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Between the covers: women's magazines and their readers

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Between the covers: women's magazines and their readers

cover of woman magazine 1938

Cover of Woman magazine, 1938

27 March 2009

From practical guides on how to manage your clothing allowance to no holding back road tests of sexual positions, magazines have played a pivotal role in women's lives from as early as the 17th century. 

'Between the Covers', a new exhibition at The Women's Library, unearths the history of women's magazines and explores how editors past and present have reflected and defined women's lives from 17th century to today. 

As part of the Archive Awareness Campaign, 'Between the Covers' charts the evolution of women's magazines and celebrates the value of archives by bringing their treasures to life.

Drawing on The Women's Library's enormous archive of women's magazines, the exhibition showcases some of the most influential and innovative titles of our time, including Cosmopolitan and early titles such as The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine and The Ladies Diary, to tell the stories behind their success. 

Angela Owusu, Archive Awareness Campaign Officer, said: 'Archives are a living history and this exhibition shows, so effectively, how they provide a fascinating window into the past to enrich people's lives today. It's amazing to think that what troubled women over 100 years ago are often the same issues that worry us today.'

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