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Legacies of Enslavement: the perspective of a women's college

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In line with many other Higher Education and public institutions, Girton College has undertaken its own research into possible legacies of enslavement embedded in the foundation and development of the College. We would like to share these initial findings with Girtonians.

The College Council established a Legacies of Enslavement Working Group in Michaelmas Term 2020, and received a report on activities and findings in May 2022. An initial set of responses was agreed on 22 July. As well as a precautionary audit of the College collections, the group conducted research into sources of wealth among its early founders and benefactors.

New research into Girton’s early years throws light onto the special circumstances of its foundation in an era when enslavement was still very much a live issue.  As commissioned by College Council, Girton’s Legacies of Enslavement Working Group have made some intriguing and thought-provoking findings.  In the context of the University’s general inquiry, the trajectory of a college for women was always going to be distinctive. 

The College will host an online panel presentation on Legacies of Enslavement: the perspective of a women’s college by members of the Group, led by Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern DBE FBA, to be followed by discussions, on Wednesday 9 November 2022, 7-9pm GMT.

For more information, please visit Girton College and the Legacies of Enslavement | Girton College (


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