The Feminist Archive South (FAS), based in Special Collections at the University of Bristol, holds over 160 metres of material relating to the history of local, national and transnational feminism (1960-2000s). The FAS contains periodicals, books, newsletters, magazines, video, music, oral histories and other ephemera. It is a rich resource for interdisciplinary research and pedagogy, and is used extensively by students and researchers from within the University of Bristol and other institutions. Due to the frequency and breadth of reader engagement it is increasingly being seen as one of Special Collections’ most valuable collections. The FAS also has a history of community engagement within Bristol. The Heritage Lottery funded Ellen Malos’ Archives project (2013) catalogued and ran public workshops based on the papers of Ellen Malos, a key figure in the history of the Women’s Liberation Movement and in particular the struggle to end violence against women.
This project will explore what technologies, digital literacies and community relationships are required to ensure that the FAS – which has enormous potential to be a leading international interdisciplinary research and pedagogical resource – is adequately designed to thrive within the 21st century information environment. This project will respond to the Brigstow Institute theme living well with technology, using the digital archive as a site where research, teaching, community relationships and emergent forms of archival and collaborative knowledge-making converge in innovative ways.