Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - History



First Advisor

Perky Beisel

Second Advisor

Scott Sosebee

Third Advisor

Dana Cooper

Fourth Advisor

Linda Reynolds


Kay Bailey Hutchison served Texas and the United States in many capacities during her political career. She vastly impacted Texas, as well as Nacogdoches, Texas in particular, through her time serving as a member of the Texas House of Representatives and as a United States Senator. In 2012, she donated her massive collection of gifts and memorabilia to the East Texas Research Center, a regional archive at Stephen F. Austin State University. The university honored her donation by creating a room to display the collection and interpret her influence on East Texas. Due to a rushed timeline, administrative interference, and insufficient knowledge of artifact stewardship, those working on the project disregarded museological best practices and put historical resources at risk. This public history thesis provides an updated history of Hutchison’s political career and creates a narrative of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Project and how things went awry. The author analyzes the museological best practices utilized to reprocess the collection, discusses how to adapt those practices in an archival setting, and reflects on her efforts to reprocess the Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison Collection.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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