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GTL News - Exhibit

NY State Women's Suffrage Exhibit

Elmira College student Akari Oto '21 reads information provided by the traveling exhibit, "Recognizing Women’s Right to Vote in New York State."  

Women's Suffrage Exhibit on View at the GTL

A new exhibit at the Gannett-Tripp Library, "Recognizing Women’s Right to Vote in New York State," honors the centennial of women gaining the right to vote in New York. The South Central Regional Library Council and the Empire State Library Network have partnered with the Digital Public Library of America to assemble and share this traveling exhibit.  It 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.   The exhibit will be on view in the Gannett-Tripp Library Lobby from April 12 through May 4.

The themes on each of the panels include:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 soon on the Digital Public Library of America's website at

To complement the traveling exhibit, Nathaniel Ball, the Elmira College Archivist, has selected a range of Elmira College materials related to women's suffrage and installed them in a display casein the library's southeast corner.  Items include photographs of students who were active in teh suffrage movement, essays published in the college's literary magazine, "The Sibyl", articles from the "EC Weekly", and a scrapbook.



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