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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleThe Jill Craigie Archives
Ref No7JCC
Box Fetch NoRefer to series and files levels for TH numbers; albums 1-2; postcard album 1; Box OS91; PC6.10; archive badge boxes 7 & 10; Archive Ceramics Box 05
Extent44 A boxes, 2 OS boxes, photographic albums 1-2, postcard album 1, 2 archive badge boxes and 1 Archive Ceramics
Admin Biographical HistoryJill Craigie (1914-1999) was born in Fulham, London on 7 Mar 1914 to a Russian mother and Scottish father. She left school at 18 to work as a journalist but by 1937 had become a film actress, playing a small role in the circus drama Make-Up (1937). However, as Craigie became more politicised by the turbulent events of the 1930s she decided that her future lay in filmmaking. Contacting the British Council led to a job offer as a documentary scriptwriter from 1940 until 1942 when she left to write a feature-length screenplay, The Flemish Farm (1943), which was directed by Craigie's then husband Jeffrey Dell. Thinking there was no reason why she shouldn't direct a film herself, Craigie scripted, produced and directed the half-hour documentary, Out of Chaos (1944) about Graham Sutherland, Stanley Spencer, Henry Moore and Paul Nash for the Rank subsidiary, Two Cities Films, garnering praise for its sincerity and intelligence. After the war, Craigie's interest in the arts, and architecture in particular lead to the making of The Way We Live (1946) and it was during the making of this film that she met her future husband, the Labour MP Michael Foot, whom she married in 1949.Her next film was Children of the Ruins (1948), a short documentary about UNESCO's efforts to improve the living conditions of children displaced by two world wars. This was followed by the feature length documentary Blue Scar (1949) about the poverty and conflicts in a South Wales mining village. Made by Outlook Films, the production company she had formed with William MacQuitty in 1948, the film featured an entire cast of unprofessional actors drawn from the local population. The villagers were also actively involved in the scriptwriting process. Her final film for Outlook was the documentary short, To Be a Woman (1951), arguing the case for equal pay for women. Frustrated by the film industry's obstructive attitude to female directors, Craigie gave up directing and wrote two screenplays for Rank, The Million Pound Note (1953) and Windom's Way (1957). She then retired from the film business until the 1990s. Appalled by what was happening in war-torn Yugoslavia, she financed and directed a documentary about the ravaged city and people of Dubrovnik. Two Hours from London (1995) was shown on BBC television and was to be her final film. Craigie was a lifelong committed socialist and an active CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) campaigner. In the 1970s she was actively involved in the early development of the Virago Press. From the 1970s until her death she was working on a monumental history of the women's suffrage movement, and amassed an extensive archive of original suffrage material. She died in London on 13 Dec1999.
Custodial HistoryHeld by Jill Craigie in her home. The suffrage papers and Jill Craigie archive were sorted and packed by friends of Jill Craigie, including Dr June Purvis, before deposit at TWL.
DescriptionThis collection consists of material collected or created by Jill Craigie in the course of her working life. This includes her working papers relating to her activities as a writer, campaigning feminist and film-maker; and her professional and personal correspondence. The collection includes:

A guide to the archive, funded by The Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the project Jill Craigie: Film Pioneer (2019), and including
-a detailed introduction to the collection
-descriptions of selected contents from the archives in four main thematic sections: suffrage collection and correspondence; film career; politics and involvement in Labour Party; and private life;
-detailed lists of the correspondence files in 7JCC/2.

Papers relating to Suffrage Movement, including papers of Grace Roe, a suffragette member of the Women's Social & Political Union (WSPU). These include containing items such as her hunger strike medal and her personal papers; original letters to and from suffrage campaigners, including correspondence between the Pankhurst sisters; photographs, postcards and posters; WSPU publications and publicity material. This material was collected by Craigie in the course of her research.

The Jill Craigie Objects Collection (7JCC/O) includes objects collected by Jill Craigie, mainly relating to the women's suffrage movement. This comprises a WSPU postcard album, loose postcards, photographs, cartoons, posters, paintings. As at Mar 2012 the WSPU postcards and photographs were catalogued and available for research.

The Jill Craigie Library (7JCC/P) omprises publications spanning the 18th - 20th century, including many that relate to feminism and women's history. A significant proportion of the publications were purchased by Craigie in her suffrage research, and include copies owned and inscribed by suffrage campaigners such as Grace Roe and the Pethick Lawrences. There are also books given to Craigie as gifts and inscribed, from her husband, and from friends such as Rebecca West. Annotated prints were kept in the archives (7JCC/P) otherwise incorporated to the main LSE Main print collection print collection The Women's Library @ LSE.
Related Record2018/FABITEST_1
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsThis collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library @ LSE in advance of their first visit.
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