Visible Women

Google launches online exhibition about heroic women who fought for the right to vote

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Moya Crockett
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Created in collaboration with museums, libraries and universities, Road to Equality celebrates the lesser-known stories of the suffrage movement. 

Google Arts & Culture has launched an online exhibition that allows anyone in the world to go behind the scenes of British women’s fight for the vote.

Titled Road to Equality, the free exhibition brings together over 4,000 stories, photographs, artworks and artefacts from the suffrage movement in a digital space. The project has been produced in collaboration with the Museum of London, the LSE Library, the City of London Police Museum and more than 20 other partners including the Feminist Library, the Barbican and the Glasgow Women’s Library.

All of these institutions have contributed imagery or videos of materials from their archives, from homemade suffragette bombs to banners and scrapbooks.

“The Google Arts & Culture project has provided an exciting opportunity to provide greater public access to the Museum of London’s suffragette collection, the largest in the world relating to the militant campaign,” said Beverley Cook, social and working history curator at the Museum of London.

“In particular, the digitisation and online publication of key suffragette scrapbooks will enable these significant and unique resources, usually kept in our archive store, to reach a global audience in their entirety, for the first time.”

The exhibition also features radical second-wave feminist posters 

The digital retrospective explores ideas surrounding modern feminism and culture, highlighting the recent Processions parades in London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff and the Old Vic’s upcoming production of Sylvia, a musical about the life of suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst.

Articles by present-day activists, historians and curators, as well as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing – who created the sculpture of suffragist Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square – are also featured.

“It’s so important that the stories of these courageous women and the cause they fought for are easy to discover so their sacrifice is never forgotten or taken for granted,” said Suhair Khan, program manager for Google Arts & Culture in the UK.

“We hope this project will encourage people to read some of the previously untold stories of the Right to Vote movement, and demonstrate what else can be done on the road to equality.”

Check out the Road to Equality exhibition here

Stylist’s Visible Women campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of women who’ve made a difference, celebrating their success, and empowering future generations to follow their lead. See more from Visible Women here.  

Images: Getty Images / Google Arts & Culture