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.

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.  

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.

Kat Banyard, Director UK Feminista, title TBC, 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: 

  • 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.

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.