It’s fitting that today as we celebrate International Women’s Day and the upcoming centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women’s right to vote, Rutgers University Press announced the publication of “Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote,” in association with the Library of Congress.
The new book is the official illustrated companion to the Library of Congress exhibition
of the same name and will be published June 4 to coincide with the exhibit’s opening. The exhibition and the book tell the story of the more than 70 years-long campaign for women’s suffrage — the largest reform movement in American history. The struggle was not for the timid nor weak. For many years, courageous women organized, lobbied, paraded, petitioned, lectured, picketed and risked imprisonment and social ostracism.
Running through September 2020, the exhibition draws from the Library’s extensive collections of personal papers and organizational records from such change-leaders as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Church Terrell, Carrie Chapman Catt, the National Woman’s Party, the National American Woman Suffrage Association and others, according to the LOC release.
Documents, images, video and audio recordings in the exhibit will trace the movement leading to the women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, the contributions of suffragists who worked to persuade women that they deserved the same rights as men, the divergent political strategies and internal divisions they overcame, the ambition for a federal women’s suffrage amendment and its legacy.
“The history of this struggle is one of celebration and setbacks, commanded by dynamic and formidable personalities — change-makers — who believed in relentless action and civil disobedience in the name of equality and justice. In fighting for the right to vote, women formed national political organizations, developed new strategies for protest, and brought women into the public sphere in new and more visible ways. These advances laid the groundwork for civic action that has been emulated by those working for other civil rights causes,” said Carla D. Hayden, Librarian of Congress.
“Shall Not Be Denied” is part of a yearlong initiative in 2019 inviting Library visitors to explore America’s change-makers through a series of exhibitions, events and programs. Exhibitions drawing from the Library’s collections will explore the fight for women’s suffrage, Rosa Parks’ groundbreaking role in civil rights history and artists’ responses to major issues of the day. Other events throughout the year will explore change-leaders through music, film, live performances and public programs.
Did you know the Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.