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White Paper: Women Winning The Vote: Politics, Publications and Protests

Download Women Winning The Vote: Politics, Publications and ProtestsSo frequently, what might be seen as a relatively minor event becomes the pivot point in shifting the course of history. Mary Grew, an abolitionist and Quaker activist from Pennsylvania, was present at a June breakfast meeting between well-known Philadelphia abolitionist Lucretia Mott and Joseph Sturge, a British abolitionist and organizer of the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. The year was 1840. Mary Grew had accompanied her father, Henry Grew, a designated committee chair and delegate to the event being hosted by the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. As would be reported in The Liberator later in the year:

 “When the committee just mentioned discovered that you had thought proper to appoint female delegates, (two of whom, Lucretia Mott and Sarah Pugh, were in attendance, and claimed an equal right with their brother delegates, to sit in the conference,) they sat in judgment upon your appointment , and decided that you had sent some representatives whom they could not recognize.”  [The Liberator, December 11, 1840.]

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Inside the Archives

Inside the Archives – Winter 2020 – Volume IX Number 1

Winter 2020
Volume IX. Number 1.

Happy 2020!

Pressure Brought to Bear: Passage of the Nineteenth Amendment as a Strategic Effort

Jill O'NeillThe Nineteenth Amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required decades of agitation and protest. Beginning in the 1800s, women organized, petitioned, and picketed to win the right to vote. Suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many considered a radical change of the Constitution.  We have asked our guest writer Jill O’Neil to craft a narrative utilizing content from Accessible Archives’ American County Histories, Women’s Suffrage Collection and Frank Leslie’s Weekly. We’re sure you will find this article both inciteful and informative.

_________________

Where early Nineteenth Century advocates of women’s suffrage Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton led the campaign for enfranchisement of women, successful passage of the Nineteenth Amendment and final ratification occurred in the twentieth century.

The final achievement of full suffrage in 1920 is attributable to the efforts of women whose names are perhaps less immediately recognizable. Anna Howard Shaw, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Alice Paul adopted approaches that periodically clashed but when combined resulted in the vote for women during a period of economic pressure and world conflict.

Which Approach Wins the Vote?

Carrie Chapman CattThere were two distinct approaches used to drive the campaign of Women’s Suffrage and ultimately, the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. Led by Anna Howard Shaw and Carrie Chapman Catt, the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) placed tremendous emphasis on winning campaigns for the right to vote at the individual state level. As just one example as documented by a history of New York’s Chautauqua County, Anna Howard Shaw visited that county on multiple occasions:

  • In August of 1892, a debate regarding the question of women’s right to vote, featuring Anna Howard Shaw and J.T.
  • Anna Howard ShawBuckley, was on the program of the Chatauqua Institution.
  • In 1903, Anna H. Shaw, President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association again appeared, “delivering a masterly address on “Suffrage, the Basis of a True Republic.”. The country history credits Martha Tiffany Henderson as “the moving spirit in organizing the first club for the crystallization of the woman suffrage sentiment in Chatauqua county” and wielding her influence for the cause across the state.
  • During the Amendment campaign of 1917, Rev. Anna Shaw again appears as influencing voters in New York. “The cause of political equality was won, New York State adopting the amendment to her own constitution, Chautauqua county out of 9,258 votes cast, giving a majority for the amendment of 3,583.”

Making the Issue Visible

Alice PaulHowever, by 1911, only six of the 48 states in the Union had passed state legislation allowing women to vote.  Frustrated by the slow process seen in that approach, Quaker suffragist, Alice Paul, whose own mother had been a member of the NAWSA, adopted a more radical approach. In 1913, to emphasize the importance of there being a constitutional amendment to ensure the right of women to vote, Paul organized a spectacular parade in competition with the inauguration ceremony for incoming President Woodrow Wilson.

Despite opposition from the District of Columbia police department, roughly 8,000 to 10,000 women marched. Contemporary photographs of the parade show floats and bands with a closing set of tableaux to be performed in front of Memorial Continental Hall (just two blocks from the White House).  Anna H. Shaw was present as well, in her role as leader of the NAWSA.

