Our friends at the New York State Museum need our help and yours in growing their women’s history collection. Specifically, they are seeking posters, buttons, banners, other materials carried, worn and/or used by New Yorkers at the Women’s March On Washington in DC, and in other sister marches held around NY state on January 21, 2017. Who’s in? We most certainly are!
Ashley Hopkins-Benton, Senior Historian/Curator of social history at the New York State Museum, explained to WYSK, “The women’s history collection at the NYS Museum is small, but growing, and includes artifacts that represent over a century of women (and their allies) fighting for women’s rights: banners carried in suffrage parades, materials from the 1977 NYS women’s meeting, handouts from NYS NOW events, and photos and buttons from pro-ERA actions in the 1980s.” She added, “It is important that the actions of New Yorkers as part of the Women’s March and sister marches be preserved in our archive as well.”
“It is important that the actions of New Yorkers as part of the Women’s March and sister marches be preserved in our archive.”
In their call for artifacts, the museum noted having special interest in items made by marchers (or their supporters), and items that include original messages. Signs that specifically relate to the sites of the sister marches are of particular interest, as well. For example, a “build bridges, not walls” poster that was carried at the Walkway over the Hudson March with the image of the bridge.
Supporting information and photos are also encouraged. Background information on artifacts is also very helpful: What was your reason for marching? Who did you march with? If you created the artifact, how did you choose the message to put on it? Do you have any particular memories or observations from the march that stand out?
Due to limited storage space, the museum can’t take everything, but they are trying to collect a diverse and representative sample of materials used and created around the state. They also understand that many relevant signs, buttons, etc. have a life beyond January 21st, so they are interested in materials that may come in later, but are still in use.
How To Submit Your Artifacts
If you have materials that you are interested in donating, please email Ashley Hopkins-Benton.
Our team proudly marched in DC, and we are sending Ashley the tote our co-founder had over her shoulder all day, which features our “Feminism At Work“, the inspired illustration we conceptualized and unveiled for Women’s History Month 2015. Inside that bag, she carried the limited edition “Pussy Power” buttons we made exclusively for the march. We handed out 1,000 of those buttons to marchers (anyone who wanted one) on the street, on the metro, and at the march. From our hands onto the hats, coats, and bags of 1,000 people, the buttons quickly disappeared into the massive crowd.