Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States
By Thomas Dublin and Kathryn Kish Sklar
We have now posted five installments of the Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States containing almost 3,000 biographical sketches of grassroots women suffragists. We will be adding to the database regularly over the next year and when complete it will include crowdsourced biographical sketches of more than 3,600 women suffrage activists, primarily concentrated in the period 1890-1920. We are aiming for an inclusive collection, including white and black suffragists, mainstream and militant suffragists. The sketches will place women's suffrage activism within the frame of women's broader social agenda, before and after the passage of the 19th Amendment in August 1920.
In March 2015 we published the first six biographical sketches of militant suffragists who were active in the picketing of the White House in response to the call of the National Woman’s Party. At that time we began the crowdsourcing effort that has made this project possible, reaching out to interest our readers in researching and writing biographical sketches of NWP activists. Since then we have expanded the project to include black women suffragists and mainstream suffragists affiliated with the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
The database has grown organically from its modest beginnings with many decisions along the way that have shaped the database that you are accessing today. Database editor Tom Dublin has prepared a brief essay describing the work process that has been involved.
Combined with the online technology of Alexander Street, your contributions have made it possible to offer this freestanding edition of the Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States.
As of April 2020 we have identified about 80 suffragists as "impossible to find." They are part of the original groups of activists identified for NAWSA and the NWP, but volunteers were unable to find enough information about them to write biographical sketches. Click here to view the two lists and contact Tom Dublin if you know something about any of these suffragists and would like to write a 500-word biographical sketch.
To cite a biographical sketch from the Online Biographical Dictionary follow this example:
Author, "Biography of [Name of activist]," Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States, accessed online at [provide URL of the sketch].
OBD editor, Tom Dublin has prepared an Editor’s Guide to Using the Database. CLICK HERE
The Introduction and the three sections of the database can be accessed below.
Database last updated February 1, 2021