Appalled by the spectacle as well as the scattered instances of violence that broke out, opponents of the suffrage movement spoke out against the event. Appearing in The Remonstrance, a statement reads:

“For 125 years, the inauguration of a President of the United States had been conducted without any attempt to use that event for the furtherance of political propaganda. It remained for women who promise by their votes to show a more excellent way in government, to convert a time of serious dignity into spectacular parades. It was as a protest against this method of procedure that the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage established itself at Washington to direct public attention to some of the arguments against the enfranchisement of woman.”

The political impact of the suffrage parade and pageant suggested to Paul and her fellow organizers that more attention might be given to a federal amendment ensuring the right of women to vote. Pushing for lobbying efforts at the federal level, Alice Paul and her fellow organizers met with the leadership of NAWSA. Anna Howard Shaw had stepped down from the NAWSA in 1915, but Carrie Chapman Catt had been elected President of the organization in her stead. The Congressional Union, supported in spirit by the NAWSA but not with its financial support, was formed in April of 1913. Within a year, the women working in the Congressional Union had proven to be highly effective in driving political awareness in both House and Senate of the potential strength of women voting as a bloc. However, because their national strategy was diverting money and support from the state legislative approach, NAWSA leadership became increasingly disenchanted with Paul and her team. Forced to separate from the more established parent organization, the Congressional Union began the process of becoming a far more radical organization, one that would ultimately become the National Woman’s Party.

Because of the competing strategies in use by NAWSA and the Congressional Union, the progress of and momentum for a federal amendment slowed dramatically.

President Wilson and the Democratic Party were chiefly concerned with economic issues facing the country and being dragged into the European war. Wilson had also just lost his wife of 29 years. Furthering the enfranchisement of women was not now nor likely had it ever been a high priority for the 28th President.

From the perspective of Alice Paul and the Congressional Union, the wisest course in 1915 was to send a message to members of Congress who had failed to support the cause of suffrage. Her statement to the press read “The individual stand taken by any Senator or Representative, or any candidate for that office, does not affect our attitude in this contest. We are going to make it plain that it is political suicide for any party to ignore our demands or oppose the cause. We think we will make such a conclusive showing in the nine suffrage states that no party after that will oppose us.”  The effectiveness of her approach was significant; in an initial presentation of the bill, the House passed the Susan B. Anthony Amendment by a margin of 174 votes. Such evidence of support positioned the issue prominently for the next presidential election, due to be held in 1916.

Picketing at the White House

There were only a very few states at this point that extended full suffrage to women, allowing them to vote in Presidential elections. How much those few impacted the outcome of the election is unclear, but Frank Leslie’s Weekly covered the election outcome this way:

“The campaign was remarkably quiet; the vote was large—16,726,500. Until the close of the polls both national committees were claiming everything, and both were fearful of the result. Hughes, failing in election, was 400,000 behind in the popular vote. The East was for him, the South and the West for Wilson. So great was the defection from Republican principles in the West that even Utah, one of the two States carried for Taft four years ago, went for Wilson. At this writing it is difficult to say what effect the enfranchisement of women had on the result. Illinois, where women voted for a president for the first time, gave Hughes a substantial majority. In other states farther west, notably Kansas, it is said that thousands of wives of Republicans voted for Wilson on the ground that he has “kept us out of war,” and critics of woman suffrage see in this a confirmation of the plea that the extension of suffrage to women will intensify the effect of sentimentalism in elections, and that women are unfit to exercise the franchise because they have too keen a sense of personal benefit and too little collective spirit.”

Picketing at the White House

Fearful that winning a second term would allow Woodrow Wilson to again downplay the need to support and work for women’s suffrage as World War I raged on in Europe, Alice Paul adopted a more dramatic form of public protest. Amid protests that such behavior was inappropriate, unpatriotic, and an international embarrassment to the administration, members of the National Woman’s Party began to publicly picket the White House to draw attention to the voting issue.

