image of women's suffrage postcards


A new exhibit at the Grout Museum in Waterloo, called “Remember the Ladies: The Path to Suffrage,” will feature items from the personal collection of Cate Palczewski, professor of communication studies at the University of Northern Iowa.

The exhibit explores the relationship between suffragists in Iowa and the Cedar Valley and the national movement, while illustrating the changing roles of women throughout the 20th century.

Palczewski, whose area of instruction includes women’s rhetoric, has long been involved in research on Women’s Suffrage. For the exhibit at the museum, Palczewski has lent items such as postcards, flyers and pages from her upcoming book that focuses on women’s suffrage.

“Learning about the history of women’s suffrage is important because a lot of these arguments mirror issues today, like voter suppression and how society treats female politicians,” she said. “History gives people a different perspective on contemporary debates, and learning this history can help us understand current dynamics.”

The exhibit will remain at the museum through March of 2021.

In addition to the exhibit at the Grout Museum, Palczewski has also lent items for an exhibit that’s currently up at the Cedar Falls Public Library, and she will be hosting several public lectures throughout the upcoming months.


Upcoming lectures include:

February 19, “Hard Won, Not Done: A Short History of Woman Suffrage Activism,” at 1 p.m. at the Cedar Falls Woman’s Club, 304 Clay Street in Cedar Falls
February 22, “Black Women Suffrage Movement,” at 10 a.m. Waterloo CF/W AAUW at Waterloo YWCA
February 24, Cedar Falls Public Library at 7 p.m.
March 11, UNI History Department at 7 p.m.
March 28, 10 a.m. to noon at the YWCA in Waterloo
April 4, 2 p.m. at the Cedar Falls Historical Society


A digitized collection of Palczewski’s suffrage postcard collection can be found online at UNI ScholarWorks, here: