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Central Employment Bureau for Women, 1910 - 1968

Reference Code: GBR/0271/GCIP CEBW

Scope and Contents

The surviving records of the Central Employment Bureau for Women comprise chiefly minutes of the Executive Committee and of the Consultative Committee, the Students' Careers Association and the Loan Fund Committee, together with some miscellaneous items, including meeting notes, an attendance register and a postcard.


  • Creation: 1910 - 1968


Conditions Governing Access

Priority access to designated officers of Futures for Women (in line with the Archive's procedures). A few volumes in this collection have been closed in accordance with Data Protection regulations, although the relevant catalogue entries are available online.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to quote or reproduce must be sought from Futures for Women. Please contact the Archivist in the first instance.

Biographical / Historical

In the 1890s there were proposals that the various women’s employment societies in existence at that time should combine to create a Central Bureau to provide general information and advice on women’s work. The Bureau was launched in 1897: a lead role in its establishment was taken by Louise Creighton [née von Glehn, 1850-1936, author and activist for a greater role for women in society and within the Church of England]. Other societies were invited to co-operate, including the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women (later the Society for Promoting the Training of Women). The Society did not wish its loan fund to be amalgamated with that of the Bureau and resisted a number of approaches from the Central Bureau proposing closer co-operation between the two bodies during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They did, however, exchange information on available employment and the Society gave consideration to candidates proposed by the Bureau for its loans. The Bureau was incorporated as the Central Employment Bureau for Women and Students' Careers Association on 31 May 1923. Active members of the Central Bureau in the early 20th century included a number of women who were also members of Girton College, Cambridge, notably Katharine Jex-Blake and Bertha Phillpotts. Miss M G Spencer, secretary to the Central Bureau for many years, was a key figure throughout most of its existence, as was Lady Bryce, who chaired the Executive Committee for many years. When the Bureau was wound up in 1941, the chairman of the Executive Committee gave a number of reasons for its decline, not least of which was that Miss Spencer was no longer able to take an active part in the management. The chairman also cited competition from other training schools, which had caused the number of students and thus income to decrease, and the outbreak of war, at which point student numbers had almost reached ‘vanishing point’ (see GCIP CEBW 1/3 pages 256-259). The Bureau's Loan Fund (established in 1910) continued to be administered by trustees from 1942-1968, at which point the archives of the Bureau were transferred to the Society for Promoting the Training of Women and its remaining funds were credited to the Society's Central Bureau Loan Fund Account. [Notes drawn from the archives and from Anne Bridger & Ellen Jordan, 'Timely Assistance: The Work of the Society for Promoting the Training of Women, 1859-2009', published by the SPTW 2009.]


12 item(s) : Paper

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited with the archives of the Society for Promoting the Training of Women 1997.

Related Materials

See also GCIP SPTW 4/1 and 5/3/8 for papers of the Society for Promoting the Training of Women relating to the Central Employment Bureau for Women and its loan fund. A publication issued by the Central Employment Bureau for Women, 'The Fingerpost: a guide to the professions for educated women' (1908?) is held by Girton Library in the Blackburn Collection 396.5 C33.


The catalogue of the records of the Society for Promoting the Training of Women [SPTW] was substantially reworked in 2016. The organisations which amalgamated with SPTW (namely the Pioneer Loan Training Fund and the National Advisory Centre on Careers for Women) are catalogued with those of the Society (see GCIP SPTW 9, Related Organisations). Those of the Central Bureau, however, are catalogued separately here as it remained a discrete organisation until it was wound up in 1968. The Bureau’s identity then continued only in the Society’s Central Bureau Loan Fund, to which the Bureau’s remaining funds were credited.


Central Employment Bureau for Women

Finding aid date

2016-06-20 15:54:57+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Girton College Archive Repository

The Archivist
Girton College Archive
Huntingdon Road
Cambridge CB3 0JG United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 338897