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From Kitchen Table to Conference Table

The National Co-operative Archive, the Working Class Movement Library, the Labour History Archive and Study Centre, and the Bishopsgate Foundation and Institute came together to produce this exhibition because of their complementary collections on women, labour and the left.

This online exhibition follows the progress of women from the private sphere to the public sphere through their politicisation using a series of case studies.

The case studies, we believe, show the growing influence of women within society from the mid 1800s to the latter part of the 20th century. The images at the top of the page are links to each case study. An alternative navigation is in the page footer which also provides links to the four organisations which collaborated in this project.

link to Betty Boothroyd's contribution

Betty Boothroyd

We are honoured to have received a contribution from The Rt.Hon Baroness Boothroyd OM PC - perhaps better known as Betty Boothroyd. She entered Parliament as the Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for West Bromwich in a by-election in 1973 and served her country tirelessly for 27 years. She became a Deputy Speaker in 1987 and in 1992 she was elected Speaker, being the first woman ever to hold the position. She retired from Parliament in 2000.

This website was developed for Archive Awareness Month 2007 which was an opportunity to showcase collections on the theme of Freedom and Liberty but we have chosen to maintain it online as it still receives a significant number of visitors each month.

We hope that you will enjoy your travels through the last 140 or so years coverd by the case studies as much as we enjoyed compiling them.


The timeline starts in 1800 and contains key events right up to 2006. Click and drag your mouse to scroll the timeline. If you click an event on the timeline a pop-up window containing more details will open.

Please note there is a gap of twelve years between the first and second entries and thirteen years between the second and the third entries.

Please also see the Timeline Disclaimer.