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Girton contains:
<-- See earlier
GCPP Banks Personal Papers of Dorothy Banks nee Alford and Margaret Alford
GCPP Bennett Personal Papers of Joan Bennett (certificate)
GCPP Bickley Personal Papers of Daisy Bickley
GCPP Bidder Personal Papers of Marion Greenwood Bidder
GCPP Bishop Personal Papers of Rosemary Bishop
GCPP Bodichon Personal Papers of Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon
GCPP Bradshaw Personal Papers of Doris Bradshaw
GCPP Brookes Personal Papers of Roma Brookes
GCPP Brown Personal Papers of Judith Brown
GCPP Bryant Personal Papers of Viviane Bryant
GCPP Bryers Personal Papers of Winifred Bryers
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Personal Papers of Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon

Title Personal Papers of Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon
Reference GBR/0271/GCPP Bodichon
Creator Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith, 1827-1891, nee Smith, artist and women's activist
Covering Dates 1801–2000
Extent and Medium 10 boxes; paper
Repository Girton College Archive, Cambridge
Content and context

Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon (1827-1891) was the eldest child of the liaison between Anne Longden and Benjamin Leigh Smith, MP for Norwich, 1838 and 1841-1847. Born in Sussex, her childhood was spent between family homes in Hastings and London. From an early age she travelled widely, including an unchaperoned European tour with Bessie Parkes in 1850, and made a first trip to Algiers, which was influential in her life and art, in 1856. She was a cousin of Florence Nightingale and a friend of, amongst others, George Eliot, Emily Davies and Bessie Parkes. In 1857 she married a French doctor, Eugene Bodichon, a resident of Algeria, and for many years thereafter divided each year between Algeria and Britain.

Barbara Bodichon was an artist, a prolific painter of landscapes, her principal exhibitions taking place between 1850 and 1872 at the Royal Academy, the Society of Female Artists and the French Gallery, Pall Mall and other galleries. A leader of the campaigns for women's work, suffrage, legal rights and education, she founded Portman Hall School and published 'A Brief Summary of the Most Important Laws Concerning Women' in 1854, published 'Women and Work' in 1857 and, with Bessie Parkes, founded the English Woman's Journal in 1858. She was also instrumental in the foundation of Girton College in 1869.

The papers of Madame Bodichon are dispersed. A number are held at Girton, having reached the College as gifts, mainly from the Leigh Smith family, and by purchase. The bulk of the papers at Girton consists of letters from Emily Davies to Bodichon for the period 1865-1887. Early letters relate, on the whole, to the activities of the Langham Place Circle, the English Woman's Journal, and the Kensington Society, later letters to the foundation and day-to-day organisation of Girton College. Among the miscellaneous papers is a travel journal kept by Barbara Bodichon with accompanying sketches. There are also photographs, drawings, sketches and biographical articles and, at GCPP Bodichon 11, photocopies of correspondence by and pertaining to Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon from the papers of Norman Moore (1847-1922, physician, an important figure in BLSB's life whom she and Eugene first befriended in 1869).

Acquired by Girton College by gift, chiefly from the Leigh Smith family, and also by purchase. Also, in the case of the Moore family papers at GCPP Bodichon 11, the original letters were loaned by the Moore family and photocopied by Girton College Library staff on the Library's premises in 1995.

Access and Use

Access is open to bona fide scholars by appointment only.

Please cite as Girton College Archive, Cambridge, Personal Papers of Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, GCPP Bodichon

Further information

Pam Hirsch, 'Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon: Feminist, Artist and Rebel', Chatto and Windus, 1998. Girton College, 'Barbara Bodichon 1827-1891: Centenary Exhibition' [exhibition catalogue of BB's paintings], 1991. Sheila R Herstein, 'A Mid-Victorian feminist: Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon', Yale University Press 1985. Hester Burton, 'Barbara Bodichon, 1827-1891', John Murray, London 1949. Many of the letters are reproduced in Barbara Stephen 'Emily Davies and Girton College' Constable & Co., 1927 and Ann Murphy and Deirdre Raftery (eds) 'Emily Davies: Collected Letters 1861-1875', University of Virginia Press, 2004.

A collection of 395 volumes from the library of Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon was purchased by Helen McMorran, Librarian of Girton College, in 1954 and presented by her to the Library. Letters concerning the purchase are catalogued at GCPP Bodichon 10. Further volumes from BLSB's library were purchased by the College in 2005.

The Bodichon papers held by Girton College as at 1986 were microfilmed in that year by Harvester Microform Research Publications Company.

The originals of the Moore family letters are held in a private collection.

Index Terms
Women Artists
Womens Education
Womens Employment
Womens Rights
Womens Suffrage
Works of Art
Bodichon, Barbara Leigh Smith (1827-1891) née Smith, artist and women's activist
Davies, Sarah Emily (1830-1921) pioneer for women's education
Moore, Sir Norman (1847-1922) 1st Baronet, physician and Irish scholar
Moore, Amy (1859-1901) née Leigh Smith
Girton/GCPP Bodichon contains:
1 Letters 1.
Creator: Davies, Emily; various.
235 items in 1 file; Paper.
1865–1887
2 Letters 2.
Creator: Davies, Emily; various.
28 items in 1 file; Paper.
1801–1891
3 Letters 3.
Creator: Various.
61 items in 1 file; Paper.
1869–1885
4 Miscellaneous letters.
Creator: Various.
37 items in 1 file; Paper.
1847–1964
5 Photographs and portraits.
Creator: Various.
4 items; Paper.
1850–1885
6 Personal artefacts.
Creator: Various.
6 items.
1857–1889
7 Album containing BB's autograph letter collection. Pasted into the front of the album is an envelope containing three small photographs, all located in the courtyard of Campagne du Pavillon, Mustapha Superieure, Algiers, the Bodichon's home: BB seated in the courtyard, a large hat on her knee; BB seated in the courtyard, receiving post from Hamet, her young Arab servant; Hamet sweeping the courtyard.
Creator: Bodichon, Barbara.
1 volume; Paper.
1815–1890
8 Drawings, sketches, and written work.
Creator: Bodichon, Barbara.
15 items; Paper.
1817–1912
9 Biographical articles etc re Barbara Bodichon.
Creator: Various.
20 items; Paper.
1906–2000
10 Papers concerning the acquisition by Girton College of Bodichon papers and memorabilia.
Creator: Various.
2 items; Paper.
1885–1956
11 Moore Family papers.
Creator: Moore Family.
29 files; Paper.
1841–1999

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