The UNT Special Collections 2016 Research Fellowship Awardee - Nancy E. Baker

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The University of North Texas Libraries invite applications for the 2016 UNT Special Collections Research Fellowship. Research in special collections is relevant to studies in a variety of disciplines including history, journalism, political science, geography, fine art, art history and American studies. We encourage applicants to think creatively about new uses for special collections. Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate the greatest potential for publication and the best use of special collections at UNT Libraries.

The UNT Special Collections 2016 Research Fellowship Awardee

Dr. Nancy E. Baker

Project Title

Texas Feminist Legal Reformers in the 20th Century

Project Description

My research focuses on Texas feminist legal reformers who modernized the state’s laws, bringing Texas from worst in the nation for women to first in the nation to have a unified, reformed Family Code of law. While at UNT, I will be conducting research in the papers of Sarah Hughes, a lawyer, state legislator, and federal judge who led the campaign that in 1954 secured women’s right to serve on juries. Hughes was an essential mentor to other Texas feminists, including Louise Raggio, who was responsible for the Marital Property Act of 1967, which paved the way for the Texas Equal Legal Rights Amendment.


Nancy E. Baker earned her Ph.D. in History from Harvard University. She is an Associate Professor of History at Sam Houston State University, where she has won awards for her teaching. She has published articles and chapters on the Equal Rights Amendment, conservative and right-wing women in 20th-century Texas, and Hermine Tobolowsky (“mother of the Texas ERA”). Currently, she is finishing revisions on a book on the Equal Rights Amendment and working on a book on Texas feminist legal reformers in the 20th century.