The first women achieved suffrage, the right to vote, in 1918. To celebrate the centenary, explore our selection of stories about suffragettes, suffragists, and the suffrage movement from its beginnings in 1866. Visit Suffrage 18 at LSE Library for more information, a programme of events, and to find out how to use the collections for your own research.

  • Votes for Women – a history on film

Votes for Women – a history on film

  • March 8th, 2019

This International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, watch a history of the women’s suffrage campaign and its legacy at LSE.

The Women’s Library and archives at LSE hold the story of the campaign for women’s suffrage, which resulted in the first votes for women. Watch this film to find out what happened, how we are commemorating their work on campus […]

  • The Mud March and the meeting at Exeter Hall

The Mud March and the meeting at Exeter Hall

  • February 6th, 2019

On 9 February 1907, in the rain, the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies held the first large-scale women’s procession through London. The finishing point was Exeter Hall on the Strand, now the site of the Strand Palace Hotel. LSE Curator Gillian Murphy introduces the LSE archive material on the “mud march”, and the speech given at Exeter Hall by Jewish […]

  • Why the Pankhurst name is synonymous with Ethiopia as well as the suffragette movement

Why the Pankhurst name is synonymous with Ethiopia as well as the suffragette movement

  • December 19th, 2018

LSE’s Behailu Shiferaw Mihirete tells the story of Sylvia Pankhurst, daughter of prominent suffragette Emmeline, who became a relentless advocate for Ethiopia during the Fascist Italian invasion of 1936 to 1941.

The year 2018 marks the centenary of the year when some women (who met the age (>30 years old) and property criteria or who were university educated) succeeded in […]

  • Suffragettes at dinner – from gaol to the Savoy Hotel

Suffragettes at dinner – from gaol to the Savoy Hotel

  • December 5th, 2018

“Suffragettes at dinner – from gaol to the Savoy Hotel” was the headline from the Daily Mail about the banquet hosted by Millicent Garrett Fawcett held in the lavish surroundings of the Savoy Hotel for released suffragette prisoners on 11 December 1906. Curator Gillian Murphy outlines the LSE archives about this event.

In the Women’s Library collection is Millicent Garrett Fawcett’s […]

  • Book Extract: ‘Preserving Their Own Memory: Constitutional Suffragism and the Fawcett Society’ from Remembering Women’s Activism by Sharon Crozier De-Rosa and Vera Mackie

Book Extract: ‘Preserving Their Own Memory: Constitutional Suffragism and the Fawcett Society’ from Remembering Women’s Activism by Sharon Crozier De-Rosa and Vera Mackie

  • November 25th, 2018

2018 marks the centenary of partial suffrage in Britain, when property-owning women over the age of 30 won the right to vote in parliamentary elections in the UK. To commemorate the historical link between LSE and the campaign for women’s suffrage, on 23 November 2018 the Towers at Clement’s Inn on LSE campus were renamed Pankhurst House, Fawcett House and […]

  • A mother and daughter at LSE – Herabai and Mithan Tata

A mother and daughter at LSE – Herabai and Mithan Tata

LSE often runs in the family with several generations making their way to Houghton Street. LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly writes about an unusual mother and daughter duo.

In 1919 a young Indian woman, Mithan Ardeshir Tata enrolled to study at LSE. Mithan was born in 1898 into a Parsi family in Mumbai (then known as Bombay), the daughter of Herabai […]

  • Dare to be Free – the Women’s Freedom League

Dare to be Free – the Women’s Freedom League

  • October 17th, 2018

LSE Library holds the archives of the Women’s Freedom League, more early neighbours of LSE. Curator Gillian Murphy introduces the League, who formed in response to what they viewed as “unconstitutional” actions by the Women’s Social and Political Union.

On Saturday 14 September 1907, a meeting was held at the Eustace Miles Restaurant, a vegetarian restaurant in Chandos Street, just off the Strand. […]

  • Edith Abbott – pioneering American academic

Edith Abbott – pioneering American academic

  • August 29th, 2018

Edith Abbott, an economist, social worker and women’s equality campaigner, was the first American woman to be appointed the dean of a graduate school in the United States. She had studied at LSE in the early 1900s and was influenced by Beatrice and Sidney Webb’s work in social reform. 

Edith Abbott was born in Grand Island, Nebraska in 1876 to Elizabeth Maletta […]

  • Clement’s Inn – the first home of the Women’s Social and Political Union in London

Clement’s Inn – the first home of the Women’s Social and Political Union in London

  • August 8th, 2018

In 1906, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) moved from Manchester to London, and specifically to Emmeline and Frederick Pethick-Lawrence’s apartment at Clement’s Inn, writes LSE curator Gillian Murphy. Eventually the WSPU occupied 27 rooms within the building, before a split in 1912 saw the WSPU move around the corner to Kingsway. Today, the site at Clement’s Inn is […]

  • Alice Clark – a suffragist from LSE

Alice Clark – a suffragist from LSE

  • July 25th, 2018

Somerset-born Alice Clark came from a family of pacifist shoe-makers who were involved in the suffrage movement. LSE curator Gillian Murphy finds that Alice Clark also held a Shaw Research Studentship in economic history at LSE.

Alice Clark, daughter of Helen and William Clark, was born in Street in Somerset in 1874. She was a Quaker by birth, and also a Liberal, and her family were […]

  • Alice Paul – a suffragette from LSE

Alice Paul – a suffragette from LSE

  • July 18th, 2018

American Alice Paul became a “convert” to the suffragette cause after hearing a talk by Christabel Pankhurst. LSE curator Gillian Murphy charts Alice Paul’s suffragette activities in England and as a student at LSE.

“She will die, but she will never give up” commented the psychiatrist called to evaluate Alice Paul’s mental condition when she was in an American prison in […]

  • 24 LSE women in 1918

24 LSE women in 1918

  • March 28th, 2018

To mark International Women’s Day LSE’s knitting group designed and created a banner to honour the 24 women who taught at LSE in 1918 – the year women first received the vote. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, explains the inspiration and history behind the design.

The LSE Women 1918 banner is inspired by both the buildings and people of the School. The embroidered […]

  • Was your (great) grandmother a suffragette? Tips for using LSE Library’s resources to trace your ancestors

Was your (great) grandmother a suffragette? Tips for using LSE Library’s resources to trace your ancestors

LSE Library receives many enquiries from people who want to find out more about members of their family who were involved in the suffrage movement. Gillian Murphy looks at some of the resources available at LSE Library which might reveal information about a long-lost relative.

Historical background
The Women’s Library grew out of the work of London Society for Women’s Suffrage […]

  • LSE Library’s collections and the First World War

LSE Library’s collections and the First World War

  • November 14th, 2017

Professor David Stevenson, LSE Department of International History, provides a brief look at LSE during wartime and introduces LSE Library’s collections relating to the First World War. The archives include evidence from well-known suffragettes, the Scottish Women’s Hospital organisation’s work in Macedonia, and Belgian refugees in Tunbridge Wells.
LSE and the First World War
When the First World War began, LSE had been established […]

  • Vera ‘Jack’ Holme – one of the stars of the Women’s Library Collection

Vera ‘Jack’ Holme – one of the stars of the Women’s Library Collection

The LSE Women: making history Library series highlights women’s stories from some of the archives and special collections held at LSE Library. Curator Gillian Murphy shares the story of one of her favourite archives in the Women’s Library collection: that of Vera ‘Jack’ Holme.  She was a militant suffragette, chauffeur to the Pankhursts, cross-dressing actress and aid worker. This post uses photographs from […]

  • The Women’s Library at 90

The Women’s Library at 90

LSE’s Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science, opened in November 1896. In a series of posts celebrating LSE Library’s 120th anniversary in 2016, Gillian Murphy tells the story of The Women’s Library at LSE, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

The origins of The Women’s Library can be traced back to the suffrage movement. Out of the 1866 Women’s Suffrage […]

  • The women behind the suffrage banner

The women behind the suffrage banner

  • June 8th, 2016

LSE’s Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science, opened in November 1896. In a series of posts celebrating LSE Library’s 120th anniversary in 2016, Gillian Murphy explores the women behind the names on the suffrage banner inspired by the 1866 women’s suffrage petition. 

LSE Library houses a number of suffrage banners. Most of these banners were made by the Artists’ Suffrage League […]

  • The 1866 women’s suffrage petition

The 1866 women’s suffrage petition

LSE’s Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science, opened in November 1896. In a series of posts celebrating LSE Library’s 120th anniversary in 2016, Gillian Murphy explores the story behind the 1866 women’s suffrage petition. 

On 7 June 1866 a petition from 1,499 women calling for women’s suffrage was presented to Parliament. Although this petition was unsuccessful, the Fawcett Society marks […]

  • Millicent Garrett Fawcett, Lucy Deane and the Boer War

Millicent Garrett Fawcett, Lucy Deane and the Boer War

LSE’s Library series for LSE Women: making history highlights women’s stories in some of the archives and special collections held at LSE. Gillian Murphy shares images of the Boer War from the archives of Millicent Garrett Fawcett and Lucy Deane. Posts about LSE’s Library explore the history of the Library and its collections.

LSE Library holds the diaries of Millicent Garrett Fawcett and Lucy Deane […]

  • Baroness Stocks – economist and activist

Baroness Stocks – economist and activist

  • March 9th, 2016

Mary Danvers Stocks was a life-long activist. A teenage member of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, she went on to achieve a first class BSc in Economics from LSE then taught at the School during the First World War. As well as an extensive academic career, she campaigned for issues from the ordination of women priests and equal pay to […]