Dr Amy Erickson wins British Records Association prize


Congratulations to Dr Amy Erickson who has been awarded the 2021 Janette Harley Prize by the British Records Association for her exhibition City Women in the 18th Century, and an associated article Esther Sleepe, Fan-Maker, and Her Family in the journal Eighteenth Century Life.

'City Women in the 18th Century' was an open-air exhibition trail displaying the ornate business cards of women in luxury trades in Cheapside, the most expensive shopping street in the City of London. Curated in 2019 by Dr Erickson, it ran from St Paul's Cathedral in the west to the Royal Exchange in the east.

The exhibition was based upon trade cards in the British Museum, and described over fifty women in business in the heart of the City as jewellers, silversmiths, milliners, fan-makers, lace dealers, upholsterers, printers, whalebone merchants and shoemakers.

Images, explanatory video along with recordings of associated talks delivered at the time can be found at City Women in the 18th Century and  London’s forgotten businesswomen..

The judges were impressed by the display, which substantially revises our understanding of women in Georgian business, as well as its accessibility to people in the street, and the research which underpinned it.

The Harley Prize was established in memory of Janette Harley, a member of the British Records Association, who died in 2015. It is intended to raise awareness of research and achievements in the world of archives, and is awarded for the best, or most original piece of published work which reflects the aims of the Association: to promote the preservation, understanding, accessibility and study of our recorded heritage for the public benefit.

More information about the prize and the exhibition can be found on the  British Records Association website.