In Her Own Right: Women Asserting Their Civil Rights, 1820-1920 showcases Philadelphia-area collections highlighting women’s struggle leading to the passage of the 19th Amendment.

In Her Own Right is a pilot project executed by members of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL), with funding from the National Endowment of the Humanities.

The Greater Philadelphia region has a strong tradition of women’s initiatives to expand their rights and opportunities with regard to political participation, education, work, property-holding, and cultural activities. The region’s documentary collections reflect Philadelphia’s Quaker origins and the Quaker traditions of women’s equality and outspokenness; the city’s role as a center for African-American politics and culture; and the development of institutions such as the world’s first medical college for women.

Taken together, these collections demonstrate that the campaign for women’s suffrage did not happen in a vacuum, but was the result of decades of women of all kinds moving out of the home and into the schools and workplaces of the nation.

From a survey of 45 collections in the holdings of 8 members of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collection Libraries, the pilot project focuses on providing a searchable database of primary source documents from seven project partners and contextual essays on overarching issues and these three themes...