The Library of Congress holds materials relating to the woman suffrage campaign in many of its divisions and reading rooms. The listings below are meant to be suggestive of some of the resources available. As this "By Popular Demand" by necessity offers only a selection of images, the Prints and Photographs Division's broader holdings relating to woman suffrage are summarized here, with an eye to indicating strengths and weaknesses in the collections. Materials available in American Memory are noted, as are some Web sites beyond the Library of Congress that may be useful for the study of woman suffrage.
The George Grantham Bain Collection of news photographs includes a substantial number of photographs of suffrage marches and leaders (LOT 11051 and P&P Biographical File). Images of suffrage leaders and activities can also be found in materials transferred from the Library of Congress Manuscript Division's League of Women Voters Records (LOTs 5539-5546) and in the National Photo Company news photographs (LOT 12351-10 and LOT 12362). Images of women leaders, including many who campaigned for suffrage, can be found in the May Wright Sewall Collection (LOT 2640 and Biographical File). Frances Benjamin Johnston, who was an advocate for women in the field of photography, made photographs of Susan B. Anthony that were used for a suffrage calendar. She also photographed reformers Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Ida Tarbell and other women active in society and the professions (LOT 11735). Johnston's coverage of women workers at the turn of the century is also notable (miscellaneous LOTs). Images donated by the National Women's Trade Union League include many group portraits of women attending meetings and other functions dedicated to fighting for women's rights as workers and as women. Cartoons relating to women's suffrage can be found in the Prints and Photographs Division's cartoon collections and in illustrated periodicals such as Puck, which featured an entire issue devoted to woman suffrage (volume 77, Feb. 20, 1915). (Note: original volumes of illustrated periodicals held by the Prints and Photographs Division are not generally served; researchers are requested to consult microfilm copies of the periodicals prior to requesting photographic copies from the originals.) Despite the concerted publicity effort suffragists mounted, the only suffrage related poster that has so far come into Prints and Photographs Division holdings is one used in the British woman suffrage campaign. But numerous other images relating to the woman suffrage campaign can be found by using the Division's card indexes and browsing files.
The National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection consists of books, pamphlets, and other artifacts documenting the suffrage campaign, including illustrations, ephemera, and cartoons relating to the movement. Supplementary information includes a select bibliography of general sources relating to women's suffrage.
The Variety Stage materials include many playscripts from the late 19th and early 20th centuries that comment on gender roles and the campaign for women's rights (found by searching terms such as "women's rights," "women--suffrage," and "feminism").
The Murray African-American Pamphlets include an address delivered by Mary Church Terrell before the National American Women's Suffrage Association and the minutes of the second convention of the National Association of Colored Women, which was active in the suffrage movement.
Scattered images relating to women's suffrage and suffragists can be found in three photograph collections. The Daguerreotype Collection includes a portrait of Lucy Stone and one of Abigail Adams (whose famous admonition to her husband to "remember the ladies" signalled a concern for women's roles early in the life of the nation). The Detroit Publishing Company Collection includes two images that can be found by searching the term "women's suffrage"--one taken in Tokyo, Japan, serves as a reminder that the campaign was waged internationally. The Detroit Publishing Company collection also includes images of women workers and women's education--public activities that both prepared women and provided the justification for participation in choosing elected representatives and influencing legislation. The Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies includes an image of activist Sojourner Truth with President Lincoln. A group portrait of women attending a 1919 woman suffrage meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, appears in the Panoramic Photographs.
Manuscript material documenting the history of the women's rights discussions will be available in "Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division's First One Hundred Years": A letter from Elizabeth Blackwell to Baroness Anne Isabella Milbanke Byron concerning women's rights and education (4 March 1851); a draft of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's The Woman's Bible (ca. 1895); and a letter from Susan B. Anthony to Adelaide Johnson discussing Johnson's sculpture memorializing prominent suffragists (8 February 1896)--a photograph of the statue appears in this collection.
The Learning Page offers resources and tips for learning more about woman suffrage and collections related to it.
(NOTE: These links are provided as a convenience and for information purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or approval by the Library of Congress of any of the products, services or opinions of the agency, organization, corporation, or individual. The Library of Congress bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.)
Duke University -- A "pathfinder" lists resources that would be available in many libraries for the study of the women's suffrage movement, as well as Duke's own manuscript holdings relevant to this topic.
Schlesinger Library (Radcliffe University) -- Guide to the library's microfilmed holdings relating to women's suffrage (published by University Publications of America). It features a substantive essay by Professor Anne Firor Scott of Duke University on the many research questions that remain unanswered in this subject area
University of Rochester -- A substantial time line and bibliography and some images relating to women's suffrage.
PBS -- Historical background on the suffrage movement.
Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, Indiana University, Indianapolis -- A list of their holdings of women's suffrage broadsides and pamphlets.
"Votes for Women" Home PageMay-23-2008