Thousands of people visit the Susan B Anthony House and Museum in Rochester each year. They come from all across the U.S. and around the world.
But starting this week for the first time, anyone with access to a computer or a smartphone can view more than 30 artifacts from Susan B Anthony's life and the women's suffrage movement, thanks to a partnership between the Anthony Museum and the Google Cultural Institute.
"We want people to have a chance to see Susan B. Anthony's handwriting, to read what she was thinking as she was working out on the farm off of what is now Brooks Avenue, and contemplating as she was representing the New York Abolition Society, what was she going to do next with her life to change the world," said Deborah Hughes, president and CEO of the Anthony House and Museum.
Many of the documents in the online archive have been discovered in the last two to 15 years and haven't been published before. In an 1851 letter to her Uncle Albert and Aunt Ann Eliza, Anthony ponders her future as a champion for equal rights. Photos in the collection show the future suffragist leader in her 20s and 30s. There is also a cross-stitch sampler she created in her pre-teen years.
The collection also contains letters from Anthony and her father, Daniel, demonstrating her and her family’s dedication to the abolitionist movement.
"People don't know that she was a major speaker for the New York State Abolition Society,” Hughes said. “She went to every single county in New York. They completely suspended the work for suffrage during the time of the Civil War because they wanted to make sure we ended the awful institution of slavery.”
Hughes says the Google partnership falls right in line with the museum’s mission.
"Our number one priority is to share those letters and documents that people have not had a chance to see, so scholars can have access and we can continue the discussion about how significant this woman was in revolutionizing the world."
The Google exhibit can be found at https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/exhibit/wwISTw3PopLIJQ and through the Google Arts and Culture mobile app for iOS and Android