Anti-suffrage publication The Remonstrance, chastised those picketing in 1917:

“Picketing hurts, not because only a dozen women are doing it, while millions are performing patriotic service; picketing hurts because it puts an emphasis on the stubborn desire of woman for political rights at a time when many people are struggling with might and main to preserve from demolition political rights won by previous centuries of toil.”

Later in the year, The Remonstrance revisited the activity again: APROPOS of the National Woman’s Party picketing of the White House, The Boston Herald of May 26th very justly said:

“The opponents of woman suffrage have not in many a day found such substantial evidence of the unfitness of some women for the ballot as in the presence, in this time of war and violence and disorder, of a group of feminine stimulators of disorder ceaselessly picketing the gates of the White House. That is perfectly true. As an object lesson of suffrage aims and methods, of the recklessness of suffrage leaders, and of the drift toward lawlessness of the present suffrage movement, the White House picketers are an invaluable aid to the anti-suffrage cause.”

As it happened, in a more subdued fashion, Carrie Chapman Catt, President of the NAWSA, was continuing to press equally hard on achieving suffrage at the individual state level. Her approach won greater sympathy and support from President Wilson, who welcomed Catt to private meetings in the White House. Wilson was hoping that if suffrage was passed by individual state legislatures, those successes would relieve pressure on him and allow Congress to focus on national concerns he felt were of higher priority. But success with state legislatures remained limited; only about a dozen states had granted women the vote.

Catt was maintaining a delicate balance in her pursuit of success. In 1917, with the resources from a 1.7 million dollar bequest by Mrs. Frank Leslie (born Miriam Florence Folen) to Catt and the NAWSA, she organized a “Woman’s Parade” that allowed the substantive role of women in public roles to be made visible without appearing to undermine President Wilson. The monies left for Catt and the NAWSA allowed Catt to expand her “Winning Plan” to engage in lobbying efforts on both the state and federal levels. Her support of Wilson and the Democratic Party in the election of 1916 had been instrumental in electing a majority of Democratic candidates to both House and Senate.

Suffrage MapBut for the suffrage movement to be successful, external pressure through the strategic use of picketing needed to continue. Alice Paul’s picketers were no longer treated as a relatively mild nuisance to the president. Instead, facing an entirely unsympathetic judge, the women were arrested and sentenced to confinement in the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia. Conditions were deemed to be inappropriate for refined ladies, arousing public ire against Wilson who thought to extricate himself by issuing pardons to those ladies. Over the course of the second half of 1917, there began a cycle of picketing and arrests. With the intent of deepening pressure on the government, the women confined to Occoquan Workhouse and other jails launched a series of hunger strikes and public opinion became further aroused against Wilson. Because of this on-going campaign of pressure, with the dawning of 1918, the tide began to turn.

In January of 1918, the U.S. House of Representatives began debate on the Susan B. Anthony Amendment. The vote was a clear victory; 274 votes in favor of the amendment with 136 against. The legislation was sent to the Senate which scheduled a debate for June of that year. Both Carrie Chapman Catt and Alice Paul were aware that the opposition was stronger in this body and indeed, a filibuster on the floor of the Senate prevented the debate from opening.

Again, Alice Paul’s National Woman’s Party took to the streets, even as the organization kept meticulous notes on all of the Senators, their support for women’s suffrage or lack, and any element of their lives that might be leveraged to move their vote. Picketing at the White House (which had been temporarily suspended during the House voting process) was revived and mass demonstrations with some urban rioting began.

World War I ended in November of 1918. In a special address before Congress, Woodrow Wilson spoke before Congress and expressed support for legislation that would extend voting rights to women. However, it made clear that this was still not his chief priority as immediately he left for Europe with the intent of building support for his proposed League of Nations. The women were again left on their own to drive support for the Amendment. A vote in the Senate failed in February of 1919, but another vote held early in June pushed the Amendment to final approval, 66-33.

It was now the summer of 1919 and both Catt and Paul wanted to maintain the momentum needed to ensure a rapid process of ratification by three-quarters of the States currently in the Union. Thirty-six states had to vote in their state legislatures to accept the proposed Nineteenth Amendment if that success were to be achieved. Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Kansas, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Texas, Montana, Nebraska, Minnesota and New Hampshire had all agreed to the ratification by the end of September, while efforts in Georgia and Alabama had failed. By the end of December in 1919, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota and Colorado had also voted to accept the Amendment. The most readily obtained votes to accept had been gathered in. Eleven more states would ratify the amendment in the first half of 1920, but the legislatures of South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland all rejected passage. Lobbying became raucously intensive in persuading six more states to ratify, but at the last and most unexpectedly, it was the State of Tennessee that finalized ratification. It was done.

Not surprisingly, Frank Leslie’s Weekly reported on that final success, applauding the work of forty years or more of women like Catt and Paul, noting in its July issue:

“It is interesting to glance at some of the women successors of Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton who finished the work in Congress which the two famous pioneers began so many years ago. First and foremost is Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, head of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance. For years she had worked faithfully for the suffrage amendment, during which time she developed into a wonderful executive and a clever politician. When the amendment finally passed the House, Mrs. Catt was sitting in the gallery with folded arms and tense countenance. It was the big event in her life, yet her sole remark was, “Well, the women of the United States will now vote for President in 1920.”

Coming Soon - The Women's Tribune

Accessible Archives Honors the Centennial!

Accessible Archives Honors the Centennial

The 19th Amendment

To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, Accessible Archives is pleased to announce the release of two new products in our Women’s Suffrage Collection: The 19th Amendment Victory: A Newspaper History, 1762-1922 and The 19th Amendment Victory: Books, 1812-1923. These new products provide essential content on the Women’s Rights Movement, the march to full suffrage, public debates and commentary, and the individuals responsible for the success of women’s fight to vote!

Contact us today for more information and pre-publication pricing!

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  • Angie Thompson, Cataloging Assistant, Liberty University ─ “I really appreciate your quick response and timely resolution. I deal with a lot of our electronic content vendors when problems arise, and your team’s support is head and shoulders above the rest!”

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Inside the Archives – Summer 2019 – Volume VIII Number 2

Summer 2019
Volume VIII. Number 2.

Text Mining in the Humanities: What’s a Library to Do?

So, are your humanists asking you for text mining support yet?
Some Humanities scholars have been engaged with these activities for many, many years now, but more and more seem to be getting involved as interest grows and tools become more user-friendly. Libraries increasingly face questions of how to appropriately support text mining activities. Here is a primer and pragmatic advice for those who are considering just how to do this.
Darby Orcutt

Darby Orcutt

First off, what is text mining? Generally, the term is used to refer to a host of computational research practices where a computer “reads” texts at scale and uses algorithms (or artificial intelligence) to quantify or classify texts or their elements. Text mining results can expose linguistic or semantic features, recurrent correlations, and complex patterns across a large corpus. Patterns that a highly observant human scholar might recognize only after a lifetime of reading within their field – or never even notice at all – might be discovered by means of text mining within mere seconds.

Most librarians associate text mining primarily with the digital humanities, but text mining has been an established part of science and social science fields for a very long time. It has perhaps come to the awareness of most academic librarians because humanist scholars have started asking their libraries for help in ways that their more technologically- and quantitatively versed users may not have. In addition, as perhaps disproportionately heavy users of library resources, humanists naturally look to their library as a primary means of discovering information content, accessing it, and for help in using it.

If you see these activities – discovering, accessing, and supporting the use of information – as mission-critical for academic libraries (and I hope you do!), then you’re probably already involved in or at least planning for how to best provide these to humanists around text mining. As with all areas, an institution needs to figure out what its user base is for the service at hand. Text mining currently represents a new interest for many scholars, who may need very basic support, but ranges all the way up to the highly knowledgeable and technically skilled (or humanists who partner with technical experts). When assessing your campus’s needs around text mining, understand that those who are approaching the libraries for help may represent only the more novice portion of your researchers who are engaged in text mining, and that you may need to seek out those who could benefit most from much of what you could offer.

