Traveling Exhibit on Women's Suffrage Visits College Library Through Mar. 29

The Tompkins Cortland Community College Library is hosting the traveling exhibit Recognizing Women’s Right to Vote in New York State from March 11-29. The travelling exhibit is a companion to a more detailed exhibit available online at New York Heritage at The exhibition was curated by the South Central Regional Library Council, in partnership with the Empire State Library Network and New York Heritage Digital Collections, with funding from Humanities New York.


Women won the right to vote in New York State on November 6, 1917 - three years before the 19th Amendment was passed and women were able to vote in every state. The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote. The South Central Regional Library Council and the Empire State Library Network are celebrating this important moment in history with the 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.


The exhibit includes five poster/panels, each 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.

The traveling exhibit is available for public viewing whenever the College Library is open.