessie Rischbieth and leaders of the British Commonwealth League and the International Women Suffrage Alliance. Correpondents include Rosa manus, Carrie Chapman-Catt, Margery Corbett Ashby, Mrs. John Jones, M. Chave Collison, Ada Bromham, Julia Rapke, Daisy Solomon, E.M. Duncan, Ruby Rich, Irene Parker Crane. Items 76 and 111 missing. Comprises items 61-117.
Correspondence is primarily between bessie Rischbieth and leaders of the British Commonwealth League and the International Women Suffrage Alliance. Correpondents include Linda Littlejohn, Ruby Rich, M.Chave Collison, Daisy Solomon, M. Jeremiah Cook, Mrs. John Jones, Mrs. Carlisle McDonnell, Dorothy Innes, Ethel Osbourne, Mrs Jamieson Williams, Isabel Johnston, and H.M. Toddhunter. Items 145-147 missing. Comprises items 118-191.
This series contains records of the International Women's Suffrage Alliance (I.W.S.A.), founded in 1904. From 1926 it became the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship, and in 1946 became the International Alliance of Women (I.A.W.). There is correspondence between Mrs Rischbieth and the Alliance from 1919 to 1962, reports and photographs of triennial congresses from 1923 to 1961, and minutes of board meetings of the Alliance. Comprises Items 1-963.
Photographs and notes on the 1923 Rome Congress, which was opened by Prime Minister of Italy Benito Mussolini, before Italian women had achieved suffrage.
This series consists of research material collected on specific subjects, but also includes correspondence often generated by involvement of the Autralian Federation of Women Voters in these subjects. Particularly valuable is the correspondence on constitutional reform in Australia (1924-1931), material relating to the Status of Women (including the nationality of women and equal pay) and correspondence relating to the Commonwealth Sugar agreement (1930-1931). Other subjects include Aboriginal rights, child welfare, disarmament, education, imperial conferences, marriage laws, mental hygiene, national insurance, natural childbirth, prostitution, religion, status of women, unemployment, unmarried mothers and widows. Comprises items 1-3031.