Call for Volunteers to Research and Write Biographical Sketches of Women Suffrage Activists

Thomas Dublin's picture

Since March 2015 the online journal and database, Women and Social Movements in the United States (WASM), has been engaged in successive projects to create an Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States. The Dictionary will include about 400 biographies of activists of the National Woman’s Party, 200 Black women suffragists, and 2,500 activists in the National American Woman Suffrage Association. exemplary

We are looking for volunteers to research and write bio sketches for about 1,000 unassigned suffragists between now and the centennial of the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment in August 2020. Contributors will receive author credit as the work is published online. We expect to post two versions of the resource.  The first will be freely accessible and will consist entirely of the bio sketches of suffragists.  The sketches will also be part of our ongoing online journal and database, Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000  Your library may already subscribe.

In some states the response of historians has been strong and we have a volunteer coordinating the assignment of activists. In other states, we have had more difficulty generating interest and participation. If you would like to serve as a state coordinator there are about 15 states still needing one.  The main work here will involve copyediting and fact checking submitted sketches.  We also need volunteers to write bio sketches or to make an assignment in a high school or college class to have students write these sketches.  We provide good support to volunteers as the project proceeds and can share online files that outline our expectations for the sketches.

States with a large number of suffragists still not assigned for sketches include:

Arkansas                     Ohio

Maryland                     Oregon

Missouri                      Rhode Island

Mississippi                   Utah                                       

Nebraska                     Washington

Nevada                        Wyoming


If you would like to volunteer in any capacity, please get in touch. WASM co-editor Tom Dublin is coordinating the project and can either share activists’ names with you, or put you in touch with a state coordinator, or sign you up as a coordinator for a state needing one. As of the writing of this notice we have perhaps 400 bio sketches in hand and have assigned another 1100 suffragists for sketches out of the 2800+ we will eventually need.  So, there is plenty of opportunity for prospective contributors.  Please email to indicate your interest and we’ll try to respond promptly.

Tom Dublin

Distinguished Professor Emeritus

SUNY Binghamton