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Women's March on Lansing protest signs and ephemera collection

Identifier: MSS 542 large

Scope and Contents

The Women's March on Lansing protest signs and ephemera collection is a sampling of the messages displayed at the protest. A particularly iconic feature of the protests are the knitted pink "pussy hats" which refer to a recorded 2005 conversation with Donald Trump who described grabbing women by their genitals. The corners of the hats resembled cat ears, playing on the word "pussy" also referring to cats. Also included in the collection are dozens of born-digital images created and donated by Courtney Smith.


  • Creation: 2017 - 2018

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

The material is stored offsite in Remote Storage. Please contact Special Collections 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections, Michigan State University Libraries.

Biographical / Historical

Following the inauguration of U. S. President Donald Trump, over one million protestors assembled in the nation's capitol the following day to protest his rhetoric of anti-women, anti-LGBTQIA+, xenophobia, populist, anti-environment, science, and worker's rights. The event inspired several other protests both across the country and internationally, making January 21, 2017 the largest protest in history with an estimated 5 million wordwide participants. The March on Lansing was a protest satelite in Michigan for the Washington, D.C. event. The Women's March became a nonprofit organization and organized annual marches throughout the country on the anniversary since the initial march.


4.5 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by MSU student Courtney Smith, and Library staff members Jessica Achberger, Leslie Behm, Peter Berg, Susan Kendall, Sue Levy, Seth Martin, Diana Rivera, Eric Tans, and other MSU Librarians who attended the Marches. Many of the signs were acquired after being abandoned.

Related Materials

Related collections include: MSS 583: Women's March on Washington protest signs and ephemera collection

and MSS 635: Courtney Smith photographs of the Lansing March for Our Lives 2018

Processing Information

Lydia Tang processed this collection in 2017 and in 2018.

Finding Aid for the Women's March on Lansing protest signs and ephemera collection
4 Published And Cataloged
Lydia Tang and Zachary Wood
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48823 USA