Six woman walking along a street with banners on as they march for suffrage.

Suffrage 18: a centenary exploration at LSE

"Justice and freedom for women are things worth securing [...] for civilisation itself." - Millicent Garrett Fawcett, 1928

In 1918 some women – 40% – got the vote in national elections in Britain. The organised campaign for women's suffrage started in 1866 with the first petition to Parliament. By the early 1900s there were many suffrage groups for (and against) votes for women. The main image used for Suffrage18 shows women still campaigning for the vote on equal terms with men in 1927. All women over 21 got the vote in 1928.

A timeline showing the march toward the act of suffrage in 1918Download our Suffrage Timeline graphic [PDF]

LSE Library's events programme draws on the rich material in The Women’s Library collection to commemorate the campaigns for women's suffrage and the innovative methods used to get the vote. We are drawing our commemoration programme to a close with a focus on current and future campaigning as well as a series of art events and events for young people. 

Podcasts of some of our past events are available. A powerpoint and teachers' notes based on the At Last! Votes for Women exhibition is free to download. 


Millicent Fawcett giving her Hyde Park address 1913
Millicent Fawcett giving her Hyde Park address, 1913.

Art events 

Make a Stand Display 

14 November – 14 December, Atrium Gallery, Old Building, LSE 

A display of life-sized images of the men and women who fought for female suffrage and are featured on the plinth of the statue of Millicent Garrett Fawcett in Parliament Square. Courtesy of the Mayor of London.

Comedy 

Stand Up for Suffrage

14 December 6.30-9pm, top floor George IV 

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first general election in which some women got to vote for the first time with a night of amusing stories around suffrage and this year’s centenary. Compered by suffrage historian and actress Naomi Paxton. 

Tickets are available from the LSE Shop and are priced at £4. Buy a ticket.

Some of our past events

Listen to Hearts and Minds: the suffragists' march on London event podcast 

 

Rise Up Women! the remarkable lives of the suffragettes

Rise Up Women! the remarkable lives of the suffragettes Rise Up Women! the remarkable lives of the suffragettes
Diane Atkinson talks about the campaign for the vote and new names that emerged from her research, which examines the contribution made by working-class women.

 

Who were the Suffrage Artists: lives revealed 

Who were the Suffrage Artists? Who were the Suffrage Artists?
Elizabeth Crawford examines the iconography behind the campaign for suffrage.

 

Indian Suffragettes: female identities and transnational networks

Sumita Mukherjee gives a talk about Indian Suffragettes, female identities and transnational networks Sumita Mukherjee gives a talk about Indian Suffragettes, female identities and transnational networks
Sumita Mukherjee gives a talk about Indian Suffragettes, female identities and transnational networks

 

External projects

We are supporting a number of projects, such as:

Online learning resources

Schools workshops are available throughout 2018. 

These notes and powerpoint presentation are based on LSE Library’s At Last! Votes for Women exhibition, which concentrates on the campaign for women to have the vote from 1908 to 1918. They can be adapted for the Votes for Women topic in Key Stage 3 History and the development of the political system of government in Key stage 3 Citizenship. They can also be used as part of the Equality and Rights module in GCSE History AQA & OCR. They contain primary sources from the Women’s Library Collection.

All of the educational resources produced are open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any non-commercial medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

 

LSE Women 1918 Banner

LSE’s Knitting Group were inspired to work together by our historic suffrage banners to create a new one commemorating all the women working at LSE when some women got the vote for the first time in 1918. The names of women at LSE in 1918 [DOC] have been compiled by LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly. The banner takes inspiration from the Old Building and the beaver incorporated into the banner was actually embroidered by Joan Lynas (Economic History) in the 1960s or 70s.

working on the banner
Some of the LSE Knitting Group members working on the banner.
standing with the banner 800x600
Some of the LSE Knitting Group with the completed banner. 

 

Collections

For more on our internationally significant collections relating to women’s suffrage go to our Women’s Suffrage webpage.

 

Contact

For any enquiries relating to Suffrage 18 – collections, teaching and research, exhibition, schools and events – please contact LSE Library:

For our opening times and visiting our archives please see our opening hours.

LSE Library, 10 Portugal Street, London WC2A 2HD. View LSE Library on Google Maps.