Access

Access to content for text mining is perhaps the most fundamental – and most difficult – aspect of library support for text mining. While we provide all of this wonderful content (databases, ebooks, electronic archives, and more), all of our collections have been built historically for human readers. For computers to “read” our electronic resources means that they have to be able to download (or at least somehow obtain) very large amounts of content, something that might not only overtax the servers of the content provider, but almost certainly violates traditional electronic resource contracts, which of course were designed with human readers in mind.

Fortunately, excellent historical, literary, and cultural content for many eras and geographies can be found, particularly covering works that are no longer in copyright. Quite a few Open Access (OA) resources offer content through APIs (special online interfaces by which data can be easily downloaded en masse) or can be readily “scraped” by researchers (“web scraping” is the technical process of automatically pulling data off of a web site and creating a structured data set from it). One of the more popular OA resources that provides ready data access to strong humanities content is the Making of America (MOA) project, which was a collaboration between the University of Michigan and Cornell University, originally funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 1995 (https://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moagrp/index.html).

Accessible Archives data

In terms of licensed and proprietary content, it has become much more common in recent years for vendors to offer data access, although this is still not a standard contract term for most and so should be pursued by libraries whenever licensing new resources, as well as by seeking addenda on existing resource contracts. The time to ensure access to your collections for text mining purposes is prior to the need, as these licensing processes can take some time, even when the parties readily agree to business terms. For digital collections that are owned (perpetual access) by the library, then some reasonable means of data access for purposes of computational research should be included; libraries should avoid investing in content whose use is contractually limited to non-computational readership. For leased collections, the marketplace has not yet fully settled on one model, for the very pragmatic reason that it’s not necessarily reasonable for a text mining project (which may last for many years) to continue to use robust data sets beyond the period of leased access.

Accessible Archives was one of the first commercial vendors of historical archives to offer equal access for text mining as for human readers for perpetual access content. A data mining addendum is included in their standard license agreement. In addition, as Accessible Archives prides itself on the high quality of its TEI Lite XML and rekeyed content at 98% quality or better, their collections more easily suit the technical needs of many especially mid-range humanities researchers. High-end data science researchers can handle content in virtually any way that they can get it, although well-structured metadata is usually preferred. Technically less sophisticated researchers (which are the vast majority of humanist text miners) generally require fairly well-structured metadata to accomplish their work.

Discovery

Researchers who engage in text mining often have great difficulty in finding accessible data sets. Even libraries that have worked to make such accessible for their researchers do not yet represent them well   – in part, because as a research library community, the frequently thorny issues of discovery have not yet been adequately addressed in any standardized fashion. At present, discovery that data access is available for resources largely happens outside of library catalogs and usually only via lists on library web sites of resources that can be mined by authorized users. This effectively means that researchers must look for resources first within the silo of the type of research they wish to do (text mining) and only then based on the nature (subject, period, genre) of the content itself. Clearly representing the means of accessing data sets also proves challenging, as these are quite diverse, ranging from APIs to mediated vendor requests via librarians to even local library storage on hard drives. In an ideal environment, libraries would readily offer samples of the data set as well so that researchers can make sure that they have the capacity to deal with any particularities of its formatting. Lastly, the provenance and history of the data set (if even known by its owner) may be vital to a given researcher, especially as metadata practices may have changed during the course of its digital production, particularly for resources that were created or revised over a longer period of time. Believe it or not, these are only some of the aspects of a data set that may be crucial to a researcher in finding an appropriate corpus to mine.

Services

Providing appropriate services in support of text mining activities is similarly challenging, and should be very context-driven, reflecting the user needs, mission, priorities, and capacity of the individual library. For high-end researchers, simple access and discovery support may be adequate, as they already have the tools, expertise, and support structures to conduct their research. Yet, the majority of our text mining users (and the fastest growing demographic) fall somewhere in the range between novice and knowledgeable non-expert. Scaling support services to this community on your campus requires knowing that community and recognizing that its needs may change rapidly.

