The Rising Tide: Women at Cambridge, is a line-up of exhibitions, events, and displays exploring the past, present, and future of women at Cambridge.

Programmed by Cambridge University Library and created by students and staff from the across the University, The Rising Tide will provide a forum to discuss the past and current experience of women both positive and negative, and the ways in which the University is continuing to address equality and diversity.

The Library is hosting a major exhibition, opening on the 14 October 2019 and running until March 2020. The lived experience of women at Cambridge, the continuing work towards equality, and the careers of some of the women who shaped the institution (and the world) will be told through costumes, letters, and audio-visual material. Visitors will get the chance to explore rarely seen collections from across the University and Colleges.

The events programme and pop-up exhibitions and displays will run at the Library and across the city. Throughout its course The Rising Tide will become place of assembly, debate and conversation for today’s Cambridge women to discuss their current experience.

We want you to be part of that discussion.

Getting Involved

We’re keen to hear from anyone with an interesting idea for an event that would work well within the context of the project. If you – students, researchers, societies – have an idea for an event, whether it’s a lecture or panel discussion, a workshop or even some kind of live performance, then read on.

We are currently looking for events to be part of the February to June 2020 The Rising Tide programme. Our current October 2019 to January 2020 programme is live on our website:

Event Proposal Guidelines:
The University Library’s main public event space the Milstein Seminar Rooms have been reserved every Thursday from 2.00-5.30pm throughout the 2019/20 academic year specifically for this project.

The space is located immediately behind the exhibition centre, allowing people to visit the exhibition at the same time as your event. The space can seat up to 90 people theatre style, has full AV capability, and can also be set up for displays and workshops. This space is free to use for your event. We might also be able to accommodate your event at an alternative time or date within the University Library.

We want the The Rising Tide programme to run across the city so feel free to host your event within your department or College though do please check availability and suitability of the spaces before submitting this form. If you’re not sure about a suitable venue, we can help. Just leave us a note in the section below about what type of space/setup/facilities you might need.

Please contact Holly Pines ( to request a form and provide us with some details about your event, including the format (lecture, panel discussion, workshop, performance, display etc); what it aims to discuss/address/achieve; and how the event fits in with the context of the project. Who are you aiming your event at? Adults or families of the general public? Undergraduates, student groups or researchers? Let us know. Not sure but have an idea that you’d like to discuss with us? That’s fine too.

Thanks to the generosity of Cambridge Assessment, we are able to support the costs of running your event. Please provide a breakdown of any costs your event might incur; this could include providing refreshments, covering speaker fees and expenses, printing materials, the purchase of props or other sundries etc. The total amount funding is £10,000 with each event limited to £500. £7,000 is ring-fenced for student proposals.

Reviewing your proposal:
Submit your proposal by Friday 8 November 2019. It will be reviewed by the Women at Cambridge Steering Group, made up of exhibition, event and development professionals within the University Libraries, as well as representatives from the across the University including CUSU, Equality and Diversity, University Museums and Cambridge Assessment’s Women in Leadership group.

Unfortunately there is a limit to the number of events we can host and fully support. We will let you know how much we can help with your event week commencing Monday 18 November.

Depending on the steering groups’ decision the team can offer advice on how to coordinate your event, how to place orders for catering or other services, and publicity. A printed events leaflet will be produced and distributed around the University, city and wider Cambridgeshire area, and bespoke posters, website listings and social media posts will be created for each individual event. Please help spread the word of your event through your own channels where available.

If your event is not successful in receiving full support, that doesn’t mean you can’t host your event at all. Where appropriate, the team are happy to help brand your event using the project-specific logo, and can help publicise your event by sharing social media posts and links, or displaying your poster in our libraries.