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National Science and Media Museum

2018 marks 100 years since the passing of the Representation of the People Act, the first UK law to allow (some, but not all) women the right to vote in elections.

The Daily Herald Archive, a former newspaper picture library held here at the National Science and Media Museum, includes many milestones in the history of women’s political organising, including workers’ strikes led by women, campaigns for equal pay and rights, and the development of new waves of feminist activism in the 1960s and early 1970s.

The women represented in the archive range from bus workers to carers, activists and political leaders—and in many ways, the struggles represented in the archive still feel current today.

To revolt is to rebel against authority or established order. It can also mean to cause feelings of disgust. The women of the Daily Herald Archive are often revolting against unfair systems, and the Daily Herald in turn sometimes presents them as subjects of ridicule and disgust. Because of this, in many ways the women of the archive are doubly rebellious. By showcasing both the images and the accompanying articles, this display illustrated the ways in which the use of images by the media is never neutral and, in many cases, is highly political.