View historical and present day items chronicling women’s fight for equality and voting, provided by numerous sources including the Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield Archives, Illinois State University Special Collections, and ISU Digital Collections.
The women’s suffrage movement was built over the course of decades and included different ideologies, approaches, and tactics. As it gained momentum over the years, the movement relied on central organizing, protests, and media, but also on the actions of women all over the country who worked to further the cause. The suffrage movement depended on the changing visibility and manner in which women were viewed in a larger social context, with a focus on their careers, teaching, and social reform activities. Women increasingly demanded to be recognized as autonomous individuals whose rights and responsibilities in society necessarily meant that they should vote.
The women’s suffrage movement was a national endeavor and this exhibit examines what women’s rights organizations and women in the workforce looked like in places outside of New York and Washington. Specifically, the exhibit examines two significant aspects of the suffrage movement—the active organization and support of the cause and the ways that women were exemplifying the ideals championed by the movement through their own work and scholarship. Since the fight for fair elections goes on even today, selections also highlight the important work that continues through groups such as the League of Women Voters.
Interact with an exhibit that highlights narratives of local and national figures and events in women's history:
View a selection of materials that focuses on collection holdings at ISU: