It’s bad enough to be neglected or ignored, but it’s worse to be discarded altogether. Recently a fellow blogger at Stumbling through the Past wrote a post about Women and Archival Silences, dealing with the way women’s voices are silenced in the records, subsumed within their husbands’ papers (and their husbands’ names), or scattered between various references, because nobody thought to catalogue the work they did, or recognise its importance. Her post reminded me of an egregious example of this that I came across many years ago.
In the late 1940s two elderly sisters gave a large collection of their family papers ‘as a gift to the nation’ of New Zealand. Mary and Emily Richmond were the unmarried daughters of C. W. Richmond, a lawyer, and his wife Emily Atkinson. Continue reading