An exhibition exploring the life of Jennie Lee, a founder of The Open University
"There it is, a great independent university which does not insult any man or woman whatever their background by offering them the second best. Nothing but the best is good enough.” Jennie Lee
Jennie Lee (1904-1988) was born in Lochgelly in Scotland, to a mining family. She became an MP in 1929 before she was old enough to vote, becoming the youngest member of the House of Commons and one of the earliest women MPs. She later became the first ever Minister for the Arts, widening access to the arts from London to the rest of the UK.
In the 1960s Jennie fought passionately for a university open to all, regardless of educational background. She faced fierce opposition, but through her determination she left a strong legacy with The Open University, which has empowered millions of learners worldwide.
Jennie left her personal papers and books to The Open University, from her early school years, her personal life and political career.
In this exhibition archive materials from the OU Jennie Lee Archive Collection, Glasgow City Archives and ONFife (Fife Cultural Trust) have been brought together for the first time, to tell the fascinating story of Jennie Lee’s life, from her childhood in Lochgelly to her final years in the House of Lords. It's a rare opportunity to see original archive materials on display.
Glasgow Mitchell Library: 30 October to 30 November 2019
Granville Foyer, The Mitchell Library, North St, Glasgow, G3 7DN
Open Mon-Thurs 9am-8pm, Friday-Sat 9am-5pm
Lochgelly Centre: 6 December 2019 to 6 March 2020
Lochgelly Centre, Bank St, Lochgelly, Fife, KY5 9RD
Open Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, Sat 9am-2pm (Closed 25-27 December and 1-3 January)
An online exhibition of the OU Jennie Lee Archive Collection is also available on the OU's Digital Archive.
Photo: Jennie Lee publicity photograph, 1929.