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Reference Code:  A/FMC

Site Location
London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description
1.53 linear metres
Scope and Content
Records of the Working Women's College, later known as the Frances Martin College for Women. The records listed here cover the history of the college from its foundation in 1874 until 1957, a period of 88 years. Minutes of council and AGMs from 1874 onwards, kept in the hand of Miss Frances Martin until 1920 almost without a break, annual prospectuses and an almost complete series of annual reports exist. These, together with college magazines and scrapbooks give a very full picture of the life and activities of the college since its foundation, and reveal the remarkable enthusiasm and dedicated service of all those who have been connected with it which have carried it forward successfully over the years through good times and bad.
Administrative History
In January 1874 the majority of the council of the Working Women's College, then in Queen's Square, London, resolved to throw open the college to men as well as women. Some members of the council 'unwilling to see the only institution in London, devoted exclusively to the improvement and culture of working women, closed to many of them', resolved to establish a separate college where they could continue to carry out the aim of supplying to working women higher education than had been generally within their reach. The appeal they launched met with such a warm response that in October 1874 the college for working women was opened at 5 Fitzroy Street under the chairmanship of Dr John Storrar. Here the college remained until 1879 when it moved to number 7, which was to be its home for the next 78 years.

In very great measure the foundation of the College for Working Women was due to the inspiration of Miss Frances Martin who served it as one of its honorary secretaries from 1874 until 1920, and then as president for the remaining 2 years of her life. She died in 1922 aged 93. In order to perpetuate the memory of its foundress the college was renamed in 1927 the Frances Martin College.

In 1957 the lease of 7 Fitzroy Street expired and, the search for suitable alternative premises having proved unavailing, the working men's college came to the rescue, offering accommodation in their own building in Crowndale Road, NW1. The offer was gladly accepted.
Access Restrictions
These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to access restrictions
A/FMC/AC: Accounts;
A/FMC/AR: Annual Reports;
A/FMC/C: Correspondence;
A/FMC/MB: Minutes;
A/FMC/MBE: Minutes of Education Committee;
A/FMC/CM: Magazines;
A/FMC/E: Events;
A/FMC/M: Histories, reports and ephemera;
A/FMC/N: Newspaper cuttings;
A/FMC/P: Reproduction;
A/FMC/S: Albums and scrapbooks;
A/FMC/V: Poems;
A/FMC/PR: Prospectuses;
A/FMC/RS: Register of Students;
A/FMC/SC: Minutes of students committee.
Working Women's College
Frances Martin College for Women
Source of Acquisition
Records deposited in two accessions, in December 1962 and November 1980. AC/62/064 ACC/1599
Physical Condition

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