Take a visual tour of womens influence throughout University history

From the first female students in 1921, to the first black female president of the Students’ Union in 1975, to the present day, women have played a vital role in our University's history, an exhibition currently being held at the Library reveals.

The 'Women in Our History' exhibition, which is located in the basement of the David Wilson Library, shares recently unearthed archive materials which mark watershed moments of female achievement to celebrate women’s contributions to the University and firmly place their stories within the institution’s history.

Those who visit the exhibition will learn of the vital role women played as early benefactors to the University during its foundation in the 1920s, have the opportunity to examine the changing experiences of female students through photographs and memorabilia, and discover the significant impact female academics have made through their research and discoveries.

In the University's first decade, female students made up the majority of students, whilst in the first academic year, three out of eight members of staff mentioned in the 1921-22 Annual Report were women.

The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, runs until Friday 31 August. It is open from 10am to 4.30pm, Monday to Saturday and 12.30pm to 5.30pm Sunday.

Sarah Wood, Assistant Archivist at the University Library, said: “When first imagining this exhibition I made a conscious effort to explore new areas of the University’s history – untold stories - of individuals or groups of women who have experienced student life across the decades or contributed to the University’s development through their work.

“The exhibition brings together archives and memorabilia which visually represent the significance of the female presence within the University’s history. These archives, which provide a contemporary record of events, challenge our preconceptions of the past and can transform what we think we know about a particular individual, event or period in time. This is an exciting opportunity in which new narratives in the University’s history can be revealed.”

Dr Kate Williams, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Equality and Diversity, said: “This fantastic exhibition offers the opportunity for us to celebrate and reflect upon the ground-breaking contributions and achievements that women have made, and continue to make, at the University of Leicester. Engaging with these fascinating archive materials from the last one hundred years reveals the fundamental role women have held in the University since its foundation.”