Nikki Van Hightower Papers, 1967-1997 | University of Houston Libraries
This collection documents the career of Nikki Van Hightower from the time of her appointment as Women's Advocate up to, and including, her work as Harris County Treasurer. It contains material dating from 1967 to 1997, with the bulk of the material dating from 1977 to 1989. Types of material within the collection include correspondence, memoranda, reports, studies, speeches, commentaries, press statements, publications, diaries, photographs and clippings.
The papers were originally filed in broad subject categories which have, where possible, been retained in the eight series titles: Women's Advocate, Radio, Houston Area Women's Center, International Women's Year, Political Publicity, Speeches, Personal Files, and Clippings. In order to facilitate research, files were broken down into a more detailed topical arrangement. Folders are arranged alphabetically by title within series and sub-series. Where possible, papers are arranged chronologically within folders. When dates are consistently lacking, as with the speeches and radio commentaries, material is arranged alphabetically by title.
Van Hightower's work as Women's Advocate is particularly well documented in the collection. The papers reveal the significance of that position in relation to city government and to the fact that Houston was chosen as the site of the International Women's Year National Conference in 1977.
The papers representing Van Hightower's work at KTRH reveal the extremes of opposition and support which could be engendered by the kind of direct approach to controversial social issues which Van Hightower took in the 1970s.
Also notable are the speeches and clippings. The speeches constitute a substantial portion of the collection, revealing the range of subjects oh which Van Hightower spoke, and the extent of her community involvement. The clippings provide a valuable insight into media treatment of feminism during the 1970s and 1980s.
The Houston Area Women's Center series is the smallest in the collection. Van Hightower's work as Executive Director for the Center is more fully documented in the Houston Area Women's Center collection, also housed in the Carey C. Shuart Women's Research Collection.