, , , ,

Come see the traveling exhibit, Recognizing Women’s Right to Vote in New York State at the Steele Memorial Library from May 9–May 25, 2018!  Visit the accompanying online exhibit from NY Heritage HERE.


Description: Women suffragists picketing in front of the White house. The first picket line – College day in the picket line line, 1917
Source: http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/amer%5Fpol%5Fhist/fi/00000126.jpg / Library of Congress reproduction # LC-USZ62-31799
Author: unknown
Date: 1917
Permission: PD-US

New York State is celebrating the centennial of women gaining the right to vote in New York State on November 6, 1917—three years before the 19th Amendment was passed and women throughout the United States gained the right to vote.  The South Central Regional Library Council and the Empire State Library Network has developed an exhibit, “Recognizing Women’s Right to Vote in New York State.” This exhibit looks beyond the traditional Women’s Suffrage narrative and explores the history behind the movement that made New York State such an important place in the fight for Women’s Suffrage.

Each exhibit includes five poster/panels, showing a different theme:

Woman Suffrage before 1848 – Explores voting in New York State before the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, including in the colonies and among the Haudenosaunee people.

Women’s Rights Activity up to 1848 and the Seneca Falls and Rochester Conventions – Women and men organized to restore the right to vote to women, among other rights.

Pop Culture Suffrage – Suffragists displayed brilliance when it came to promoting their cause, and packaged their message in consumer goods, created songs and theater performances, formed parades and processions, and traveled through rural areas, knocking on doors.

Anti-Suffrage – Most women and men believed that equality for women would lead to the destruction of the state. The Anti-suffrage movement engaged in public debates, created publicity materials to counter those of the suffragists, and argued that support for Women’s Suffrage was unpatriotic, especially during World War I.

Race and Diversity – The early Women’s Suffrage movement embraced women of all races, but overt racism in the later years led some suffragists to argue for the inclusion of all races winning the right to vote—including those effectively denied their voting rights.

A more detailed, companion online exhibit will be available at New York Heritage in Spring 2018 at nyheritage.org.

We hope to see you at the Steele Memorial Library in May. Thank you for using your local library!


Suffragists march in October 1917, displaying placards containing the signatures of over one million New York women demanding to vote.  Date October 1917 Source The New York Times photo archive. Author Unknown. wikidata:Q4233718