Votes for Women: Celebrating the Centennial of the 19th Amendment

Mar 2 - Dec 18, 2020

Shields Library Lobby - Special Collections

2020 marks 100 years since the ratification of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote. This exhibit features Archives and Special Collections materials that tell the story of the national, California, and Yolo County campaigns for women’s suffrage. The display launches the same week as the California primaries, reminding people of the importance of the vote.

Visitors are welcome to take home a free souvenir postcard of the iconic Votes for Women poster by Bertha Boye.

To coincide with Women’s History Month, a related lecture series is being held in coordination with the Yolo County Archives. More information about it can be found below.



Archives and Special Collections

Sara Gunasekara

Public Services Specialist

*The Battle for the Ballot speaker series has been canceled out of an abundance of caution and to enable social distancing. The Yolo County Library, Yolo County Archives and UC Davis Library will be evaluating the feasibility of rescheduling these talks for later in 2020.

The above exhibit remains open at Shields Library during regular library hours.

UC Davis Library Archives and Special Collections and the Yolo County Archives invite the community to attend a speaker series in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. The series, titled, Battle for the Ballot: A Speaker Series to Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage, will be held in libraries throughout Yolo County from March 5th through April 13th, to coincide with Women’s History Month. Attendees will hear from historians about their research, engage in question and answer sessions, and enjoy light refreshments. The following is the schedule for the speakers:

  • Dr. Mona Siegel
    March 5, Thursday | 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
    Winters Community Library, Margaret Parsons Room – 708 Railroad Avenue Winters, CA 95694 

    Drawing from her new book, Peace on Our Terms, Sacramento State history professor Mona Siegel will examine American women’s battle for the vote through an international lens.  Her talk will highlight why women’s activism in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East was critical to the final push for ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in the United States.
    RSVP for this talk here:
  • Dr. Wendy Rouse CANCELED*
    March 19, Thursday | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    Mary L. Stephens-Davis Branch Library, Blanchard Room – 315 E. 14th Street Davis, CA 95616

    Wendy Rouse is an Associate Professor of History at San Jose State University whose scholarly research focuses on the history of women and children in the United States during the Progressive-Era. Presently, Rouse is working on a project called “Queering the History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement.” This research explores how suffragists both reinforced and challenged heteronormative views of gender and sexuality while also highlighting the role of queer suffragists in the movement
  • Mel Russell CANCELED*
    March 26, Thursday | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    The Barn Gallery-Gibson House Property, 512 Gibson Road Woodland, CA 95695)

    Mel Russell will be giving a talk titled “Warriors: Women of Yolo County, 1910-1920.” She will discuss national events of the decade, including the “Votes for Women” campaign, the Temperance Movement and Prohibition, World War I, and the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic, through the lives of the women of Yolo County.  Strong, determined and focused, these women farmers, teachers, nurses, writers, retail clerks and housewives survived, and even thrived, in the chaos of the social upheaval caused by these epic events.
    RSVP for this talk here:
  • Steve & Susie Swatt CANCELED*
    March 30, Monday | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    Arthur F. Turner-West Sacramento Branch Library, Meeting Room – 1212 Merkley Ave. West Sacramento, CA 95691
    Steve and Susie Swatt are coauthors of Paving the Way: Women’s Struggle for Political Equality in California – will weave into a 170-year historical narrative the remarkable stories of mostly unsung and long-forgotten women who overcame discrimination and cultural stereotypes to help shape the state’s public landscape. The authors will bring to life the grit, determination and resilience of these trailblazing women – from the post-Gold rush era and the epic fight for suffrage, through the turbulent and transformative 1960s and 1970s, and into today’s #MeToo movement.
  • Dr. Lisa Materson CANCELED*
    April 13, Monday | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    Shields Library-UC Davis-Room 167, 100 NW Quad, Davis, CA 95616)
    Lisa Materson is an Associate Professor of History at UC Davis whose work is focused on women’s participation in social and political justice movements in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is the author of For the Freedom of Her Race: Black Women and Electoral Politics in Illinois, 1877-1932 and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of American Women’s and Gender History. She will speak about African American women’s involvement in electoral politics, between Reconstruction and the New Deal.
    RSVP for this talk here:

This series is facilitated by UC Davis Library Archives and Special Collections and the Yolo County Archives. Individual talks are sponsored by the Winters Friends of the Library, the Friends of the Yolo County Archives, the Friends of the Davis Public Library, the West Sacramento Friends of the Library, and the UC Davis Library.

Attendees are encouraged to RSVP for each talk at the links provided or by contacting Heather Lanctot at: (530) 666-8010 or All locations are accessible for persons with disabilities.