It's official! The Feminist Library needs to move in Spring 2019!!!
We have asked for the community's support to help us raise £65,000 to cover the costs of our move to a new space we have lined up in Peckham, and the community answered.
With help from the international feminist community, we have raised well over £65,000 and are now able to move! Watch this space for updates on where we are with the move or sign up to our newsletter to get regular updates on everything happening at the Library here.
Our Urgent Need to Move
The Library has had various homes over the years, but has never had both a stable and adequate space for its valuable collection.
In 2016 we weathered the most recent crisis when we were faced with eviction. Thanks to massive community support we had a reprieve. (Read
more about our struggle to save the Library here.)
Now, however, the building is due for redevelopment and we do urgently
need to move.
Happily, after a long search, Southwark Council have offered us a new
building to rent in Peckham. The building has great potential and we would
really like to make this a reality. However it is very expensive to move a
We have no choice but to leave our current premises in Spring 2019 and need to raise funds for the move urgently.
We have now raised the £65,000 needed to cover costs of the move project, to enable us create the new Feminist Library home and to make the new Library truly fit for purpose.
money will go towards fitting out the new space, including new shelving, flooring and giving the walls a fresh lick of paint, the move itself, signage, and some
legal costs that come with a massive logistical project that is moving a
Our Vision for the New Building
This move is opening up a new chapter in Feminist Library's herstory - the new space is bigger, at the heart of local community and 100% accessible - allowing us much needed space for both collections and community events programme expansion. It is part of the Sojourner Truth Community Centre - named after the famous African-American activist and abolitionist - located on Sumner Road in Peckham and is completely wheelchair accessible.
The community space is also a listed building, which will allow us to have the security of space for years to come, that is so much needed for the Library to thrive.
We will be
occupying the vibrant community centre, alongside a number of active local,
community organisations, including a couple of other women's groups, and hoping
to make the Library an even more accessible, inclusive and vibrant feminist hub
than it has been so far, by working with the local community.
Our vision is to give the Library the secure home for the future that it
rightly deserves! The new space is 1,500sq ft, which is 50% bigger then our
current cramped premises. This will enable us to protect and build on our
priceless collection and expand our vibrant community events programme, as well
as to have new exhibition space to showcase feminist art and bring out our amazing collections of posters, flyers, pamphlets, vintage badges and tote bags, among many other wonderful items of ephemera that we've collected over the past 4+ decades.
It will give us substantially increased shelving space, as well as office space, a kitchen to
provide food at our community events and a gallery wall space. It even backs up onto a park, so we can have community picnics in
Our Amazing Volunteers & Feminist Design Collective
The Feminist Library has survived for over 4 decades largely thanks to the undying energy and dedication of our amazing volunteer-run collective - with next to no governmental funding or support. The team is extremely excited about this new chapter in the Library's herstory. Now that we're on the brink of moving, we have also received a massive influx of new volunteers, who have by now helped catalogue and box up a backlog of somewhere in the region of 4,000 book donations, so that we can put them up on the shelves in the new space as soon as we have moved.
We are lucky to also have an amazing team of feminist architects, designers
and makers lined up to work on the project, who are giving their time for free
to make our new space possible and amazing. The space will be designed by Hi-Vis and
Lucy Sanderson, and the fittings built by Power Project - collectives of
feminist architects, designers and makers, who will also be teaching young
women and non-binary people wood and metal work skills while making the
furniture for our new space!
About The Feminist Library
The Feminist Library is much more than just a library! It has been around for over 4 decades now, saving women's histories - with over 7,000 books, 1,500 periodical titles and countless archives, pamphlets and ephemera - and providing a space in London for feminists and community groups to meet, organise, learn, create, or just have fun. We are a vitally important community space.
The Library was founded in 1975 by a small group of passionate volunteers, at the height of the Women’s Liberation Movement, to collect and preserve what has become one of the most important collections of feminist material in the UK.
The Library is a small charity, open five days a week. We welcome visitors of any gender, and are committed to a community policy that is intersectional, non-sectarian and trans inclusive.
In common with most underfunded feminist enterprises, the Library has faced a variety of crises and uncertainties over the years, and has not been able to afford paid workers for most of its life. However, a small group of dedicated volunteers has kept it going.
The Feminist Library has been sustained for 44 years by the goodwill, passion and commitment of many individual supporters. Innumerable lives touched, enriched, forever changed. Today, yet again, the support of the community has helped us get the home the Library rightly deserves. Thank you!
Other ways that you can get involved
We're always on a lookout for new volunteers, especially now, with the upcoming busy time of the move. Get in touch with our volunteers coordinator, Katie, if you'd like to help: [email protected].
Do you have a gift for fundraising? Would you like to help the Feminist Library reach its total goal of £65,000 for the move to build its dream home? Get in touch [email protected]. Not into fundraising but keen to help the Library even further? Sign up to be our Friend by giving a regular monthly donation to help make the Library reach its 100% sustainable income goal this year.
The Feminist Library will be building its local community out reach and events programme. Want to be part of our exciting and growing events team? Get in touch with our events team coordinators, Chiara & Mariana, [email protected].
Are you a local community group looking for a space for meetings or events? We want to hear from you! Contact [email protected].