Women in The National Archives

Sources from The National Archives, UK

A finding aid for women's studies resources in The National Archives, UK is presented alongside original documents on the suffrage question in Britain, the Empire and colonial territories.

The finding aid which makes up a part of Women in The National Archives enables researchers to quickly locate details of documents held at The National Archives, UK relating to women. This finding aid is far more detailed and extensive than anything available elsewhere online and has the benefit of ranging across all of the classes held at the archive.

The original primary source documents cover the campaign for women's suffrage in Britain, 1903-1928 and the granting of women's suffrage in colonial territories, 1930-1962. The addition of four significant HO 45 files on the suffrage question plus an extended chronology further enhance the collection.

These original documents are valuable for those teaching courses on: The Campaign for Women's Suffrage in Britain, 1903-1928 and The granting of women's suffrage in Colonial territories, 1930-1962.

Women in The National Archives is part of Archives Direct, a cross-searchable multi-product platform, sourced from The National Archives, UK.

Key Data

Period Covered

  • 1559-1995 (finding aid); early 20th Century (original documents)


  • The campaign for women's suffrage in Britain and the British Empire
  • Biographical information on individual suffragettes
  • The 'Cat and Mouse' campaign
  • Police surveillance
  • Prison conditions
  • Parliamentary debates and committee reports

Source Archive

  • The National Archives, UK

Material Types

  • A unique finding aid to women's studies resources in The National Archives, UK
  • Original documents on the Suffrage Question in Britain, the Empire and Colonial Territories

Editorial Board

  • Martin Pugh, author of Women and the Women's Movement in Britain 1914-1959 (Macmillan,1992, 2000), The March of the Women: A Revisionist Analysis of the Campaign for Women's Suffrage, 1866-1914 (OUP 2000) and The Pankhursts (Allen Lane/Penguin, 2001).


  • Abortion
  • Clothing
  • Conditions of service
  • Divorce
  • Domestic work
  • Education and training
  • Employment
  • Equal opportunities and pay
  • Health
  • Marriage
  • Maternity and child welfare
  • Nursing and midwifery
  • Prostitution
  • Single parents
  • Teaching and teacher training
  • Trade unions
  • Widows
  • Women's organisations
  • Women's suffrage, rights and status

Key Features

  • Full-text-searchable English-language materials
  • Documents from the UK government's official archive
  • Cross-searchable with other Archives Direct titles