About This Exhibit
“Hurrah for the suffrage victories! The past week has been so full of big glorious news--as to leave one fairly breathless.”– The Woman Citizen, November 16, 1918
When we set out to create an exhibit commemorating one hundred years of women’s suffrage in the United States, our plan was to display Library artifacts and other ephemera in physical exhibit cases in the UC Berkeley Library. With COVID-19 and shelter-in-place directives, we had to shift gears. We pivoted to a virtual environment and decided to create an online-only exhibit using materials available through resources like the Digital Collections of the Library of Congress and HathiTrust; HathiTrust is a not-for-profit collaboration of research libraries throughout North American that has made available millions of volumes of digitized materials.
And we chose to look at the fight for women’s suffrage through the lens of one publication, The Woman Citizen. We looked at issues from 1917, when it began publishing, through 1921, the year following the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment. To provide further visual context, we have included public domain images available through the Library of Congress or the Online Archive of California.
In this exhibit we have provided brief textual context. To write our descriptions, we consulted various sources, including government sources (U.S. Constitution), general and subject encyclopedias (Wikipedia, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History) as well as books (Selling Suffrage: Consumer Culture and Votes for Women, Suffrage: The Epic Struggle for Women’s Right to Vote, Victory: How Women Won It, Women’s Periodicals in the United States: Social and Political Issues) and articles (scholarly and otherwise):
Alpern, Sara, and Dale Baum. 1985. "Female Ballots: The Impact of the Nineteenth Amendment." The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 16 (1): 43–67. https://doi.org/10.2307/204321.
Campbell, Karlyn Kohrs. 1983. "Femininity and Feminism: To Be or Not to Be a Woman." Communication Quarterly 31 (2): 101–8. https://doi.org/10.1080/01463378309369493.
Jones, Martha S. 2020. "The US Suffragette Movement Tried to Leave out Black Women. They Showed up Anyway." The Guardian, July 7, 2020, sec. US News. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/07/us-suffragette-movement-black-women-19th-amendment.
Lumsden, Linda. 1999. "Excellent Ammunition’: Suffrage Newspaper Strategies During World War I." Journalism History 25 (2): 53–63. https://doi.org/10.1080/00947679.1999.12062511.
Ramsey, E. Michele. 2000. "Inventing Citizens during World War I: Suffrage Cartoons in The Woman Citizen." Western Journal of Communication 64 (2): 113–47. https://doi.org/10.1080/10570310009374668.