Special Display for International Women’s Day

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Friday 8 March 2019

To mark International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March, VU Library invites you to view its special display inspired by IWD 2019 theme: Better the balance, better the world.

Materials from the Union of Australian Women archive and the Ruth & Maurie Crow Collection will be on display to highlight collective efforts to improve the life of women and their families in Australia. 

Union of Australian Women archive

Established in 1950, the Union of Australian Women (UAW) aimed to advance the status of women as citizens, workers and mothers. The UAW has worked closely with the trade union movement and has been involved in many campaigns around issues including women's health and equal pay. 

Materials in the Union of Australian Women archive include records of meetings, correspondence, publications, pamphlets, leaflets and artefacts for research related to women labour union, women rights, women suffrage.

Ruth & Maurie Crow Collection

The Ruth & Maurie Crow Collection contains printed material and working papers related to the couple’s 50 years of political and social activism in Melbourne. Materials on display for International Women’s Day are related to Ruth's work with women’s health and affordable childcare in the 1950s to 1970s.

Special collections for research & inspiration

Materials from the archives and Special Collections support research. Hear what postgraduate research students found in our collections – Katherine Keirs when accessing the Union of Australian Women archive, and Claire Collie the Ruth & Maurie Crow Collection.

Special Collections are also a source of inspiration. Artist Ben Sheppard included an image of Ruth Crow in a public mural of local residents who had made significant contributions to their community. The mural is located at the entrance to Tripovich Street in Sparta Place in Brunswick.

Special Collections inspired Melbourne-based artist Emily Floyd for her retrospective exhibition Emily Floyd: The Dawn. She borrowed the title from a poster created by Ruth Crow – 'Solve your personal problems socially, 2014' – for the title of large-scale screen prints that she created for the exhibition. The artist also sourced display materials from the same collection for parts of her exhibition.

Materials from the Ruth & Maurie Crow collection also featured in the Women in the West exhibition, by Her Place: Women's Museum Australia. Ruth Crow was one of the eight women profiled in the exhibition where materials from the collection were displayed.

Accessing Special Collections

Researchers from VU and other academic institutions, as well as the wider community, are welcome to use material from the Special Collections. While the items can't be borrowed, they can be viewed in the reading room on level 4 of our Footscray Park Library. Find out how to access and use Special Collections.

Email [email protected] with any questions, or to make an appointment.

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Materials from the Union of Australian Women archive


This event has already taken place.

8 March 2019, 10:00am to 2:00pm


Footscray Park Library, Building P, Level 2.