Spring 2019 saw the Women in the Archives community engagement programme spread to South Down to explore how, where and why women have left their stories for us.
Over the course of two months, participants from local groups Women of Clonduff, Swallows, Lougbrook Women’s Group and Drumgath Ladies Group engaged with women’s history in different ways – through archives, museums, films and the streets of Belfast.
Participants visited the exhibitions In Her Words at PRONI and Anonymous was a Woman at the Linen Hall Library and were given a special tour by the curators.
They also took part in a day trip to the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum where they joined Valerie Wilson for a guided textile & costume tour of the museum.
The third trip to Belfast enabled participants to uncover the histories of influential women and take part in a specially delivered bus tour of Belfast looking at women’s impact in the city over the last century.
Locally, participants had a movie night where they watched the documentary films We Were There and Unseen Women, about women’s experiences of the Maze/Long Kesh prison and Armagh Gaol respectively. Filmmakers Laura Aguiar and Jolene Mairs were present for a Q&A session with the participants.
The programme held two archival roadshow where participants shared valuable personal items, such as photographs, letters, cloths and so forth, and many interesting stories. The programme also left lots of food for thought about what we are leaving behind for the generations coming after us.