Jessie Street National Women's Library

Jessie Street National Women's Library is a specialist library, collecting material about women and women's issues. It is self-funding and dependent largely on membership subscriptions, donations and fundraising events to meet its running expenses. It is staffed by volunteers, many of whom are professional librarians, who willingly give personal attention to users and their needs. The library is housed at the Ultimo Community Centre, 523-525 Harris St Ultimo in New South Wales.

Please consider supporting the important work of this library by becoming a member, or by making a donation.

"To keep women's words, women's works, alive and powerful."

- Ursula Le Guin

Their latest Newsletter (Vol 23, No.2 — May 2012) contains this short article:

Accessing The Dawn

Thanks to online technology, we now have greater access to women’s voices of the past. A spirited campaign to raise money for digitisation of a pioneering journal was announced by Donna Benjamin in Australian Feminist Studies 31 May 2011. Donna, Executive Director of Creative Contingencies, an information services and technology company based in Melbourne VIC, and her friends and colleagues in the software industry raised over $8000 to finance digitisation by the National Library of Australia of The Dawn: A Journal for Australian Women (Sydney) across its full date range, 1888 to1905. The NLA used State Library of NSW records for this purpose, with the result that in March 2012 The Dawn was added to the NLA’s TROVE collection of on-line newspapers.
[The Dawn can be accessed at]

A feminist journal, seen by some as the first in Australia and ‘arguably the most famous’, The Dawn had been published by Louisa Lawson assisted by an all-female workforce. Louisa’s editorials focused on issues of concern to women, especially the campaign for women’s suffrage, and related issues of women’s entitlements to work and to fair pay. The journal included short stories (including by her famous son Henry), fashion notes, sewing patterns and reports on women’s activities in Australia and overseas. The views presented differed markedly from those of its contemporary, the influential Bulletin. The Dawn ceased publication in 1905 shortly after Louisa’s withdrawal from this publishing venture.