"Women in Texas History"

Ruthe Winegarten Memorial Foundation

Location: Austin

Year Received: 2014

Website: www.womenintexashistory.org

The Ruthe Winegarten Foundation for Texas Women’s History and Texas A&M University Press have partnered to produce the first in their  “Women in Texas History” book series. The first title, Allie Victoria Tennant and the Visual Arts in Dallas, by Light Townsend Cummins, was recently published, supported in part by a grant from the Texas Historical Foundation.

The purpose of the series is to produce books that offer the best that historians are producing on the subject of women’s history. Nancy Baker Jones, president of the Winegarten Foundation, added that in addition, the series recognizes that there are “foundational texts” from the field’s early years that deserve to be reprinted for new generations of readers.

She said, “We are also proud of our Ellen C. Temple Classics of Texas Women’s History collection. That name honors the woman whose early dedication to publishing on that subject helped bring the field into existence.”

The first two books in that collection also appeared in 2015: Citizens at Last: The Woman Suffrage Movement in Texas, edited by Ruthe Winegarten and Judith N. McArthur (first published in 1987) and A Texas Suffragist: Diaries and Writings of Jane Y. McCallum, edited by Janet G. Humphrey (first published in 1988).

When Jones was asked about the importance of recording the stories of women, she said, “Texas history, from its start, has been made by everyone, but it is only relatively recently that the stories of women have been included. We can actually date the revolution that announced women’s participation to a remarkable museum exhibit, called “Texas Women: A Celebration of History” that opened at the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio in 1981 and traveled the state for two years.”

Jones concluded, “Telling women’s stories is simply the honest thing to do if we want well-educated citizens who can take us into the future with an accurate understanding of how we got to the present. I…think about the state song Texas, Our Texas. For a long time, that title was not accurate, because the stories of women were not included in our history. Now that they are, we can say that Texas really is ours.”