CONTACT: Becky Fischbach, Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries (650) 725-1020; Tomas Jaehn, (650) 725-1052
"Votes for women" exhibition opens Dec. 1
The history of the American women's suffrage movement will be celebrated in a traveling exhibition opening on Dec. 1 and continuing through Jan. 21, 1998, in the lobby of the Cecil H. Green Library. "Votes for Women Unfinished Business" showcases reproductions of letters, photographs, posters, advertisements, artifacts and memorabilia from the women's suffrage campaign. The exhibition, which has made a tour of eleven public and university libraries throughout the state of California, is made possible through the generosity of Helen and Peter Bing.
Originally mounted in 1995 at the Huntington Library in San Marino, the exhibit commemorates the 75th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The items on display are drawn almost entirely from the Huntington's rich holdings in the area of U.S. women's history.
The exhibit's focus is on the three-quarters of a century between women's earliest demands for political equality in 1848 and the ratification of the 19th Amendment on Aug. 26, 1920. Several themes are highlighted: the magnitude of the opposition, the endurance and determination of the women's suffrage activists, the vitality and originality of their methods of rousing support and perhaps most interesting to Californians the importance of the West, especially California, to the history of votes for women.
Among the exhibit's highlights are a speech on women's rights by Susan B. Anthony, delivered in New York in 1854; correspondence between Anthony and other suffrage leaders, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton; a leaflet distributed to working-class union members in an effort to win the support of organized labor; examples of creative advertising products, such as postcards and flower seed packets, aimed at getting the suffrage message into as many households as possible; and commercial advertisements that borrowed the suffrage theme in an attempt to sell cereal, crackers and other products to women consumers.
In addition, materials from Stanford University Libraries collections, including manuscript letters from Susan B. Anthony to Jane Lathrop Stanford, pamphlets presenting arguments for and against suffrage for women, and literature of the temperance movement are included in the exhibition at Stanford.
In conjunction with "Votes for Women Unfinished Business," the Stanford University Libraries will offer a series of free public programs on the Stanford campus:
Estelle Freedman, professor of history, Stanford University
Melissa Stevenson, performer and creator
Karen Offen, historian and senior scholar, Institute for Research on Women and Gender
Wang Zheng, historian and affiliated scholar, Institute for Research on Women and Gender
For exhibition information, contact Becky Fischbach at (650) 725-1020.
For events information, contact Tomas Jaehn at (650) 725-1052.
By Becky Fischbach