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 1918

Download 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. It includes introductions to new books, talks, hands-on activities for adults and families, performance, an exhibition and online schools resources

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

Other related events at LSE

Let's talk books

Celebrating new books on the suffrage movement with talks by: 

All 6.30 - 8pm. Free. Entry is first come first served.

Talk podcasts

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

 

LSE Library event picture of the speakers
An image from a previous talk on the film Suffragette.

Talks

  • Hilary McCollum, Sapphic Suffragettes: the key role of lesbians in the fight for votes for women, 1 February 1–2pm. LSE Library Education Room. Outing the Past: LGBT+ History Month.
  • LSE EmbRace & We Are Here (Artists' Collective) present a panel discussion on female BME representation in the creative industries, LSE Library Room 3.01, 14 March 5.30–7pm.
    Panelists: Aimee Felone (Co-founder of Knights of Media / diversity and inclusion in UK publishing); Nasreen Shaikh Jamal Al Lail (Photographer / Founder of Muslim Women Collective, Variant Space); Jess Nash (Artist & Illustrator / We Are Here Collective).
    Chair: Nicole Krystal Crentsil, founder of Unmasked Women and Black Girl Festival.  
  • Kat Banyard, Director UK Feminista, Pimp State: how should society respond to the global sex trade?, 18 May 6.30–8pm, The Wolfson Lecture Theatre, New Academic Building. 

Activities

Crafty Campaigning

A series of activities drawing on the innovative campaigns of suffrage groups, including: 

  • LSE Staff, Banner Making. LSE professional services staff led by LSE’s knitting group are making a banner to mark the centenary. Public activities tbc. 8 March 2018 11am–4pm.
  • LSE EmbRace & We Are Here (Artists’ Collective) present a workshop, Woman: a manifesto. Charged with female affirmation, you’re invited to create a manifesto; not how to ‘behave like a lady’ but how to behave like yourself. LSE Library Education Room, 14 March 2018 1-2pm. Followed by a Pop-Up exhibition.
  • Suffragette Gaming Play Pank-a-Squith and explore other games made for fundraising. Part of Museums at Night. 16 May 6–8pm.
  • Make a Suffrage Campaign Badge Half-term family activities. 30 May 11am–4pm.
  • Join our Justice Par-tea on London History Day and half-term family activities. 31 May 11am–4pm. 
  • EqualiTeas: Find out about Justice Tea and suffrage tea-time. 2 July 2–4pm. 

All take place in the Library Gallery. 

Performance

Ethel Smyth Performed: A recreation of the suffragette composer's music and life in Grasp the Nettle! By Lucy Stevens. Pre-book. 5 July 6.30–9pm, Shaw Library in LSE Old Building.  

Ethel Smyth standing on a stage with a 'Deeds Not Words' banner behind her
Ethel Smyth at a Women's Social & Political Union (WSPU) meeting, 1912.

Museum and archive sector events

We are hosting a number of knowledge sharing events around the Suffrage centenary for museum, archive and library professionals. 

The first is for Museums and Participation Network on Thursday 1 February 12.30-5pm. It is free to book and comprises banner making, talks, theatre performance and a who’s who to suffragists / suffragettes. Please book via Eventbrite

External projects

We are supporting a number of projects, such as:

'At last'. A drawing of a woman celebrating the franchise.
Women's Franchise - At Last!, 1918.

Exhibition

At Last! Votes for Women 23 April–31 August, LSE Library Gallery

Exhibition focusing on the tactics of the three main suffrage groups in their campaign for the vote. 

Online learning resources

Schools workshops are available throughout 2018. A new resource based on the campaigns for women’s suffrage for key stage 3 and A level students will be available online from May.

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.