Biographical Database of Militant Woman Suffragists, 1913-1920
A Crowdsourcing Experiment

To celebrate the centennial of the White House picketing for woman suffrage that began in January of 1917, the editors of Women and Social Movements in the United States invite women's history faculty and students to join a crowdsourcing experiment. Historian Jill Zahniser compiled extensive information about women suffrage activists, which we published as a database in the March 2015 issue of WASM. Women from 35 states and the District of Columbia are represented in the database. Jill Zahniser has launched this project by constructing the database and writing biographical sketches of six women activists. Another 28 already have biographical sketches in Notable American Women. We seek to assemble biographical sketches of the remaining 190 militant suffragists for whom there are no authoritative biographical sketches. Will 20 faculty in U.S. women's history volunteer to mentor students in their classes between now and June 2017 in the methods of researching and writing these remaining biographical sketches of militant woman suffragists?

This collaborative project offers a rare opportunity to engage women's history students in the research, interpretation, and writing of women's history for a broad public. Students will receive authorship credit for their work and can view the online publication of their work as a contribution to the approaching centennial celebration of the passage of Woman Suffrage in the United States.

This project has been going for two years now (as of August 2017) and by late September we will have published some 225 crowdsourced biographical sketches. Another 150 NWP militants are still out on assignment or need to be assigned, and we expect to be adding these sketches to the site over the next year and a half. We still need additional volunteers, so please get in touch if you’d like to research and write a biographical sketch.

If you do not have access to Women and Social Movements in the United States we will provide you the information you will need to work on a bio sketch of an activist.. If you teach a class in which you would like students to work on bio sketches, we can supply you with names of mainstream suffragists affiliated with the National American Woman Suffrage Association. To join either project, please contact WASM co-editor, Tom Dublin at, who will be coordinating the crowdsourcing activity.

Progress Reports

Below we offer hypertext links to documents that will be useful to volunteers.

Resources for volunteers writing biographical sketches