Irish women suffragist ephemera

Published in Issue 3 (May/June 2016), Letters, Volume 24

Sir,—I am issuing a public appeal for information on surviving objects and archives related to Irish women suffragists. I am a museum archaeologist and material culture historian, currently compiling a master’s research thesis on the visual and material culture of the Irish women’s suffrage movement. The year 2018 will mark the centenary of votes for women in UK general elections (including Ireland). I hope to record any surviving material from this period in my research catalogue, with the aim of publishing it by the time of the centenary. Early research has uncovered very few surviving objects currently in our museums and archives, and it appears that the ongoing nationalist movement formed the main focus of contemporary collection of objects from this period. The numerous Irish suffragist groups are known to have produced a range of ephemera and promotional objects for their cause, with many of these displaying the national colours, as well as suffrage slogans and organisational acronyms. A large number of contemporary domestic and practical objects are also known to have been used by suffragists during public demonstrations and militant protests. It is my hope that many suffragist objects may today be held in private and family collections, and may not yet have been officially documented. It is my aim to use my research to address, and hopefully enhance, the surviving physical record for this important period of Irish women’s history.
I would appeal to anyone who has, or knows of, any associated suffrage objects to please contact me.—Yours etc.,

DONNA GILLIGAN
donnapgilligan@gmail.com

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