Panel x Glasgow Women's Library: A collection celebrating design and women's history

What do you get when you cross an innovative design organisation with a forward-thinking, much-loved library and museum? 

From Glasgow Women’s Library is a collection of products developed by the independent curatorial practice Panel, through research into the Glasgow Women's Library archive.

It was supported through Creative Scotland's Open Project Funding, and throughout the process, six artists, designers and craft-makers created a series of batch-produced souvenirs, made exclusively for the library's shop.

According to the curatorial guidebook, the products have been "inspired by the history of the organisation, its library, archive and museum collection. Each speaks to women’s history and experience, exploring ideas that uncover, sample and reference the diverse and unsung stories that the Glasgow women’s library holds."

Here, we take a closer look at some of the objects included in the collection.

The Bridgeton-Women's Library Sketchbook

This item, by artists Finch and Fouracre, is inspired by the transformation of one of Scotland’s Carnegie libraries into the UK’s only accredited museum dedicated to women’s lives, histories and achievements.

The original name of the GWL building - Bridgeton Library - is embossed on to the cover. This beautiful piece celebrates the juncture of history and the future, which the Women's Library has always excelled at.

Reading List t-shirts

Graphic designers Kaisa lassinaro and Maeve Redmond have designed Reading List: a series of t-shirts that reference books from the Glasgow Women’s Library catalogue.

Included in the collection is everything from How to Be Both (Ali Smith) to A Room of One's Own (Virginia Woolf).

They're simple, classic, and make great gifts for fashion lovers and bibliophiles alike.

Votes for Women cushion

The Votes for Women Cushion by Donna Wilson has been inspired by the treasures lining the shelves of the Glasgow Women’s Library, and by the fight of the women’s suffrage movement within the UK.

Each cushion has been knitted in Scotland from 100% lambswool before being hand-finished in Donna’s London studio workshop.

And yes, it would look great in a book nook.

Feminist Charms

Artist Ruth Ewan and jeweler Joy BC have collaborated to create a charm bracelet featuring five key symbols from the GWL archive.

The bracelet functions as a form of timeline, reflecting the eclectic objects and the historic and urgent issues encapsulated within the library’s collection.

These are elegant items which have 'definite gift potential' written all over them.

A strong, varied collection

These are just four items in a varied collection, which acknowledges both traditional and contemporary manufacturing processes.

As the Guidebook to the collection perfectly states: "they form a unique and empowering collection that celebrates women’s diverse voices, ingenuity, friendship, activism and creativity."

If you're intrigued, and want to find out more about the collection, visit

This article was published on 02 Aug 2018