The University of Georgia’s Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library will pay homage to the centennial anniversary of women’s suffrage this spring. An exhibit entitled The Strategies for Suffrage: Mobilizing a Nation for Women’s Rights opens at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries on Jan. 17.
The exhibit, curated by Sidonia Serafini, a doctoral student in UGA’s department of English in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, explores the nearly century-long story of how women secured enfranchisement and campaigned for women’s civil rights in the United States.
The beginnings of the organized women’s rights movement date back to 1848, when activists gathered for the Seneca Falls Convention in New York. Soon after, women’s rights conventions and societies cropped up across the nation to address the lack of educational, social, and economic opportunities open to women, as well as their lack of voice in politics. Activists championed their cause in meetings rooms, in the street, and on stage. Publications oriented toward female audiences increased, and centered on the question of equal rights.
The Strategies for Suffrage exhibit features newspapers, magazines, books, and pamphlets that demonstrate the ways in which women harnessed the power of print culture as an instrument of agency. Photographs, postcards, play scripts, and other memorabilia show the manner activists achieved visibility in the public sphere. The display recreates the visual culture that propelled women’s rights to the forefront of the national consciousness and lead to the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920.
The Strategies for Suffrage: Mobilizing a Nation for Women’s Rights will be on display from January 17 – July 2, 2020 in the Hargrett Library Gallery. The exhibit and connected events, many of which are scheduled to coincide with Women’s History Month in March, are generously supported by the Lucy Hargrett Draper Center and Archives for the Study of the Rights of Women in History and Law.