05/08/2019
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New INTERACTIVE MAP charts the history of the campaign for votes for women in Aberdeen and beyond

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The extent of campaigns for the vote for women in Aberdeen and surrounding areas from 1867 to 1918 is the subject of a new interactive map.

Sarah Pedersen, professor of communication and media at Robert Gordon University's School of Creative and Cultural Business, is working with other academics and schools within the university on her latest project - The Scottish Suffragette Cities Project.

The project, which has been funded through RGU’s Research pump-priming funding initiative, has launched a website that features an interactive map of the region. Each pin on the map indicates at least one suffrage-related event and clicking on each place will give you further information about what happened there and who was involved. 

Professor Pedersen is hoping the public will get involved in this initiative by contributing their own information. She has been working with Dr John Isaacs from the university’s School of Computing Science and Digital Media.

Moving the focus away from London

Professor Pedersen said: “The activities of Scottish suffragists and suffragettes have been overshadowed by what went on in London, to the extent that the history of the movement being taught at higher level in schools in Scotland focuses mainly on English action.

“Our research into the locations of the Scottish suffrage campaign has initially focused on Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. The website maps the activity of the women who fought for the right to vote and also contains further information about their fight for the vote. We hope that the public will engage with the project and contribute their own information.

Pinpointing suffragist and suffragette activity

“The aim of this website is to map the locations of suffragist and suffragette activity throughout the city and Aberdeenshire. Each point on the map indicated at least one suffrage-related event. Some locations, such as the Aberdeen Music Hall, saw many different events. Clicking on each place will give you further information about what happened and who was involved.

“We aim to cover the suffrage campaigns of the constitutional suffragists, such as the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) and the militant suffragettes, such as the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) and the Women’s Freedom League (WFL).

“People who think a relative was a suffragette could take a lead from the site to investigate their family history while local historians will be able to contribute to the history of their area. It is hoped that further funding will enable the site to grow, eventually to encompass the whole of Scotland.”

To use the map, simply select a place of interest and click the dot for the corresponding story. For example, the entry for Balmoral Golf Course and Memorial Fountain reads:

On the morning of Saturday 7 September 1912, it was discovered that the Balmoral golf course had been attacked by the suffragettes. The flags at each hole had been replaced by purple ones bearing the slogans ‘Cabinet Ministers, stop forcibly feeding women’ and ‘Votes for women means peace for Cabinet Ministers’. The suffragettes also attacked the memorial fountain erected by the side of the south Ballater and Braemar road, painting on it ‘Cabinet Ministers are responsible for the present actions’

Explore the map here.

Look out for an exclusive blog from Professor Pedersen in History Scotland Insider, coming soon...

 

(report and image courtesy of Robert Gordon University)

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