The In Her Own Right project showcases Philadelphia-area collections highlighting women’s struggle to assert their rights throughout the century prior to the passage of the 19th Amendment. The Greater Philadelphia region has a strong tradition of women’s initiatives to expand their rights and opportunities with regard to political participation, education, work, property-holding, and cultural activities. The region’s documentary collections reflect Philadelphia’s Quaker origins and the Quaker traditions of women’s equality and outspokenness; the city’s role as a center for African-American politics and culture; and the development of institutions such as the world’s first medical college for women. Taken together, these collections demonstrate that the campaign for women’s suffrage did not happen in a vacuum, but was the result of decades of women of all kinds moving out of the home and into the schools and workplaces of the nation.
Led by PACSCL members Temple University, Drexel University College of Medicine Legacy Center, and the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College, and involving a total of 11 partner institutions including PACSCL itself, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) funded phase of the project will complete the digitization and online presentation of a significant body of letters, diaries, photographs, organization records and other documents, totaling 117,000 pages. The project builds on earlier work conducted with the assistance of a Foundations grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The images and associated metadata will be released into the pubic domain for use by researchers and the general public. The project is anticipated to be completed in autumn 2019 and available to researchers via the database at http://inherownright.org/ in advance of the 19th Amendment centennial.