International Women’s Day 2019: The first women in the Library

How lovely to see Miss Lambert included there in this blog about St Andrews University Library’s women staff! (even if Miss L. wasn’t actually an employee!)

Echoes from the Vault

The theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) 2019 is ‘Balance for better’ with a call to action to help ‘forge a more gender-balanced world.’ Women have been studying at St Andrews for 127 years having been first admitted to the University as students in 1892 – though the University’s Ladies Literate in Arts (LLA) scheme began earlier in 1877 as a distance learning qualification for women. Although the history of women at St Andrews is a fraction of the University’s 600-year history, more recent statistics suggest the sex/gender balance in the student population (2017) is now in favour of female students (58.4%), compared to male (41.6%).

Tracing the history of women employed by the University is more difficult. We cannot say for sure who the first woman to be employed by the University was, although the 16th century statutes of St Leonard’s College include the rule that no woman…

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