Magna Carta Women
Currently the Eastern Gateway Building is hosting a visit from the 4 piece artwork entitled “Magna Carta Women” by artist Tracy Satchwill. Described by the artist as “a playful collage that captures the journey of British women over the last 800 years since the signing of the Magna Carta”, the panels feature some of the notable women who have had an influence on British women and their long and arduous journey towards individual rights and freedoms. There are also a few men who all championed women's rights.
Several of these names feature in the Brunel University Archives. This is hardly surprising, given the determined promotion of female education that was a feature of the British and Foreign School Society and the Teachers’ Training and Registration Society, founders of two predecessor colleges of Brunel University London, Borough Road College (which became Brunel’s Osterley campus) and Maria Grey College (which became Brunel’s Twickenham campus).
The British and Foreign School Society was one of the very first organisations in the UK to train women to be teachers. Its earliest surviving register of trainee female teachers at Borough Road College in the Archives is dated 1808 [a transcript of which can be found here].
The Teachers’ Training & Registration Society was created by the Women's Education Union to promote women’s right to education and the professional recognition of female teachers. In March 1886 its college was renamed Maria Grey College after its founder. Maria Grey wanted to “raise teaching to a profession as honourable and as honoured for women as for men”.
Magna Carta Women will be on display on the ground floor of the Eastern Gateway Building until 15 May. We will be publishing a series of news items about some of the people featured in the exhibition, and how they tie in with items in Brunel University Archives.