Open Access and Crowdsourcing History of Kentucky Women - Launching the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project Portal on H-Kentucky

Randolph Hollingsworth's picture
Call for Volunteers
Kentucky, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies, Political History / Studies

H-Kentucky announces the launch of the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project, a collaborative, crowd-sourced digital project developed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and the history of woman suffrage in the state of Kentucky. Available to the public at, the project was inspired by the broader nation-wide 2020 Women's Vote Centennial Initiative (WVCI), created by the League of Women Voters of the U.S. (LWVUS) and the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum (SBHM) organizations in March 2016.

The Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project was developed at H-Kentucky with the help of the staff at H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online. The project includes a list of teaching resources, a historical timeline (1830s -1920s), an annotated bibliography, and a series of biographical sketches that will be edited by Dr. Melanie Goan, historian at the University of Kentucky, for the Kentucky portion of a forthcoming national project for Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 (Alexander Street Press).

H-Net has also developed an archive database that shows an annotated map of Kentucky's “Votes for Women Trail.” This crowd-sourced project features Kentucky’s suffrage sites to be connected with a nation-wide Suffrage History Digital Map being developed by National Collaborative for Women's History Sites (NCWHS). The trail features the buildings, sites, historical markers, and monuments where woman suffrage activity took place in the United States before 1920.

Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project Collaborators

  • Dr. Tracy K'Meyer, Genie Potter and Marsha Weinstein (Louisville)
  • Dr. Karen Cotten McDaniel (Frankfort)
  • Kristen Thornsberry, KWSP Fellow (Richmond)
  • Dr. Melanie Goan, Dr. Randolph Hollingsworth, Dr. Melissa McEuen and Dr. Deirdre Scaggs (Lexington)

Other representatives from across the state include:

  • Sara Elliott and Stuart Sanders of the Kentucky Historical Society
  • Sandy Staebell, curator at Kentucky Museum at Western KY University
  • Jackie Couture, archivist at Eastern Kentucky University Libraries
  • Lynn Niedermeier, Library Special Collections, Western Kentucky University
  • Dr. Paul Tenkotte, history professor at Northern Kentucky University
  • Eric Brooks, curator at Ashland the Henry Clay Estate
  • Nita Smith and Terry Nadyan, co-presidents of the KY League of Women Voters

Special Issues in Regional Journals, Documentary,  Monograph, and Traveling Exhibit Being Planned

The Kentucky Historical Society (the Register) and the Filson Historical Society (Ohio Valley History) are devoting special issues about woman suffrage in Kentucky and in the Ohio Valley area in time for the national 2020 celebration. Dr. LeeAnn Whites, research director of the Filson Historical Society, is also planning for Fall 2019 a symposium on the history of women in the Ohio Valley, which will include a panel session on Kentucky woman suffrage.

With funding from co-sponsors including the University of Kentucky President Capilouto, Michael Breeding (who created the recent Dreamers and Doers documentary and companion website) is creating a documentary on Kentucky woman suffrage history.

Dr. Melanie Goan  is also currently working on a scholarly monograph that will present new information and analyze the history of woman suffrage in Kentucky, placing our local and state movements within a national context.

Dr. Dierdre Scaggs of the University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research Center is working with community members and archivists across the state to create an exhibit that will be adapted to travel to several sites during 2020.

Please follow and contribute to the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project at:

Contact Info: 

Randolph Hollingsworth, Ph.D
H-Kentucky Network Editor
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506 USA