Will your library support text mining tools? Many strong Open Source tools exist to which you may refer users; one of the most venerable sets of textual analysis tools is MALLET (MAchine Learning for LanguagE Toolkit), produced by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and freely available online at http://mallet.cs.umass.edu/.

Many more or less “out-of-the-box” applications satisfy the needs of novice or occasional textual analysts, and easy web searches reveal the most popular tools that other libraries recommend and promote to their users, obviating the need for your library to wholly reinvent this wheel. For more advanced text mining researchers and those who are willing to invest time in learning a more robust tool, the software RStudio, which offers an open source edition, is today’s most popular choice. At the very least, installing basic open source tools and RStudio software on library computers will be helpful to many of your users and begin to communicate at least some level of support for text mining activities.

Will your library provide training for text mining? Many research libraries are now finding that they cannot offer enough instruction sessions to meet the demand for RStudio training. Many routinely offer instruction in web scraping, visualization tools, and a host of other text mining related subjects to users hungry for this content. Of course, whether the library is the appropriate provider of this instruction depends on how your campus is structured, but as a large information need at present, librarians bear a responsibility to at least make sure that it is well addressed at their institution. Perhaps it is best for your library to partner with other units in making sure these itches are scratched, or perhaps even a vended solution fits your institution best. There are a growing number of commercial options that provide on-demand training for users in text and data mining techniques, methods, and tools, and for many schools the cost of licensed training content may scale better than developing, hiring, and supporting staff with the necessary expertise.

At a minimum, consultative needs must be anticipated and addressed, as inevitably users on every campus will seek assistance for text mining activities. Planning ahead with regard to access, discovery, and support services for text mining will at least show that librarians have thought about their roles in providing information services within the realm of computationally assisted research, and these roles should be considered carefully not just within the silo of text mining or digital humanities, but holistically within the larger context of support for digital scholarship and data research of all kinds across the disciplines.


Darby Orcutt is Assistant Head, Collections & Research Strategy, NC State University Libraries, Faculty, University Honors Program, Affiliated Faculty, Center for Innovative Management Studies, Affiliated Faculty, Genetic Engineering & Society Center, and Affiliated Faculty, Leadership in Public Science Cluster, as well as recently served as the Associate Chair of the Faculty of NC State. A national leader in developing models for access to proprietary and use-limited data for content mining and computational research, his current work revolves primarily around research support and engagement for interdisciplinary teams.

Accessible Archives Responds to Our Customers’ Needs!

Michigan & Pennsylvania County Histories Now Available
Accessible Archives announces the completion of Pennsylvania & Michigan in our landmark American County Histories Series. Accessible Archives is the only publisher that has collected and digitized all of the county histories of the U.S. – all 50 states and the District of Columbia in one database! We offer free MARC records, images and full text of all the books – over a million pages of content!

Carolina Consortium
Accessible Archives is pleased to join the participating academic and public libraries in the Carolina Consortium! We recently attended the Carolina Consortium Conference and Iris Hanney conducted a successful Premier on Accessible Archives!

Expanded Direct Product Links
Accessible Archives has responded to requests from our customers for expanded direct browsing and search links for two of our most popular digital collections – African American Newspapers and American County Histories! Accessible Archives recognizes the value of these expanded links for use in a library’s research guides and libguides.

Achieving Higher Customer Satisfaction Is Our Goal at Accessible Archives

 Katherine Brown, Collections Analyst, Auraria Library —  Thank you so much for your help with figuring this out! I really appreciate your prompt responses and dedication to figuring out the problem.”

Elizabeth J. Cronin, Coordinator Information Services, Ocean County Library — “The Military Newspapers of the WWI archive has been great to promote since it includes the Camp Dix paper.  The picture of the Camp library is a treasure.”

 Barbara Kelly, Director of Libraries, Faulkner University“Thank you so much! Thank you for working with us in the way that you have. I have to say, I have never had a vendor work with us so well. We look forward to continuing our patronage with you and marketing the product a bit to our students.”  

Angie Thompson, Cataloging Assistant, Liberty University — “I really appreciate your quick response and timely resolution. I deal with a lot of our electronic content vendors when problems arise, and your team’s support is head and shoulders above the rest!”

