Appeal to London teachers – Interested in using primary sources in the classroom?

Are you interested in using primary sources in the classroom but not sure where to start? 

Our plan to develop one of our collections as a teaching resource for Key Stages 3 and 4 could be the place to start.  We are working to submit a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a well-structured education programme where we will link up with schools in the London area for whom we will create teaching resources across all the key stages.  If you think this sounds like something you would be interested in we would love to hear from you.

This project will focus on the National Union of Women Teachers Collection held at the IOE Archive.  The NUWT were a women’s teaching union, established in 1904 to fight for equal pay for women teachers.  The union was disbanded in 1961 when equal pay for women teachers was implemented.   It is a rich and fascinating collection of over 400 boxes of material, including correspondence, photographs, campaign material, educational reports and publications, minutes and press cuttings.  This covers a huge range of subjects from equal pay, equal educational opportunities and equal suffrage to peace and disarmament, evacuation and Air Raid Precautions, sex education in schools, juvenile delinquency and support for female Parliamentary and local election candidates.  


The images shown here give an example of the variety of material in the collection.  The post-war poster (UWT/D/268/1) urging people to save gas and electricity is one of many campaign posters, we also have campaign posters for the Equal Pay campaign, equal suffrage, and opposition to the non-intervention policy in the Spanish Civil War.  Many organisations sent their campaign leaflets to the NUWT including some surprising ones such as the British Union of Fascists as you can see from the letter (UWT/D/251/2).  Needless to say the NUWT did not support the BUF but it is interesting to have these different political viewpoints in the collection and this variety of sources could be very useful for teaching purposes.  The NUWT were involved in the campaign to give British women the right to determine their own nationality on marriage to someone who was not a UK citizen – British men already had this right (UWT/D/216/1).   This material could be very useful in discussing current debates on citizenship, immigration and equal rights.   We have photographs dating back to the early 1900s including examples of demonstrations against cuts in education and for equal suffrage (UWT/G/2/4 and G/2/31).   With funding from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme, the History of Education Society and the IOE’s own Friends of the Newsam Library and Archives, the entire collection is now catalogued and available for online searching.   If you would like to read more about the collection you can access the project blog at  – and search the online catalogue at

What will you get out of it? Well, we will provide opportunities for students and teachers to visit the archives to engage with original source material.  We will also provide teaching resources with digitised material for use in the classroom and have a dedicated digitisation room ready for use.

Using archives in education can help bring the past alive by creating an inspiring way for students to learn about and engage with the past and using a range of original source material in different media supports visual, audio and kinaesthetic learning.  The archive staff have experience of creating teaching resources and working with student teachers to help them create learning activities so we have an understanding of the types of material that could be of use in the classroom. 

If you would be interested in finding out more or taking part in this project please contact us by Friday 9th November at:       �         �
Or call us on 020 7612 6983 or 020 7911 5568.

This entry was posted in Archives and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.