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Conservative Party Archive: Conservative Central Office - Women's Organisation


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The collection comprises:
  1. Papers of the Women's National Advisory Committee (from 1935-1951 Central Women's Advisory Committee; from 1982 Conservative Women's National Committee), 1935-1985;
  2. Papers of the National Society of Conservative and Unionist Women Organisers, 1934-1964;
  3. Conservative Women's Conference Handboks, 1939-1997;
  4. Papers of the European Union of Women, British Section, 1961-1985;
  5. Papers and Correspondence of the Deputy Director of Organisation and Chief Women Executive at Conservative Central Office, 1960-1984;
  6. Papers and Correspondence of the Conservative Party Vice-Chairman for Women, 1960-1984;
  7. Subject Files of the Conservative Women's Organisation, 1928-1983.


  • 1928-1997


10.35 Linear metres (73 shelfmarks)

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

General access conditions apply to this material.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, Conservative Party Archive [followed by shelfmark, e.g. CCO 170/1/1/1].
Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

CCO 170/1-3; CCO 170/6-9.

Collection ID (for staff)



Papers of the Women's Organisation of the Conservative Party, including records of the Women's National Advisory Committee (later the Conservative Women's National Committee), records of the Women's Organisation at Conservative Central Office, records of the National Society of Conservative and Unionist Women Organisers, and records of the European Union of Women - British Section.

Biographical / Historical

The Women's Organisation of the Conservative Party was established in 1918 as the Women's Unionist Association, following the formal admittance of women into the membership of the party. Reflecting the wider voluntary structure of the Party organisation, the Women's Organisation was organised under the authority of the Central Women’s Advisory Committee (later the Women's National Advisory Committee, and the Conservative Women's National Committee). Affiliated to the National Union, the Women's Organisation provided a forum for the representation of women members and activists, as well as a platform for research and policy debates on matters of particular interest to women. The National Advisory Committee was additionally responsible for organising the annual Women's Conference.

The Women's Organisation was supported by a professional wing operating out of Conservative Central Office, and from 1931 onwards a Vice-Chairman of the Party organisation held specific responsibility for the Women's Organisation.

A related body, the National Society of Conservative and Unionist Women Organisers, existed from 1926-1946 to support the work of women organisers.

Custodial History

The Conservative Party Archive (CPA) was established as a source for academic study at the Bodleian Library in 1978 by an agreement made between the University of Oxford and the Conservative Party, and brought together surviving historic papers of the Party previously held in various locations including Newcastle University Library and the former Conservative Central Office in Smith Square, London. Since 1996, ownership and financial responsibility for the CPA has been vested in the Conservative Party Archive Trust. The CPA preserves the records of all three areas of Party organisation: parliamentary, voluntary and professional. It is recognised by the Conservative Party as the official repository for its historic records and those of affiliated organisations, and receives new material on a regular basis.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Conservative Party.

Related Materials

For Organisation Department files relating to the Women's National Advisory Committee, see also CCO 500/9.
Conservative Party Archive: Women's Organisation
Finding aid prepared by Original finding aid prepared by Emily Tarrant in 2004. Revised and expanded by Simon Mackley in 2018.
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom