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Meredith Bacon Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS-0080

Content Description

Dr. W. Meredith Bacon joined the University of Nebraska Omaha faculty in 1976 and spent her UNO career as a political science professor, specializing in international relations, specifically Moldovan and Romanian politics. Throughout her career she has also served as an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community. In 2005, she became the first UNO faculty member to openly transition and changed her legal name from Walter Meredith Bacon, Jr., to W. Meredith Bacon.

Her transition announcement was met with support from colleagues, former students, family, friends, and various community members including religious leaders and gender equality advocates. Her transition also garnered attention from a variety of publications including People magazine and the Omaha World Herald. The latter publication reported her to likely be the first openly transgender person elected to serve as a faculty leader for a university or college in the United States. Dr. Bacon served three terms as the president of UNO’s Faculty Senate; her final term she served after her transition.

The Meredith Bacon collection has been organized into eight series with materials ranging from 1967 to 2016. These series include: Activism, Clippings, Correspondence, Decree of Name Change, Ephemera, Instruction, Photographs, and Research.

Dr. Bacon has been active in a variety of LGBTQIA+ organizations and initiatives including National Coming Out Day at UNO and the National Center for Transgender Equality. The Activism series touches on some of her initiatives and interests in various organizations such as the Equal Rights Amendment, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Human Rights Campaign.

The correspondence and clippings materials may be of particular interest to researchers. Much of the correspondence materials are letters, cards, and emails of support for Dr. Bacon after her transition announcement, as well as the announcement itself. A message from Meredith’s wife Lynne to their church community is also included. Clippings of note are the interviews Meredith and Lynne did with People magazine and the Omaha World Herald, as well as a profile on Dr. Bacon from UNO’s The Gateway. The photograph materials show Dr. Bacon posing in various women’s fashions from 1973 to 1990. Some of these photos are undated and could have been taken prior to 1973 and after 1990.

The research materials make up the bulk of this collection. These materials vary in scope but the majority of the research remains in its original order. Dr. Bacon collected a large amount of research material on transgender topics including the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, transgender politics, gender identity, inclusion, and activism. Many of the research materials include handwritten notes and portions highlighted by Dr. Bacon.

Dates

  • 1965-2015

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the Nebraska Public Records Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 84-712 through 84-712.09), and other relevant regulations. Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Nebraska Omaha assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, Archives & Special Collections will provide information about copyright owners and related information. Securing permission to publish or use material is the responsibility of the researcher. Note that unless specifically transferred to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, any applicable copyrights may be held by another individual or entity. Further information about copyright policy is available at http://libguides.unomaha.edu/library_policies.

Extent

3.75 Cubic Feet (9 boxes) : Research notes, Correspondence, Photographs, Negatives, Photo album

Language of Materials

English

Custodial History

Professor Meredith Bacon donated her papers to the Criss Library Archives & Special Collections in September 2016.

Related Materials

University Communications UNO Staff Files Collection

UNO Faculty Senate Records

Separated Materials

Magazines and books were also received from the donor and will be reviewed for retention in the Special Collections book collection.

Source

Title
Meredith Bacon Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Amy Schindler; Angela Kroeger, Jess Vermeulen (2022)
Date
2016-09-19
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English
Edition statement
4th edition

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Archives & Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Archives & Special Collections
Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library
6001 Dodge St.
Omaha Nebraska 68182-0237 United States
402-554-6046