Education and Empire: What’s Florence Nightingale got to do with it? By Dr. Rebecca Swartz

What did Florence Nightingale have to do with colonial education? That was a question I had to ask myself when I came across her 1863 survey of education and health of Indigenous children in colonial schools in the British Empire.  Nightingale’s study, which included statistics from one hundred and forty-three schools in South Africa, Australia, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Canada and Sierra Leone, concluded that education did not lead to any negative health outcomes for Indigenous children, but it must be adapted to local circumstances to achieve the best results.

Nightingale’s conclusion about education being adapted to the needs of …

Women’s History Network Annual Conference 2020

Save the Date: 3-4 September 2020

Homes, Food and Farms

Venue – Denman College, New Rd, Marcham, Abingdon OX13 6NW.

‘A woman’s paradise’? Women and Everyday Life at Sheffield’s Park Hill by Isabelle Carter.

In our latest blog Isabelle Carter reflects on gender, housing and everyday life at Sheffield’s (in) famous Park Hill.

Built in 1957 and still standing today, Park Hill remains one of Sheffield’s most ambitious housing developments. With 995 flats reaching up to thirteen storeys on the hillside overlooking the city centre, the estate epitomised Sheffield City Council’s desire to offer modern ways of living to local people. The estate became famous as a post-war social experiment, with wide ‘streets in the sky’ intended to reconstruct the sense of community that had existed among the streets of more traditional back-to-back housing …

Demon, Guardian Angel or Soldier?  Perspectives of West Sussex Land Women of the First World War by Glenda Holder

In our latest great blog, Glenda Holder examines representations of Women land workers in West Sussex during the First World War.

On 25 April 1918 The West Sussex Gazette made the damning assessment that ‘West Sussex is the worst county in England as regards its contribution to women’s work on the land’.[1] This statement became the focus for my MA dissertation where I argued that not only was this a gross misrepresentation of the efforts made by the women of the county, it failed to acknowledge the agency that women were taking over their own lives.

Pre-war women in


The Dairy Princess of Leeds 1960 and I grabbed a station cab to Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills last month to see the Queens of Industry: From Loom to Limelight exhibition there.

Celia Gledhill was lugging a holdall full of what the exhibition curator, John McGoldrick, would value as an archivist’s dream: ceremonial sashes, press clippings, correspondence, and glossy 10” x 8” photos.

We were going to enjoy learning about Wool Queens, Gas Queens, Coal Queens, Railway Queens. From the 1920s to the 1980s these grass-roots human beings were units in advertising campaigns to boost consumer consumption in …