Gifts of Books & Women Making History

New Library exhibition celebrating 40 years of women at Christ Church.

Unsurprisingly, women are not well-represented in the archive until modern times, but that is not to say they are not there at all.  Christ Church had female tenants, female staff, and female benefactors from the foundation in 1546.

The same is true for the Library. Proportionally, there are fewer documents highlighting women's presence. However, Christ Church is a royal foundation and the reigning monarch acts as the representative of the Founder, as its 'Visitor'. As a consequence, among the monarchs who left a mark in exciting Library holdings are Elizabeth I and Queen Anne. Also, some of the most valuable volumes in the Library were donated by women. These include Anne, Countess of Ancram and Mildred Cecil, Lady Burghley. In addition, the Library houses little-known, but important contributions from women writers, like Lady Eleanor Douglas, and artists, like Alice Liddell.

This exhibition is dedicated to generous, learned and talented Christ Church women, and their important contributions throughout the ages.

For further information, see the exhibition booklet available in the Upper Library at Christ Chruch.

The exhibition opens on 18 September 2021.


Dr Cristina Neagu
Keeper of Special Collections

For other news related to Special Collections, please go the Library Exhibitions and Research.