We have recently acquired a new collection of Girlguiding materials. Girlguiding is the leading charity in the UK for girls and young women so we are proud to house a selection of their documents dating from the 1920s. The collection includes board games, manuals, magazines and official handbooks. It is a great addition to the Research Collections as it compasses a familiar experience of childhood that is still continuing in the present day.

Here is a sneak peek at what our new collection contains:

This is Volume 27, Number 33 of The Guide dating from 29th August 1947. The Guide was a weekly magazine described as ‘the only official weekly organ of the Girl Guides’.  These magazines provided practical camping advice for young girls from how to store meat safely, to how to create your own towel rail. As well as tips on good camping practice, The Guide also provided short stories and puzzles to keep these young girls entertained and advertisements targeted at their interests.

The Guide, 1947, Worcester University Research Collections
The Guide, 1947

This is Volume 19, Number 14 of The Brownie dating from 2nd April 1980. This is aimed at a slightly younger audience which is evident through its use of larger font and simpler language. This magazine also contains shorts stories and comics but includes a focus on how to gain those important badges.

The Brownie, 1980, Worcester University Research Collections
The Brownie, 1980

As well as serial publications, we also house a number of the Girl Guide Album. These albums provide a pictorial history of the achievements made by the guiding community. This particular edition is from 1984 and contains a foreword by the Chief Commissioner, Patience Baden-Powell. These albums showcase the capabilities of young girls and show how these talents should be nurtured.

Girl Guide Album, Worcester University Research Collections
Girl Guide Album

Next we have a little book called Brownie’s make things which was published in 1973. This contains craft activities based on objects that can be found around the home. This is one book in a series of four all devised and drawn by Rosalie Brown. With these instructions young brownies could create a ball made from old stockings, their own serviette rings and a model brownie doll.

Brownie's Make Things, Worcester University Research Collections
Brownie’s Make Things

Our last example is the official Brownie handbook which has brought back memories for our team here at the Research Collections! This is a fourth edition which was published in 1983 and illustrated by Jennetta Vise. These handbooks provide the criteria for gaining badges and examples on how to be a helpful and considerate Brownie who sticks to her Brownie Guide promise.

The Brownie Guide Handbook, Worcester University Research Collections
The Brownie Guide Handbook

This is just a preview of our new collection so look out for more blogs related to Girlguiding soon!

Danielle Joyce