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Indianapolis women voter registration photographs

 Collection — Folder: SP169
Identifier: SP169

Scope and Contents

This collection includes 3 black-and-white snapshot photographs of women gathered outside a building in Indianapolis, Indiana, possibly the Talbot Avenue theater, circa June 25, 1917, bearing a sign inviting women from 3rd Ward to register to vote.


  • circa 1917/06/25

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

In 1917, the Indiana General Assembly passed three pro-suffrage laws. The first called for a convention to draft a new state constitution with the intent to include women's suffrage; the second amended the current state constitution to allow women's suffrage, but would require it to pass again in 1919 and be approved by a matjority of voters; and the third offered women partial suffrage to vote in presidential, municipal, and constitutional convention elections. This last law allowed Hoosier women to register to vote in the summer of 1917. About 300 women, most from the 3rd Ward in Indianapolis, registered to vote at Talbott Avenue theater between 1:00 and 6:00 p.m. on June 25, 1917.

Unfortunately, men opposed to women's suffrage opposed the first and third laws and challenged them in the state courts. The Indiana Supreme Court found the laws unconstitutional in separate rulings and women were stripped of their partial suffrage rights as of October 26, 1917, despite many women already having registered and even voted in the state. The second law intended to amend the state constitution did not succeed. Indiana women were not allowed to vote again until the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920.


Items in the collection.

"Three Hundred Women Register for Elections." Indianapolis News, June 26, 1917. Accessed April 29, 2022.

Kalvatis, Jennifer M. "Indianapolis Women Working for the Right to Vote: The Forgotten Drama of 1917." MA thesis, Indiana University, 2013. Accessed April 29, 2022.

Morgan, Anita. "'An Act of Tardy Justice': The Story of Women’s Suffrage in Indiana." Indiana Women's Suffrage Centennial, 2019. Accessed April 29, 2022.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digitized materials from the collection are available online in the ISL Digital Collections:

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2022/04/29 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid created 2022/04/29 by Brittany Kropf.
Indianapolis women voter registration photographs
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.