The year 2020 marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—one hundred years of “Votes for Women.” This exhibition—“Votes for Delaware Women”—examines Delaware’s part in the long struggle to secure voting rights for all women.

The exhibition highlights the many ways in which Delaware’s suffragists—and anti-suffragists—pursued their goals and got their messages out. On display are books, banners, buttons, maps, music, postcards, photographs, and even a cookbook. Combined, they weave together the many strands in Delaware’s suffrage story.


This exhibition was curated by Anne Boylan, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of History and Women and Gender Studies, University of Delaware. The exhibition opened in the Special Collections Gallery of Morris Library at the University of Delaware on February 10, 2020. Almost all of the content from that gallery installation is represented in this WordPress presentation online. Library assistance for research, design and installation of this exhibition was provided by L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin, Dustin Frohlich, and Timothy English.

Sources used in this exhibition

Unless otherwise noted, all items shown in this exhibition are original primary sources from Special Collections at the University of Delaware Library, including the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection. Notably, a significant amount of historic ephemera is from the Woman Suffrage Collection. A number of facsimiles of news clippings are reproduced from the Library’s microfilm holdings of Delaware newspapers. The University Museums lent the iconic painting Delaware Awake! and University of Delaware Archives and Records Management lent items related to the Women’s College of Delaware.

Several external institutions loaned items or allowed facsimiles to be produced from originals for use in gallery and online versions of this exhibition: Arden Craft Shop Museum, Delaware Historical Society, Delaware Public Archives, Howard High School Alumni Association, and the Newark Historical Society in Delaware; and the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University and the Library of Congress. The Library is grateful for this support. The Library also thanks individual lenders to the exhibition: H. Gordon Fleming, Joyce Hill Stoner, and Scott F. Mason.