Shaping our continuing memory of the waves of feminism in archives, libraries, and documentation centres: looking back and thinking forwards

Objective: This paper presents a historical overview about European and Spanish information centres (libraries, archives and documentation centres) specialised in women and gender that rose parallel to the feminist political movement. Their mission and evolution are highlighted in order to build up what, after more than a century, can be called feminisms memory. This paper also aims to present some literature on this field, with a special emphasis on some of the more active centres, which can provide a frame of reference in this analysis. -- Methodology: Literature review on the subject, without making an in-depth analysis of all European and Spanish associations and documentation centres. The literature research starting point was the database Mapping the World of Women's Information Services and the Spanish Red de Centros de Documentación y Bibliotecas de Mujeres (Information Centres and Women's Libraries Web). -- Results: A sequence of lines and reflections was observed, which enable us to put forward some of the challenges of these centres at present time: consolidation of reference centres, such as in the Italian case, where resources and public structures in libraries and archives are used; the time evolution and adaptation of the centres with a historical background in their countries of origin; the importance of setting up networks integrating collections about the subject, which unfortunately are not visible enough at the moment; personal collections as representative documentation in the present report; digitalization projects to preserve these materials; the need to define collection acquisition policies and promote research. Finally, a future project deemed relevant and related to the Spanish context is proposed.