The Northeast Georgia History Center at Brenau University is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment with a brand-new exhibit.
This exhibit, titled “Voices for the Vote: the Struggle for Women’s Suffrage”, features photos and other artifacts donated to the center from members of the community.
Items in the exhibit date from as early as the mid 1850s when the first women's suffrage convention took place, to as late as the 1970s during the fight for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
In addition to photos, other pieces in the exhibit include outfits and accessories worn by women during a specific time period. There are household items like a curling iron dating from the early 1900s, a Brenau yearbook from 1915 and a handwritten Hall County voter registration book.
Lesley Jones, Archival Media and Internship Coordinator for the center, said that the exhibit highlights the role of the Gainesville-Hall County community in the passage of the 19th Amendment.
“Something that we wanted to make sure to include was that all of the women, even in North Georgia, were part of the suffrage or anti-suffragist movement,” said Jones.
Libba Beaucham, Director of Media and Communications for the center, said that the exhibit also captures the lives of local women during their respective period.
“You see all of these different classes of women, different races and you’re able to see a local perspective,” said Beaucham.
The exhibit flows in chronological order from one time period to the next, with a television screen in the center that plays some of the center’s digital programs.
As part of the celebration for the 19th Amendment, the center’s August digital programming will feature an actor portraying a key figure in the suffragist movement.
Beaucham explained that the center brings in professional actors so they can best capture the characters.
“We bring these characters to life through what’s called living history…living history interpreters are professionals [so] you will actually get to hear the words of Frederick Douglas as well as a speech from suffragist and abolitionist Lucy Stone,” said Beaucham.
In addition to playing the speeches throughout the exhibit, the center will also offer the digital program separately at different times throughout the month.
The exhibit opens to the general public on Tuesday, August 19 and will remain open until March.
Masks are required while inside the center. Tickets cost $6 for adults, $5 for active military and senior adults and $4 for students. Children ages 5 and younger can enter for free. More information is on the Northeast Georgia History Center's website.