International Heritage Centre blog

#WomensHistoryMonth2021 roundup

#WomensHistoryMonth2021 roundup

Throughout the month of March many organisations, institutions and individuals across the world celebrate Women’s History Month. This year we took this opportunity to share, via Twitter and Instagram, information, photographs, articles and finding aids connected to women’s history within our collections. For those who missed these or would like to investigate our collections further, this blog post brings these resources together, along with a few extras, for you to explore.



In celebration of Women’s History Month, our Archive Assistant curated these narratives which have been converted from Twitter threads into videos, to give a flavour of what a day in the lives of a Salvation Army Slum Sister in 1889, and a Women’s Social Work cadet in 1902, would have been like.

A day in the life of a Salvation Army Slum Sister
A day in the life of a Women's Social Work cadet


Blog posts

'The Women's Movement' article from The War Cry, 1912
'The Salvation Army and the Women's Movement', The War Cry, 13 April 1912, p3

Many of our past blog posts tell stories of women’s history in our collections. From midwives to war heroes, bickering sisters to political campaigners, here’s a selection of our favourites.

Virtuous bodies and women who miss trains

Find out about Olive Christian Malvery Mackirdy and how she helped The Salvation Army

Guest blog: Location, Location, Location

This month we have a guest blog from our Birkbeck University intern, Imogen, exploring the who, what and why of The Salvation Army's east end Knitting Home...

Women's History Month 2020: A Collaborative Approach

Each year Women’s History Month inspires a host of events from exhibitions and talks, to defiant marches and historic walks...

The ‘Old Coat’

Cataloguing our Booth-Clibborn collection of correspondence has taken me on an enlightening and entertaining journey...

Salvation and Suffrage

An investigation into the relationship between The Salvation Army and the Suffrage campaign at the fin de siècle...

Josephine Butler, Florence Booth and 'The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon'

Identified by some as 'the patron saint of prostitutes', Josephine Butler inhabits an integral place among first wave feminist reformers...

‘…behind the barbed wires’: internment on the Isle of Man

Explore the letters of officers Lieutenant-Colonel Walter and Esther Busse, interned as 'Enemy Aliens' for over five years during the Second World War...

First World War Babies

Between 1897 and 1972, women seeking admission to Salvation Army homes in the United Kingdom were interviewed at The Salvation Army’s Women’s Social Work (WSW) headquarters in London...

From bad to worse: The Salvation Army in communist Czechoslovakia

Papers from our archive detail the problems The Salvation Army experienced following the nationalisation of churches in Czechoslovakia in 1949 ...

Mabel Poole: ‘Sister of Love'

Whilst re-cataloguing the IHC's several thousand strong collection of photographs, we came across unidentified loose prints of what appeared to be Indian royalty ...

Emma Cottage

Recent cataloguing has brought to light an intriguing volume from our Women's Social Work archive from a home called 'Emma Cottage' which is described as a 'Home for Day Girls' ...

'Patriotism is not enough'

The International Heritage Centre holds a large collection of records produced by the Women's Social Work branch of The Salvation Army. In April 1914 a referral is noted from a Miss Edith Cavell of Brussels ...



Female Ministry by Catherine Booth
'Female Ministry' by Catherine Booth [1870]

We have recently digitised our rare pamphlets collection which is now available to view via our website. Several of these focus on aspects of women’s history such as women in ministry and work carried out by Salvation Army women’s social workers which have been selected in the list below.


Female Ministry, Catherine Booth, [1870]

The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon, [1885]

The Truth about the Armstrong Case and The Salvation Army, [1885]

Rescue notes, Florence Booth, 1887

Four Years Slumming, 1891

Orders and Regulations for Rescue Homes, 1892

Elizabeth Swift Brengle, 1930

Hannah Ouchterlony, 1930



Finding Aids

Screenshot of a catalogue search

Our Archive catalogue is accessible via our website. The search box can be used to look for specific terms and themes such as ‘women in the church’, as seen above.

We have also produced a subject guide for researching ‘Women in Ministry’ which provides information about all of the collections that we hold relating to this topic.



Articles from other Salvation Army sources

Image take from 'Salvationist, Suffragist, Soldier' article
Image taken from 'Salvationist, Suffragist, Soldier', Salvation Army Women's Ministries

The following articles have been sourced from various Salvation Army digital platforms from all over the world. Each of these provide information about the lives and work of historic Salvation Army women and The Salvation Army’s regulations relating to the role of women within the organisation.


Salvationist, Suffragist, Soldier: The Salvation Army and the fight for women's right to vote, Salvation Army Women’s Ministries, July 2020

'Woman: Her Place & Power', The War Cry, 1918. Reprinted by Women's Ministries in the New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga & Samoa Territory (NZFTS), March 2019

The Five Women Who Shaped Salvation Army History, USA Central Territory, March 2019

The Significant Contribution of Women, Major David Woodbury, Others Magazine

Remarkable women who shaped our history, Jessica Morris, Others Magazine

Ordinary women serving in extraordinary ways, Lindsay Cox, Others Magazine

‘Some of my best men are women!’, Lauren Martin, Others Magazine



March 2021

The accession in the suitcase

For archivists, the arrival of an unexpected parcel tends to raise mixed emotions...

‘the creatures He made’: Animal Welfare in Salvation Army History

As concern about animal welfare grew in the late nineteenth century, the early Salvation Army took an active part in promoting humane treatment of animals.

Getting Under the Covers in Book Conservation

This month Archive Assistant, Chloe, relates her experience at CityLit's interventive archival conservation course.

Virtuous bodies and women who miss trains

Find out about Olive Christian Malvery Mackirdy and how she helped The Salvation Army