The Disappearance of Miss Bebb

Proving once again that Library staff are multi-talented folk,  Alex Giles, a member of the City Library team has written a drama to be performed by an all star cast. “The Disappearance of Miss Bebb”, a 90 minute radio-style version of Alex’s screenplay “Justice” will be performed at Middle Temple Hall on 2nd April. 

About the play 

Gwyneth Bebb with her daughter Diana (1919) Image: First 100 Years

Gwyneth Bebb has left Oxford University the top law student of her year. So why can’t she practise as a professional lawyer? Because she’s a woman… 

Based on true events and the infamous case “Bebb v the Law Society”, the drama follows four brave young women on the eve of WW1 as they fight for the right to become our first female lawyers; a tale of faith, hope and bigotry.  

In tumultuous times they battle the mighty legal establishment against all odds, amidst personal feuds, joys and tragedies. 

The title role will be played by Call the Midwife’s Laura Main, other cast includes Martin Shaw, Jason Watkins, Ray Fearon and Hugh Dennis. 

The performance is on behalf of the Kalisher Trust, a charity which supports aspiring barristers, whatever their background, to create a more diverse and socially mobile criminal Bar; unlocking  the skills of criminal barristers, and showing that anyone can aspire to be the advocate of tomorrow. Internships and awards are available.

Alex will be appearing on BBC Radio 4 ‘s Woman’s Hour on 22nd March with Lady Justice Anne Rafferty, to talk about “The Disappearance of Miss Bebb” and the work of the Kalisher Trust.

Researching “Bebb v the Law Society”
Access the original reports of the case Bebb v  The Law Society [1914] 1 Ch. 286 in the various law reports held at City’s lawlibraries and via Westlaw
Professor Rosemary Auchmuty, from the School of Law at Reading University is the leading expert on Gwyneth Bebb. You can access her articles via CityLibrary Search:

Virginia Woolf was a contemporary of Gwyneth Bebb. Could she have been describing her when she wrote the following in 1929?
“At any rate, she was making the attempt. And as I watched her lengthening out for the test, I saw, but hoped that she did not see, the bishops and the deans, the doctors and the professors, the patriarchs
and the pedagogues all at her shouting warning and advice. You can’t do this and you shan’t do that! Fellows and scholars only allowed on the grass! Ladies not admitted without a letter of introduction!
 ……. So they kept at her like the crowd at a fence on the race-course, and it was her trial to take her fence without looking to right or to left. If you stop to curse you are lost, I said to her; equally, if you stop to laugh.
Hesitate or fumble and you are done for. Think only of the jump, I implored her, as if I had put the whole of my money on her back; and she went over it like a bird. But there was a fence beyond that and a fence beyond that.
Whether she had the staying power I was doubtful, for the clapping and the crying were fraying to the nerves. But she did her best.”

Virginia Woolf ‘A Room of One’s Own’:

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Late nights at Cass

From Monday 27th of March until Friday 5th of May the Cass Learning Resource Centre will be open 24/7 in anticipation of the round-the-clock revision and study you’re planning ahead of your exams and coursework deadlines.


Cass Learning Resource Centre will be open 24/7 from Monday 27th of March until Friday 5th May

Library staff will be on hand during normal working hours before handing over to our Security colleagues who will keep an eye on things until morning: but don’t worry, if you suddenly think of a question overnight we have a host of Library Guides plus our FAQs available via the website to help support you- and if you submit a new question, a member of our team will respond as soon as possible.

Don’t forget to take some time out from your all-nighter: going for a walk, having a little nap and pausing for snacks are really important ways to help boost performance and manage stress levels throughout this tough time of the year.

For more information on our opening times, including planning ahead for 24/7, have a look at our website.

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Saturday 18th March: Fire alarm testing at Northampton Square Library

On Saturday 18 March our colleagues in Property and Facilities will carry out fire alarm sounder tests at Northampton Square. The testing will be audible throughout the Library, with intermittent alarms sounding for up to 20 minutes at any time 8-10 am and then again 2-6 pm.

Whilst every effort will be made to keep the disruption to a minimum, with no risk to hearing based on the noise level and duration, you may wish to use one of our other Libraries to study in.


We are sorry for any inconvenience this work might cause.

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Library systems unavailable 8pm-midnight tonight

From 8pm until midnight tonight you will see some intermittent downtime to the following services:

  • Self-issue or return of items
  • Access to e-resources (databases, journals, e-books etc.)
  • Access to CityLibrary Account, including:
    • Renewals
    • Placing requests
    • Paying charges
  • Book availability information in CityLibrary Search

This is due to our supplier undertaking some maintenance work to their systems.

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Library Staff Love #15: Helping you help yourselves

Right at the top of our agenda is trying to make using the Library as straightforward as possible for our users and one of the key weapons in our arsenal is self-service. Whether it’s using our self-check machines to borrow items, or now collecting your requested items without needing to come to the Service Desk, we’re constantly thinking of ways in which our services can work seamlessly and better for you: helping you to help yourselves to all of the resources at your disposal.

Self-Service Machines (Select image to link to video)

Self-Service Machines (Select image to link to video)

You can use our self-check machines to borrow or renew items, some of them allow you to return items too: and if you know the secret password, they’ll even tell your fortune. Of course, staff are always on hand to help out if needed, so on the rare occasions that something doesn’t work or goes wrong, we’re there ready to step in and solve the problem: although we can’t take responsibility for errors related to predictions of the future (it’s not an exact science).

(Thanks to Mahvesh from our Law Library Team for suggesting self-service as the latest Library Staff Love feature).

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