Manchester City Council

Libraries Political and Trade Union Records

Suffrage Movement

The women’s suffrage movement was the struggle for the right of women to vote and stand as candidates for Parliament. Organised campaigns for women's suffrage began to appear in 1866 and from 1888 women were able to vote in many local council elections.

The collection of letters and pamphlets, known as the Women's Suffrage collection, is in fact two separate collections, both given to the library in April 1922 by Miss Margaret Ashton.

The collection is available on microfilm in cabinet 29 on the ground floor - there is no need for an appointment to view it. A copy of the microfilm is also at the British Library. You can view the catalogue online ahead of your visit:

  • The papers of the Manchester Branch of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies 1867 to 1919 (ref GB127.M50/1).
  • The rest of the collection (ref GB127.M50/2-8) consists of papers of Millicent Garrett Fawcett, LL.D., former President of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, on women's suffrage and other women's questions.

We also hold these other suffrage collections. They can be viewed in the search room on the ground floor of Central Library, please make an appointment (with at least one day notice):

  • National League for Opposing Women's Suffrage, Manchester Branch 1909 to 1914 (ref GB127.M131).
  • Papers of Mrs Hannah Maria Mitchell (1871 to 1956) J. P. of Manchester, Labour Councillor (ref GB127.M220).
  • Photocopies of papers of Annot Robinson, suffragette and peace worker (nee Annot Erskine Wilkie) (ref GB127.MISC/718).

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