Our story

Melissa Hardie-Budden

Women in Cornwall is a core project of The Hypatia Trust, a UK educational charity committed to documenting and foregrounding women’s lives and achievements. Founded by Melissa Hardie-Budden in 1996, the Trust's primary focus is the documentation of women's lives through the collection of literary, scientific, and artistic records, as well as the exhibition of women's arts and crafts and the publication of related fiction and non-fiction texts. 

Women in Cornwall began as the project Bibliotheca Cornubiensis Femina (BCF), meaning ‘Library of Cornish Women’. It spoke back to the Bibliotheca Cornubiensis (1874-1882), a three-volume catalogue of the writings of Cornishmen and women up until the late nineteenth century. Less than 10% of the entries in the original Bibliotheca were women.

Melissa Hardie-Budden, driven by her own research into notable women in Cornwall, initiated the BCF project as an online biographic and bibliographic catalogue to accompany the Elizabeth Treffry Collection on Women in Cornwall. Created by the Hypatia Trust, the Elizabeth Treffry Collection is held currently as a reference collection at the Morrab Library in Penzance. Hardie-Budden not only initiated the website project but performed the bulk of the original research that would make up the website. For further information on the bibliographic side of the website, use the ‘Contact Us’ form and our collections team will get back to you.

Further research was performed by Rozen Whitworth, who developed the website with Nick Harpley. Women in Cornwall thanks the Q Fund (Cornwall Council), Cyprus Well Literature Development Fund (2010-2011), the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Tanner Trust, the Hypatia Research Fund, and Azook CIC for their original funding. We thank everyone who supported our Crowdfunder for the website’s continued development.