Helen Fraser was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, the third of ten children of Scottish parents, and grew up in Glasgow. After hearing a speech by Teresa Billington-Greig in 1906, Fraser became a devoted campaigner and organiser for women's suffrage. During the First World War she was recruited to work for the government, and in 1917-18 was sent on propaganda tours of the United States and France to promote greater understanding of the British war effort and of women in public life. She stood unsuccessfully as a National Liberal candidate in Glasgow Govan, 1922; Lanark, 1923; and Hamilton, 1924. She married in 1938 and emigrated to Australia, where she continued to lecture on feminist subjects.
The papers comprise a personal diary, 1904-1914, of Helen Fraser; a notebook containing handwritten transcriptions of family letters, 1915, to Helen Fraser; correspondence, 1911-1956, relating to journalism; handwritten notes for a speech, 1922; diary notes, 1932, on a tour of the United States; and miscellaneous family papers and photographs.