Download this free guide made to inspire and help library workers bring primary source inquiry into programming.
With funding from the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program, ALA has published “Programming with Primary Sources: Women’s Suffrage,” a resource guide to inspire and help library workers bring primary source inquiry into their book clubs, crafts and other library programs.
History textbooks often offer a simplistic narrative of the nation’s experience of granting women the ballot, but a closer look paints a much more complex history of women’s voting rights activism.
Created by librarians in collaboration with the ALA Public Programs Office, the “Programming with Primary Sources: Women’s Suffrage” guide seeks to shed light on lesser-known histories and perspectives from the women’s suffrage era and provide user-friendly resources so libraries across the United States can lead impactful conversations about this important part of our nation’s past.
The guide includes:
- Six program models, each with detailed program outlines and primary source recommendations, that can be replicated and adapted for different audiences
- Suggestions of ways to pair primary source analysis with book discussions
- Helpful resources for analyzing primary sources, learning about women’s suffrage, and understanding copyright and fair use
“Primary sources are the raw materials of history—original documents and objects that were created at the time under study,” reads the Library of Congress website. As such, these items are powerful teaching tools. Bringing people of all ages into close contact with items from bygone eras can make the past come alive in a uniquely powerful way.
Thousands of Library of Congress items tell the stories of the women’s suffrage movement: historic and contemporary audio and video files, posters, photographs, magazines, sheet music, maps, manuscripts and rare books, as well as government documents and legislation.
Since 2006, the Library of Congress has awarded Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) grants to build a nationwide network of organizations that deliver educational programming, and create teaching materials and tools based on the Library’s digitized primary sources and other online resources. Each year members of this network, called the TPS Consortium, support tens of thousands of learners to build knowledge, engagement and critical thinking skills with items from the Library’s collections.
Teaching with Primary Sources: Women's Suffrage & Libraries is made possible by the Library of Congress. The program is administered by ALA's Public Programs Office. To be notified about future resources, grants and opportunities from ALA's Public Programs Office, sign up for ALA’s Programming Librarian newsletter.