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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleRecords of Women in Entertainment
Ref No6WIE
LevelCollection
Date1980-1988
Extent24 A boxes; large format material (catalogued)
Admin Biographical HistoryWomen in Entertainment (WIE) (1980-1988) was launched in Feb 1980 as a result of a conference held in 1979 during which women already involved in the arts field, mainly from the trade union Equity, called to unite women from all areas of the arts and entertainment industries. From this an office was opened, staffed by volunteers who compiled and circulated newsletters, answered enquiries and carried out the policy of WIE. WIE operated as a pressure group that aimed to initiate and support activity that sought to challenge both the position of women working in the entertainment industry and the position in society of women everywhere. It had two inter-related functions: to act as support network for all WIE members and to explore and campaign around all aspects related to issues such as portrayal of women, racism, state funding for the arts, working hours and conditions, abortion/childcare facilities trade unions, nuclear threat, women’s culture and paid work for women. The association acted also as a forum for women involved in all aspects of entertainment, such as administration, technical and performance. The organisation provided for the exchange of skills, resources and a support network that was committed to creating better opportunities for women in the arts. Numerous fact sheets were produced and workshops run by WIE as well an information and resource centre. In 1982 the Women Live Festival ran during May with much success indicating the WIE’s place in the national and international network of women in the arts, entertainment and media industry. Largely self funded through membership subscriptions and donations alongside grants and loans, the uncertainty of the latter proved to be a continual problem for WIE. The organisation ceased to function in 1988.
DescriptionThe archive consists of:

* Annual conferences, 1979-85 (6WIE/1-2)

* Minutes of WIE meetings, 1981-88 (6WIE/3-6)

* Employment Committee minutes, 1985-88 (6WIE/7-10). The papers mainly relate to staffing matters, including: finance; new appointments; work placements; work required on workshops, the video project, events and other WIE initiatives.

* Newsletters, 1980-88 (6WIE/11)

* Press releases, 1984-88 (6WIE/12)

* Members' directories, 1985 and 1986/7 (6WIE/13)

* Ephemera (WIE leaflets, circulars and forms), 1980s (6WIE/14)

* Accounts, 1979-92 (6WIE/15-16)

* Grants to WIE (6WIE/17-19). The application forms include information about the work WIE has undertaken.

* Charitable status (6WIE/20)

* Day books and office procedures (6WIE/21). The day books contain rough daily notes made at the WIE office indicating administrative work that needs to be done/has been done, phone enquiries that need action, notes on the post received, etc.

* General correspondence (6WIE/22-23). This mainly consists of letters from women on various matters and some replies. Requests include: asking for information about WIE and its events; assistance from women's groups and others on events; requests to be put in touch with other women in the entertainment industry; etc.

* Women Live (6WIE/24-25). Material relating to Women Live events held in May 1982, from its planning stages onwards.

* Workshops (6WIE/26-27). Papers on WIE workshops, including committee papers, publicity, reports, feedback from participants and administrative records.

* Events (6WIE/28-32). Papers on:
- International Women's Week, 1985
- Black Women in the Arts (proposal for a conference to be held in 1985)
- International Women's Day Roadshow, 8 March 1987
- International Women's Day events, March 1988
- "The missing culture" (Labour Party conference on women in the arts and media, 19 June 1988).

* Publications and research (6WIE/33-38). Background papers and research for WIE publications; also information on women in entertainment generally:
- Directories of individuals/groups (includes copies of WIE's Writers Directory, July 1981)
- Information on women undertaking research on women in entertainment
- WIE video project
- Background research re WIE's training factsheet

* Visual and oversize material, mostly relating to WIE:
- Photographs (6WIE/39)
- Objects, including sweatshirt, badges, membership cards (6WIE/40)
- Banner (6WIE/41)
- Calendar and posters (6WIE/42)

* Press cuttings, including on WIE, Women Live and information on women in the entertainment industry (6WIE/43)

* Ephemera from other organisations, such as posters, circulars and leaflets advertising events/plays etc. (6WIE/44-49). Some non-WIE posters are also in 6WIE/42.
Related MaterialThe Women’s Library also holds the records of Women In Media (6WIM) and the Women’s Media Action Group (5WMA)
Related Record6WIM
5WMA
6MRW
Access StatusMainly open; some items closed
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