Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > Votes for Women -Suffrage Pictures

[Detail] Woman suffrage headquarters in Upper Euclid Avenue.

Chronological Thinking

The collection is useful for tracing the chronological development of the woman suffrage movement. Students can find pictures and images of people and events which lead to the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, originally proposed as the Sixteenth Amendment in 1878. Students can relate the collection contents to a timeline of women's rights.

Using Timeline: One Hundred Years Toward Suffrage on the collection home page, students will find a listing of events in the fight for woman suffrage. These events range from Abigail Adams' letter to her husband in 1776 asking the writers of the Declaration of Independence to "remember the ladies," to 1923, when the Equal Rights Amendment was first proposed. Students can find examples from the collection that illustrate events on the timeline.

Lucy Stone

Lucy Stone, ca. 1840 - 1860.

Anna Howard Shaw

Anna Howard Shaw, ca. April 3, 1920.

Students can also browse through the 20 portraits in the collection and use visual clues to determine when the photographs were taken in relation to one another. The quality, type, and setting of the photograph in addition to the women's style of fashion all suggest an era in which the image was created.

Search on the subject term portrait photograph to a retrieve a list of these twenty photographs.

2) Historical Comprehension

Florence F. Noyes as Liberty in suffrage pageant

Florence F. Noyes as "Liberty" in suffrage pageant in front of the Treasury Building, Washington, D.C., March, 1913.

A major objective of suffrage events in the 20th century was to gain publicity. Sometimes these events were intentionally flamboyant to attract the press and, thereby, get coverage for the issues.

Students can search on parades, pageants, and demonstrations to see what steps the suffragists took to attract attention.

3) Historical Analysis and Interpretation

Election Day!

Election Day!, ca. 1909.

"Votes For Women" Suffrage Pictures, 1850-1920 chronicles the life of a political cause, that of woman suffrage. There are extensive images of women in the act of struggling for women's rights. The images of anti-suffrage movements are more limited.

Search on speaker, vote, anti-suffrage and cartoon to see how women worked to gain their rights and those who opposed their efforts.

4) Historical Research Capabilities

This collection, while extensive in its coverage of suffrage, is limited in its coverage in anti-suffrage movements. Students can conduct research to identify the gaps in the available record, and then elaborate imaginatively to construct a sound historical interpretation.

5) Historical Issue Analysis

For experience in issue analysis, students might reconstruct opposing positions for debates. Suffragists also prepared for debate by reviewing arguments of both pro- and anti-vote activists and practicing speeches before an audience. Once students have written out their arguments, they can re-enact a debate concerning suffrage or other women's issues of the day.

Search on public speaking to see where suffragists spoke out for their rights.