Women's Work: Oral Histories of the Women's Institute 

The Women's Work project is a collaboration organised between Newcastle University, the Northumberland Federation of Women’s Institutes and The Northumberland Archives. The project consisted of recording and archiving the oral histories of the North-Eastern WI community, particularly its oldest members, as a means of preserving the tradition and heritage of the Women’s Institute.

The diversity of each woman’s experience with the WI, the changes they have witnessed, the friendships they have made and the activities they have participated in have given this project a great level of depth. This exhibition hopes to showcase its best elements.

If you would like to listen to the interviews, please click on the link to the left of this screen.  If you would like to see the various exhibits, please hover over the link to the left and select the exhibit you are interested in.

Happy listening!




About the Project

This website was created by Jess Kadow and Shelby Derbyshire as part of the Making the Archives Public: Digital Skills, Research and Public Engagement project at Newcastle University. Making the Archives Public was a UTLSEC Innovation Fund (University Teaching, Learning and Student Experience Committee) project in 2014/15.

The Women's Work: Oral Histories of the Women's Institute project was devised and convened by Faye Keegan, and was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Collaborative Skills Development Award (2014). Special thanks go to Dr Stacy Gillis, Dr Ruth Connolly and Dr Katherine Cooper, of Newcastle University, as well as Jacqueline Wylie of the Northumberland Federation of the WI Archive, and Sue Wood of Northumberland Archives, all of whom offered invaluable advice and support during the project’s formulation and execution. The project would not have been possible without the collaboration of WI members from across the Northumberland Federation, and of students from Newcastle, Northumbria, and Durham universities, all of whom generously gave their time to conduct and record these interviews.  

Support was also provided by the Gender Research Group and the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Research Groups at Newcastle University.  We would also like to thank the following people for providing their expertise during the project: Dr Matthew Pocock and Ian Johnson from Newcastle University, and Shawn Day and Deirdre Wildy from Queen’s University Belfast.  

For further information on any of the organisations involved, please click on the images below.