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Digital Subscriptions > History Scotland > July - Aug 2018 > A suffragette archive IN ABERDEEN

A suffragette archive IN ABERDEEN

Sarah Pedersen and Karen Shaw of Robert Gordon University introduce a unique suffragette collection held at Aberdeen Art Gallery which tells the story of a remarkable member of the WSPU who carried out her votes for women campaigning alongside her role as a newspaper reporter
Members of Dunfermline Historical Society, who attended one of Sarah’s talks dressed as suffragettes and ‘disrupted’ the start of the meeting

Aberdeen Art Gallery holds a unique collection of correspondence from the early 20th century.

Caroline Phillips was the honorary secretary of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) Aberdeen branch between 1907 and 1909. The WSPU are more commonly known as the suffragettes. As the honorary secretary, Phillips was in constant communication with WSPU headquarters in London, discussing policy and militant actions with leaders such as Emmeline Pankhurst, her daughters Christabel and Sylvia, and the leader of the Scottish WSPU, Helen Fraser. Phillips organised frequent visits to the city by these women, was involved in the organisation of a grand procession of all the suffrage societies in Edinburgh in 1907, and the disruption of a visit to Aberdeen by the chancellor of the exchequer H. H. Asquith a few months later. Phillips’ correspondence offers a rare insight into the workings of a Scottish branch of the suffragettes and the challenges and conflicting loyalties with which she was forced to deal during her two years in office.

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About History Scotland

History Scotland launches a ground-breaking new series - The Stewart Queens of Scotland, providing a window in the lives of the little-known Stewart queens. Enjoy a range of news, expert articles and commentary, covering centuries of Scottish history and archaeology. Highlights include: * Queen Victoria's trip to the Clyde * New history of art with National Galleries Scotland * The legend of Lovat's Scouts * Discovery of a rare antler t-axe