Upcoming Conference Events

Will you be at the ALA Annual Conference, June 20-25, 2019?
We’d love to visit with you at Booth 3041!


Contact us for an appointment; we have lots to talk about!
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.
Accessible Archives, Booth #3041

© 2019 Accessible Archives, Inc.

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Unlimited Priorities LLC© is the exclusive sales and marketing agent for Accessible Archives:

Iris L. Hanney
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Unlimited Priorities LLC
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iris.hanney@unlimitedpriorities.com
www.unlimitedpriorities.com
Robert Lester
Product Development
Unlimited Priorities LLC
203-527-3739
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www.accessible-archives.com

Unlimited Priorities LLC

Publisher and Editor of Inside the Archives


Inside the Archives

Inside the Archives – Spring 2019 – Volume VIII Number 1

Spring 2019
Volume VIII. Number 1.

Temperance and Its Impact on American Women’s History

During the 19th Century, the Temperance Movement evolved into the largest Women’s political movement in America. For many years, scholars have viewed the importance of the Temperance Movement on the politicization of women and its impact on the Women’s rights and suffrage movements. Accessible Archives recognizes this and helps to stimulate interest and research in our primary source databases by maintaining an extremely active blog presence on temperance and gender. We have asked our guest writer Jill O’Neil to select from our blog posts and craft a narrative around them. We’re sure you will find her coverage both inciteful and informative.
Jill O’Neill

Jill O’Neill

When Amelia Bloomer first launched her publication, The Lily, in 1849, the publication saw the Temperance Movement as significantly associated with the rights of women as was acquiring the vote. The damage wrought by alcohol abuse on the lives of women without the benefit of recourse from the courts drove parallel progressive movements.

Those reform movements of the 19th century reached milestones in the early 20th century with the successful passage of Prohibition legislation in 1919 and legislation ensuring universal suffrage in 1920. This article draws attention to this progressive, cultural movement as documented in primary source material hosted on Accessible Archives. Our thanks to Accessible Archives blogger, J.D. Thomas, for his contributions to this blog-a-thon.

This first item notes (albeit with some melodrama) the experience of one woman who had been consigned to the county asylum from despair over the brutality experienced at the hands of a drunkard and the loss of her recognized standing in the community. (more…)


Inside the Archives

Inside the Archives – Autumn 2018 – Volume VII Number 3

Autumn 2018
Volume VII. Number 3.

Your New Issue of the Accessible Archives Newsletter Continues Our Blogathon!

The impact of Women’s political and social activities throughout American history has been the focus of increasing scholarly attention for many years. Accessible Archives recognizes this and helps to stimulate interest and research in our primary source databases by maintaining an extremely active blog presence. In the Fall newsletter, we are continuing our Blogathon and have pulled together a selection of seven postings highlighting 19th and early 20th Century Women’s Rights and Suffrage events and thinking. We have asked our guest writer Jill O’Neil to wrap a narrative around them. We’re sure you will find her coverage both insightful and informative.

Contemporary Coverage of Women’s Historical Events and Thinking

By Jill O’Neill

Jill O’Neill

Jill O’Neill is the Educational Programs Manager for the National Information Standards Organization

Incremental shifts in attitudes held regarding a political movement or social cause can frequently only be seen in retrospect. The variety of Accessible Archives collections of primary source materials allows users an excellent means of observing attitudes that may have existed at a specific point of time, but which are subsequently modified. The same set of publications may allow users to note differences in those attitudes on a regional basis or other point of differentiation.

As an example, in this issue of the Accessible Archives newsletter we reference published items from 1870 through 1919 that show efforts to legalize votes for women in the United States. In a piece dated 1911, the Western Woman Voter notes the following with some pride:

“In five states of the Union, Washington, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah, women vote for President, Vice-President, Congressmen and all state, county and city officials.”

Users may well be surprised at that listing of five states ahead in granting the right to vote.

The datelines provided before each item below indicate the publication in which the piece was published. We also indicate the collection from which each item was drawn. (more…)


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