This collection consists of materials documenting the legal, political, judicial, and activist career of Sarah Tilghman Hughes (1896-1985) (see Collection Historical Note below for further biographical information).
The contents of the materials in the collection represent significant topics and events in Judge Hughes's career and lifetime, including her three terms (1931-1935) in the Texas House of Representatives (one of the first women elected to the state legislature following the passage of the 19th Amendment); her appointment in 1935 to the 14th District Court of Texas in Dallas (as the first female state district judge in Texas); her membership in and term (1950-1952) as President of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs; her appointment in 1961 to the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas (as the first female federal district judge in Texas); the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and subsequent swearing-in of Lyndon B. Johnson as President (conducted by Judge Hughes); and Judge Hughes's involvement in various other issues including human rights, treatment of prisoners, women's rights, and female equality.
It should be noted that the bulk of the collection consists of files - including correspondence, minutes, notes, reports, publications, and other printed materials - documenting Judge Hughes's involvement in various organizations including the International, National, and Texas federations of the Business and Professional Women's Clubs, the Dallas Bar Association, the Dallas United Nations Association, the United Nations, and the World Peace Through Law Center.
The materials in the collection are largely textual, including correspondence, memoranda, typescripts, publications, speeches, court case papers, legal documents, notes, reports, travel itineraries, appointment books, meeting minutes and agendas, clippings, and related printed materials. Ephemera such as pamphlets, brochures, flyers, and certificates are also included. The collection contains several boxes of assorted photographs and portraits of Judge Hughes and other political figures, as well as photograph albums.