The LSE digital library is releasing its autograph letter collection online. The collection contains over 5,000 letters dating from 1851 to 1975.
The original deposit was made in 1930 by Philippa Fawcett of letters received by her mother, Millicent Garrett Fawcett, who had died the year before. Many of these letters were considered ‘Autograph’ letters written by famous correspondents such as William Gladstone and Queen Victoria. These were added to over time and sub-divided into thematic collections.
The first batch released online contains letters by Rosa May Billinghurst and Alice Ker concerning their fight for women’s suffrage. You can see the original handwriting and typeface.
Examples include a police summons from 1912 for damaging postal mail https://lse-atom.arkivum.net/uklse-dl1al010050010002-uklse-dl1-al01-005-001-0002-0001-pdf and a disturbing account of force feeding in prison written to her mother. It is even more shocking when one considers Rosa was disabled and often used a wheelchair.
A page to keep watching as more letters are added.