National Museum of Roller Derby


The National Museum of Roller Derby (NMRD) was founded in 2012 by artist Ellie Harrison as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of Glasgow Women's Library, for which the library commissioned twenty of Scotland's foremost women artists to make new work in response to their collection.

The idea for the NMRD began to develop after Ellie began her 'newbie' training with Glasgow Roller Derby in January 2012. She was instantly struck by the similarities between the energy, attitude and grassroots organisational structure of Women's Flat Track Roller Derby, and that of the Women's Liberation Movement of the 1970s, which she was reading about in the library and, without which, young women today would still not have equal access to education, opportunity, equal pay or free access to contraception.

In order to create a permanent link between these vital aspects of our shared history (archived within the library) and the courageous, dynamic and inspiring young women who are making history right now on roller skates all over the country, Ellie decided to set up the UK's first permanent collection of Roller Derby ephemera and memorabilia.

The National Museum of Roller Derby would be, from this day forth, safely housed and maintained within Glasgow Women's Library (an accredited museum), so that the 'bout books', comics, posters, stickers, merchandise and more - being made by and featuring our country's finest Roller Derby girls - could be preserved and publically accessible to all forever in order to inspire and empower future generations of young women about just what is possible when we work together.

On 14 June 2012 the National Museum of Roller Derby project was officially inaugurated at a special event at Glasgow Women’s Library. This film documents the speech given by Ellie Harrison explaining the ideas and ethos behind the museum followed by the cutting of the red tape by Mistress Malicious - the co-founder of Glasgow Roller Girls.


The "National Museum of Roller Derby" logo is based on an original design by Josie Evans created for Glasgow Women's Library in 2002 for their 'Lifelong Learning Project'. It depicts Athena - the Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration and strength. The now disused image was rediscovered and reworked by Ellie Harrison to include the famous star worn by the 'jammer' in the Roller Derby team.