"My grandmother had been an educator and had a radio show in Chicago in the '30s, and she had a box of materials that had 'SAVE' written on the top. I kept the box for a long time."
Carey Shuart, Houston businesswoman and arts patron, opened the box to find her grandmother's history in letters, photos and papers.
"I had the box of materials and realized there must be other women with boxes of materials and no place to put them, so that was the inception for the idea," she said.
Work began at UH on a repository of such histories to preserve important works of Houston and Texas women for students and scholars. That archive is now renamed the Carey Shuart Women's Archive and Research Collection in honor of her vision.
"We have been gathering material for close to 20 years at this point, including interviews with individuals and panel discussions that have been videoed and papers from individuals and organizations primarily in the Houston area."
Like Nikki Van Hightower, The Ladies of Distinction, The Hispanic Women in Leadership, League of Women Voters, Annise Parker, The Houston Comets and Carey Shuart.
"Nobody had to empower these women," said Dana Rooks, dean of UH libraries. "They were empowered, and what they were doing, in many cases, was empowering women—not only of their own generation, but certainly of women to come."
The archive is available in person and online.
"We are hoping to grow and gain a national prominence that extends beyond Houston and Texas," Shuart said.
The Carey Shuart Archive is part of what's happening at the University of Houston. I'm Marisa Ramirez.
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