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Traveller's Aid Society

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 106 4TAS
Held at: Women's Library
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Full title: Traveller's Aid Society
Date(s): 1885-1939
Level of description: fonds
Extent: 2 boxes
Name of creator(s): Traveller's Aid Society
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Travellers' Aid Society was initiated in 1885 by the Young Women's Christian Association to aid female passengers arriving at ports and railway stations, where they were met by accredited station workers who reported to the Travellers Aid Society Committee. The committee included representatives from the Girls' Friendly Society, Metropolitan Association for Befriending Young Servants, National Vigilance Association, and the Reformatory and Refuge Union as well as individual members. Its framework consisted of a General and an Executive Committee that would persist until dissolution. Local branches were established in Southampton (1891), Edinburgh (1895), Bristol (1895), Liverpool (1898), Hull (1903), and Birmingham (1909). However, over time, early supporters dropped out and were not replaced so that administrative as well as financial problems resulted. In 1939, the Travellers' Aid Society entered into an arrangement with the National Vigilance Association wherein the Association administered the Society from their offices as a separate body. In subsequent years, the work was maintained largely by National Vigilance Association funds. Station work continued in co-operation with the Young Women's Christian Association until 1952 when a financial crisis overcame the National Vigilance Association itself and it was decided to terminate the Travellers' Aid Society work in May of that year.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Travellers' Aid Society (TAS) including minutes of the General Committee and subcommittees (1885-1939), the Executive Committee (1886-1901) and the House and Staff Sub-committees (1896-1928); Annual Reports (1886-1914).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

The collection is open for consultation. Intending readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Finding aids:


Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

All the archives in Strand 4 came to The Fawcett Library from the offices of the British Vigilance Association and International Bureau for the Suppression of Traffic in Persons, some directly in 1972 and the remainder in 1973 via the Anti-Slavery Society, who had been given the more recent records to use in their own work.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Women's Library holds the archives of 6 organisations in Strand 4 all of which are closely related. By the end of their existence the organisations operated from the same address, often by the same people. The organisations aimed to aid and protect women, minors (including young men) and children in the areas of sexual and social morality. They operated on a regional, national and international basis, finally ceasing activities in the early 1970s when the British Vigilance Association and the Anti-Slavery Society passed the archives to The Fawcett Library. National activity is also represented by the National Vigilance Association archive, whilst the International Bureau for Suppression of Traffic in Persons tells the international story. Strand 4 is particularly closely related to the Strand 3, also held at The Women's Library, because the issues of prostitution and trafficking of women are so closely interrelated. Many of the activists and organisations have integral links and together they form a history of a subject that even now is rarely discussed.

Strand 4 comprises the following archives:
* 4BNC International Bureau for the Suppression of Traffic in Persons: British National Committee
* 4BVA British Vigilance Association
* 4IBS International Bureau for Suppression of Traffic in Persons
* 4NVA National Vigilance Association
* 4RFR Richard F Russell
* 4TAS Travellers' Aid Society
Please note that the National Vigilance Association archive includes the meeting minutes that discussed the merger of the National Vigilance Association and the Travellers' Aid Society (4NVA).

Strand 3 comprises the following related archives:
* 3AMS Association for Moral and Social Hygiene
* 3BGF British Committee of the Continental & General Federation for Abolition of Government Regulation of Prostitution
* 3HJW Henry Joseph Wilson
* 3JBL Josephine Butler Letters Collection
* 3JSM James Stansfeld Memorial Trust
* 3LCA Lancashire & Cheshire Association for the Abolition of the State Regulation of Vice
* 3LNA Ladies National Association for the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts
* 3NAR National Association for the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts

In addition Strand 1 comprises the following archives related to emigration:
1BWE British Women's Emigration Association
1CIL Colonial Intelligence League
1FME Female Middle Class Emigration Society
1SAX South African Colonisation Society
1SOS Society for the Overseas Settlement of British Women

The Girls Friendly Society archive (5GFS) also contains information about emigration.

The British Library of Political and Economic Science holds British and Foreign Anti Slavery Society records [1873-1900] (ref. COLL MISC 0101) whilst Oxford University: Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House holds the records of Anti Slavery International records dating from 1957-1972 (ref. MSS Brit Emp s 16-24 ). As at 2008 a large number of books and archives were still held by the organisation Anti-Slavery International (HQ).

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
This document was generated by Javascript from an HTML form which structured the input according to the elements of ISAD(G) Version 2. Collection description by the Archives Hub, 2001, amended by Genesis Project Manager, Apr 2002. Fawcett Library Catalogue Oct 1973. Edited for AIM25 by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
In compliance with ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description - 2nd Edition (1999); UNESCO Thesaurus, December 2001; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Dec 2008

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