Smithsonian, Library of Congress, and National Archives Launch #19SuffrageStories

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Washington, D.C. — The Smithsonian, Library of Congress and the National Archives have launched #19SuffrageStories, a 19-day social media campaign that will share stories about the long fight for women’s voting rights in the U.S.

Every weekday from Aug. 3­ to Aug. 26, the three institutions will share one of 19 stories related to women’s suffrage, counting down to Women’s Equality Day Aug. 26. The institutions have also released a set of social media stickers and GIFs to encourage the public to join the conversation.

On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was enacted, declaring that the right to vote shall not be denied on account of sex. However, for many women, especially women of color, the fight for the right to vote continued long after the amendment became law. The stories of the diverse communities and organizations that fought for equal voting rights are not shared widely today. To mark the centennial of the 19th Amendment, these three leading cultural institutions are joining forces to share lesser-known stories about the fight for women’s suffrage. Using items from their collections, they will share stories spanning from the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 through events in the 1960s to provide a broad look into the history of women and voting.

The countdown begins Aug. 3 with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which is held at the National Archives. The public is invited to examine this landmark document on Twitter and Instagram and consider its significance. New stories will be revealed every weekday, with the countdown closing Aug. 26. The public is invited to follow the countdown on social media and on the web:

    •    Using the hashtag #19SuffrageStories
    •    Following the Smithsonian on @Smithsonian Instagram and Twitter
    •    Following the Library of Congress @LibraryCongress on Instagram and Twitter
    •    Following the National Archives @USNatArchives on Instagram and Twitter
    •    Visiting Womenshistory.si.edu

Additional information about the stories shared each day will be available on the Library of Congress blog, the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative blog and the and National Archives blog.

To coincide with the campaign, the organizations are also releasing a set of 10 voting-inspired social media stickers and GIFs. Instagram users can add a historic sash sticker to their selfies or add the words of suffragists Ida B. Wells, Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin and Mabel Ping-Hua Lee to their posts. To add the stickers on Instagram, users can create an Instagram Story, click on the sticker icon and search for #19SuffrageStories. Animated GIFs of the stickers are also available through GIPHY for use on Twitter or other social media platforms. The full set of GIFs can be found online, and descriptions of the stickers can be found in this blog post about the #19SuffrageStories campaign.

The three institutions are also collaborating in August on a 19th Amendment virtual Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. The public is invited to make 19 edits to Wikipedia pages throughout the month of August to help expand the coverage of the women’s suffrage movement online. Virtual trainings will be held every Tuesday and Thursday in August, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. ET. The public can register for the trainings on Eventbrite, no experience required.

The Smithsonian, Library of Congress and the National Archives remain largely closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic (the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center reopened July 24). More information about the operating status of these organizations is available on their respective websites.

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