• frances willard slider

    Visionary Leader

    Social Reformer

    Women's Rights Advocate

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Women’s History Map – Free!

Our Evanston Women’s History Map – done in partnership with the Evanston Women’s History Project and Shorefront Legacy Center – is now available for free! You just need to take a brief trip to the Willard House to pick it up – they are inside the front door. You can explore the stories of fifteen Evanston women by walking, riding or driving. If you’d like to make a small donation to cover the cost of the map you can do so at franceswillardhouse.org/donate. Enjoy exploring – and remember the social distancing recommendations!

COVID-19 Update

The Frances Willard House Museum and WCTU Archives will be closed for tours and research through May 31. We are also suspending all private group tours and outreach events. Like many other museums and archives in the Chicago area, we are monitoring Illinois and Evanston public health announcements and will adjust our plans according to their recommendations.

Our Race and Rights: Wells, Willard and Addams program scheduled for April 30th has been postponed. Stay tuned for new date in fall 2020.


New Willard House Video

Click here to see a brief video that features the Willard House, interior and exterior. This short film was made by Evanston Photographic Studios and all rights are reserved by them.


Truth Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells

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An Award Winning Community History Project of the Frances Willard House Museum and Archives

In the 1890s, Woman’s Christian Temperance Union President Frances Willard and journalist and activist Ida B. Wells fought a war of words in the international press over Willard’s lack of public support for Wells’ anti-lynching campaign. Wells called Willard’s moral leadership into question and demanded that Willard and the WCTU join her anti-lynching campaign. Under Willard’s leadership, the WCTU eventually passed resolutions opposing lynching, but Willard’s language and actions complicate her legacy.

Truth Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells is a community history project that explores this conflict. The project includes a digital exhibit of original archival sources, community conversations, and public programs. The goal of the project is to uncover the full truth of the conflict, and explore its many meanings and ramifications for our world today. 

To visit the website, click here.

In 2020, the Truth Telling project received Honorable Mention for Outstanding Public History Project from the National Council on Public History. To view the online award ceremony video click below.

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