VADS and Women’s Suffrage Movement

I’m not the best person in the world at Twitter. I don’t really use it for social networking as such. It’s more a way for me to follow interesting people or publications that are relevant to my work. I follow the MLA convention, other digital humanities scholars, the Chronicle of Higher Ed, and the OED. I also follow Matt Shaw at the British Library. In between the stuff about biking and the normal ephemeral things that make up a twitter feed, he posts about collections at the library and around the world. He also posts to the Americas Collection Blog on the British Library website. All enough to say, go follow him. Today, he posted about VADS: the online resource for visual arts. It’s a clearinghouse of sorts for visual collections housed at a variety of British libraries and universities. Many of the collections are fashion based, but VADS just recently added to collections of suffrage images from the Women’s Library at the London Metropolitan University. One is of suffrage banners and the other is photographs and images of the suffrage movement.

Suffrage postcard by Laurence Houseman

I’m definitely using this site in my gender studies class in the Fall; I think there could be some good papers drawn from these two archives. I think I like the banners the most; these are objects made for protest while employing handcrafted and detailed workmanship. There’s something there about textiles and protest that extends to movements like yarn bombing or knitting graffiti art today.


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