Following a successful launch and eight week run at Derry Central Library, the Women in the Archives exhibition has moved to Strabane Library, as it continues its tour of border venues.
The joint exhibition from the Linen Hall Library and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), explores hidden female voices and stories from across the centuries, through a series of large scale panels.
The exhibition begins with a timeline of female advancements over the last 230 years, beginning in 1792 with the first female member of the Belfast Library and Society for Promoting Knowledge (now known as the Linen Hall Library), and makes its way to 2018 when a referendum in the Republic of Ireland saw the public vote by a landslide to repeal the eighth amendment to the constitution.
Further sections of the exhibition provide an intimate insight into the lives of selected women, written by them in their own words, and found in diaries and letters held in public records. Included are emigrant letters, letters from war widows and letters to the gay and lesbian befriending service Cara Friend. Also featured for the first time is the collection of Dr Anna (Nann) Watson, which details a wide range of her interests and her abilities of organisation and leadership, particularly in female movements and circles.
Visitors to the exhibition are also encouraged to write in the Women in the Archives travelling diary, leaving a comment or story about the history and future of women.
The Women in the Archives exhibition will move continue to Omagh and Enniskillen libraries in 2019, before moving to Newry, Letterkenny and Gweedore during 2020.
Accompanying the exhibition are opportunities for local communities and groups to get involved in facilitated engagement programmes to help uncover the stories of other women in the archives and to produce a lasting legacy.
The exhibition is free to visit at each of its locations. For more information on the exhibition and community engagement programme visit www.makingthefuture.eu.