Women's Revolutions Per Minute, a collection of recordings of music performed, composed and produced by women.
Women's Revolutions Per Minute (WRPM) was set up in 1977 as part of the Women's Art Collective in London promoting festivals of music by women as part of the Women's Liberation Movement. From 1979-1999 Caroline Hutton developed WRPM as a sole trader and distribution enterprise based in Birmingham. WRPM distributed radical and feminist titles into independent and mainstream music stores, bookshops and colleges as well as developing direct sales through mail order, women's music festivals and events, peace festivals and conferences.
From 1999-2004 WRPM was taken on by Hilary Friend, based in Manchester; extending the catalogue and especially the listings of world music and women composers and setting up the WRPM website for online sales, publicity and networking.
The WRPM collection contains hard copies of everything from the catalogue including vinyl, tapes, CDs and books, many by women pioneer producers. There are over 2000 items in twelve main sections, including feminist and political, folk, world music, traditional singers, acappella, educational resources and women composers from the 11th century to the present day. There are also ephemera from the period, correspondence, accounts and listings of musicians, independent record companies and suppliers. The archive provides a wide range of recordings of music written and produced by women which may be unavailable elsewhere.
WRPM was a response to the political context of its time and the archive can be used to encourage the on-going debate that it both generated and responded to. The archive will enable students at Goldsmiths and research departments to explore and research topics such as the socio-cultural position of women in music, power relationships within a cultural industry, and patterns and pathways of developing identity. It is an example of a 'small business enterprise' run by and for women as an alternative to the mainstream which had an impact on women's creativity. It also highlights the importance of including gender as a key aspect in all research.
WRPM website (via Internet Archive)
WRPM recordings (archive catalogue)
WRPM recordings (pdf)
WRPM Posters (pdf)
The WRPM collection is located in Special Collections & Archives on the ground floor of the Library. To make an appointment please phone Special Collections on 020 7717 2295 or email special.collections (@gold.ac.uk).