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Deeds not Words: Women and the Vote: Themed Reading Lists

Digital Exhibit on Women's Suffrage & Voting

Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission

The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC) was created by Congress to coordinate the nationwide commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which was officially signed into the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920. The amendment prohibits the United States or any state from denying the right to vote based on sex, protecting women's access to the ballot in the Constitution. Led by a bipartisan group of 14 women leaders, the WSCC has a nonpartisan mission to ensure that Americans across the country find inspiration in this important but often overlooked history.

As part of their efforts to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment, the WSCC edited a book entitled, On Their Shoulders: The Radical Stories of Women's Fight for the Vote. The final manuscript of this text is available to download for free.

Early 20th Century Texts on Women & the Vote

Pro-Suffrage Publications

Drysdale, C. V. Why Men Should Work for Women's Suffrage, the Wages and Employment Question. Birmingham: Men's League for Women's Suffrage, 1912.

Moran, Patrick Francis. The 'Tablet' on Women's Suffrage. London : National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, 1909.

Royden, A. Maude. "Votes and Wages" How Women's Suffrage Will Improve the Economic Position of WomenLondon : National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, 1912.


Anti-Suffrage Publications

Bissell, Emily P. A Talk to Women on the Suffrage Question. New York, N.Y. : New York State Association Opposed to Women Suffrage, 1909.

Foxcroft, Lily Rice. Why are Women Opposing Woman Suffrage? Boston: Women's Anti-Suffrage Association of Massachusetts, 1917.

Juvenile Books on Voting & Women's Suffrage

Voting Rights

 

Left. Marchers with signs at the March on Washington, 1963Library of Congress LC-U9- 10344-16. Right. Marchers with signs at Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, Alabama, March 15, 2015, (Sarah Hunt,Times-Gazette https://www.t-g.com/story/2175251.html).


 

Women of Color & the Right to Vote

 

Left. "Nine African American Women Gather for the Banner State Woman's National Baptist Convention." c. 1905-15. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Right. "African American Woman, Half-length Portrait,  Facing Left, Reading Book." Between 1890 and 1920.Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.


 

"How I Discovered My Grandmother . . . and the Truth About Black Women and the Suffrage Movement" by Adele Logan Alexander. Ms. Magazine, Vol. 12 no. 5, November 1983, pp. 29-37.

Work & Family

     

Left. “For Every Fighter a Woman Worker.” 1918, Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA). Arkansas State Archives. Right. Hine, Mrs. Helems, Leeds, Mass., Putting Bristles into Tooth Brushes in an Untidy Kitchen." September 1912. National Child Labor Committee Collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.


 

Women & Politics

 

Left. Allender, "The Woman's Party for 'Suffrage First--Our Hat is in the Ring." April 1916.Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Right. Leffler, "Activist Phyllis Schafly Wearing a 'Stop ERA' Badge, Demonstrating with other Women against the Equal Rights Amendment in front of the White House, Washington, D.C." February 2, 1977. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.


 

Multimedia

Podcasts

Hindsight: Looking Back at 100 Years of Women's Suffrage

A six-episode podcast series from NPR station KMUW. Historian and host Dr. Robin Henry examines the history of women's suffrage, political involvement, and social activism in the United States from the middle of the 19th century through today.

And Nothing Less Podcast with Rosario Dawson & Retta

And Nothing Less is the official podcast commemorating 100 years of the 19th Amendment and women's constitutional right to vote. Hosts Rosario Dawson and Retta guide us through this seven-part series, bringing us the stories we didn’t learn in our history books.

She Votes! Our Battle for the Ballot 

She Votes! digs into the complex history of the women’s suffrage movement and its enduring significance, hosted by award-winning journalists Ellen Goodman and Lynn Sherr.

Our Women's Suffrage Podcast Series presented by Kirsty Wark

Presented by journalist and broadcaster Kirsty Wark, this UK National Trust sponsored podcast series visits places most closely associated with figures in the suffrage movement. The campaign led to some British women being granted the right to vote, a right they had previously been denied. 

The Magic Sash

Gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman hosts our journey back in time to discover the suffrage story. This seven-part children’s podcast is from the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, the National Park Service, TRAX from PRX, and Gen-Z Media.

Blogs

The Suff Buffs

The women’s suffrage movement is filled with extraordinary, dramatic, inspiring, complex, and too-little-known stories. We are bringing a collection of those stories to you through the WSCC’s blog series of not so average herstory, The Suff Buffs.

Counting Down with #19Suffrage Stories: 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

To mark the centennial of the 19th Amendment, the Library of Congress, Smithsonian and National Archives are collaborating to bring these stories to you on social media. From today until August 26, you can follow weekday posts to learn voting-rights history drawn from all three institutions’ collections. You can also use our set of animated social media GIFs and Instagram stickers on your social media posts to mark the centennial.

Follow these accounts on social media to experience #19SuffrageStories:

Women’s Voting Rights Turn 100; ProQuest Launches Open-Access Suffrage Collection

Blogpost by Thomas Dublin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the State University of New York at Binghamton on "New Database Shows That Black Women Activists Were Central to Passage of the 19th Amendment."

Women's Suffrage on the Jewish Women's Archive

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment and a pivotal election year in the United States. In a monthly blog series for JWA, writers will meditate on the women's suffrage movement and voting rights today. Check back each month for new essays and interviews, and head to JWA's suffrage hub for more content.

Celebrate Women’s Suffrage, but Don't Whitewash the Movement's Racism

A blog post from Tammy L. Brown, Associate Professor of Black World Studies, History, and Global and Intercultural Studies, Miami University for ACLU.org.

Musicals

19: The Musical

19: The Musical, tells the story of Alice Paul, Ida B. Wells, Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, Inez Milholland and the suffragists who fought to get women the right to vote—the 19th Amendment. Join the writers of the book and lyrics, Jennifer Schwed and Doug Bradshaw for a discussion and video presentation of past performances.