SUNY Cortland’s Memorial Library will present posters to highlight local suffragettes and shed light on their contributions, nationally and regionally, during the fourth week of Women’s History Month celebrations at the university.
The posters will spotlight some of Cortland County’s most notable heroes in the women’s suffrage movement, including Amelia Bloomer and Lydia Strowbridge, and their contributions and roles.
“The purpose of the exhibit is to honor local women while disseminating accurate resources to persuade visitors to investigate further,” said Jeremy Pekarek, archivist and instructional resources librarian.
“We also aim to understand how Cortland engaged itself in the women’s suffrage movement and other voting initiatives on and off-campus throughout the years,” Pekarek said. “Our intent is to investigate Cortland’s roles and contributions regarding voting activism.”
Titled “In Pursuit of the Vote: Highlighting Local Suffragettes and Resources,” the exhibition will draw on some of the library’s own archival resources to create the visual materials on display.
Jennifer Kronenbitter, library director, and Pekarek twice will explain the resources available to scholars who are interested in the women’s rights movement, during an exhibit unveiling and reception from 2 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, and from 3 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 26.
The discussion and poster presentations will take place just outside of the College Archives, located on the second floor in Room B-305. The program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
“We are not highlighting a specific archival collection, but rather promoting a narrative and resources on the history of women’s suffrage locally,” Pekarek said.
Kronenbitter and Pekarek intend to highlight various resources — digital and physical — to educate visitors on this issue.
“This is not a citation page, but more of an annotated bibliography that includes the library, cultural heritage sites, archives, historical societies, organizations, museums and books,” Pekarek explained.
Library guests also are welcome to make their own voting buttons, similar to those used during the women’s suffrage movement, in the Library Makerspace, located on the first floor of Memorial Library near the Teaching Materials Center area. It’s also an opportunity to explore this center, which features emerging technologies that support and promote unique classroom engagement opportunities. In addition to the library’s button maker, that includes virtual reality, 3D printing and 3D scanning.
The exhibit will include information about the Cortland community and the Cortland Normal School during the suffrage era while noting important events, people and organizations that also pursued women’s voting rights. The posters will be on temporary display in the library after the discussions.
The event continues the university’s celebration of Women’s History Month during March with a packed schedule of events. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
This year’s Women’s History Month focus is especially timely as the university simultaneously celebrates a century of women’s suffrage and look forward to a presidential election. The Women’s History Month focus also involves the LGBT community, migration and immigration. “Valiant Women of the Vote,” the national theme of Women’s History Month, celebrates both the brave women who fought for suffrage, as well as those who currently continue the struggle for representation and equity.
The Women’s History Month schedule of events also includes:
Details on additional upcoming Women’s History Month events will be posted in future Bulletin editions. For more information, contact Jena Nichols Curtis, director of the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies and coordinator of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, at 607-753-2979.
Women’s History Month Events are sponsored by: Advisement and Transition; the Campus Artist and Lectures Series; the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies; the Disability Resources Office; the Economics Department; the Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee; the History Department; the Geography Department; Hillel; the International Studies Program; the Institutional Equity and Inclusion Office; the Clark Center for Global Engagement; the Gender Policies and Initiatives Council; the It’s On Us Action Team; Jewish Studies; the New York Public Interest Research Group; Memorial Library ; Outdoor Pursuits; the President’s Office; the Sexual Orientation, Gender, Identity and Expression Committee (SOGIE); Disability Resources; the Student Government Association; the SUNY Cortland Chapter of the American Association of University Women; and the TransAfrica Project.