Best Books and Digital Resources for Suffrage Anniversaries
August 13, 2020
There are hundreds of exhibits and digital programs happening across the country to commemorate this year’s voting rights anniversaries! Although the pandemic has closed most exhibits to visitors, there are still great virtual tours and other resources you can check out virtually. Here are some of our favorite national websites, documentaries, and exhibits about the history of women’s right to vote. (Click here for our Utah-specific list!)
- The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission has a great series of blog posts, the “Suff Buffs,” featuring various aspects of the women’s suffrage movement including Utah women’s early voting!
- The National Archives exhibit on suffrage history, Rightfully Hers, has gone digital to highlight documents showing the piecemeal progression of suffrage across the U.S., with steps forward and back. It includes a petition from Utah women in 1878 asking Congress not to disfranchise them.
- The Library of Congress’ suffrage exhibit, Shall Not Be Denied, breaks the women’s suffrage movement into 5 chronological chunks, Click through some of the items on display here, or check out this 30-minute exhibit preview.
- The National Women’s History Museum’s Crusade for the Vote website includes a timeline, educator resources, and short explanations of important topics in the movement for women’s voting rights.
- PBS also released the 4-hour documentary THE VOTE earlier this summer, accompanied by the fascinating interactive experience She Resisted: Strategies of Suffrage. We especially love all the colorized photos in She Resisted!
- The WSCC and National Park Service sponsored two new suffrage podcasts: check out “And Nothing Less,” hosted by Retta and Rosario Dawson, or “The Magic Sash,” a time-traveling adventure for younger listeners hosted by Aly Rasiman wherever you get podcasts.
- Finally, if you’re looking for a place to start some deeper research, we recommend the Radcliffe Suffrage School — Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library offers various scholars’ tips and insights supplemented with questions to consider.
There are also great new books out now (or soon) that introduce readers to a diverse range of women who advanced voting rights. A few of the best:
- Finish the Fight!: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right To Vote by Veronica Chambers and the staff of the New York Times is engagingly written for middle-grade readers.
- She Votes: How U.S. Women Won Suffrage, and What Happened Next by Bridget Quinn features illustrations by 100 women artists.
- Why They Marched: Untold Stories of Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote, by Susan Ware, introduces readers to different aspects of the suffrage movement by focusing on one artifact and one woman in each chapter, including one on the Woman’s Exponent and Utah suffragist Emmeline B. Wells.
- Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and insisted on Equality for All, by noted historian Martha S. Jones shares the history of Black activists who were the vanguard of women’s rights, calling on America to realize its best ideals as they fought both racism and sexism. It’ll be released in September.
- Recasting the Vote: How Women of Color Transformed the Suffrage Movement by Cathleen D. Cahill, features a diverse cadre of extraordinary women who struggled to build a movement that would truly include all women, regardless of race or national origin. Out this November.
Looking for more? Check out our reviews and discussion questions for kids’ books about women’s voting rights here!
Many thanks to historical intern Maya Brimhall for helping gather this information.