Portsmouth professor’s plea to back historic women’s library

Portsmouth MP visits his former childhood stomping ground

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A UNIVERSITY of Portsmouth expert on the suffragette movement is urging people to put their names to a petition to save a women’s library in London.

June Purvis, professor of women’s and gender history, says the more people show their support for the London Metropolitan University’s women’s library, the more pressure they can put on the government to cough up £500,000 annually to keep it open five days a week.

The library, which Prof Purvis and her students use regularly, is threatened with drastically reduced opening hours unless a new home, owner or sponsor can be found by December.

If a solution isn’t reached, opening hours will be cut to just one day a week.

Prof Purvis said: ‘If we don’t have access to that library five days a week it’s like saying half of the human race’s history is to be invisible or forgotten.

‘It has to be preserved.’

The library was founded in 1926 and is home to the most extensive collection of women’s history in Europe and includes first editions of works by Mary Wollstonecraft, Virginia Woolf and the Brontës.

To add your name to the online petition, which has so far attracted almost 10,000 signatures, type ‘Rudi’s Save The Women’s Library Campaign’ into a search engine.