Jill Derby Papers

Identifier: 93-45

Scope and Contents

The Jill Derby Papers contain biographical materials and political materials collected in her role as political activist focusing on women’s issues. Series 1 contains Politics, Leadership, and Biographical Materials, including campaign materials for Nevada Assembly, U.S. Congress, and the Board of Regents, as well as information on appointments and awards.

Series 2, the majority of the collection, is composed of files Derby collected while she was involved in the Douglas County chapter of the Women’s Political Caucus, and the Nevada State Women’s Political Caucus. The folders contain a wide variety of materials collected between 1976 and 1988. The materials are organized in reverse hierarchical order, beginning with the Douglas County chapter, then the northern Nevada chapter (Anne Martin), then the Nevada State chapter, and finally the National Women’s Political Caucus. Also included are reports from regional or national organizations about women’s issues. Some folders contain a mixture of materials from different sources.

The last two series contain materials on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), including the beginnings of research for her dissertation about the Equal Rights Amendment that she did not pursue, and other publications relating to women’s rights and politics.


  • 1970-2014


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Biographical Note

Jill Talbot Derby was born on a ranch in Lovelock, Nevada in 1947, the granddaughter of the land donor for Derby Dam and Derby field. Although her family moved to California when she was still a child, her grandparents and later her parents maintained a home at Glenbrook, Lake Tahoe where she spent her summers.

After graduating from the University of California with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene and spending a year on the faculty at the University of California, San Francisco, she accepted a position as a hygienist and health educator in Saudi Arabia. After 3 years in the Middle East, which involved extensive world travel, she decided to change careers and become an anthropologist. She returned to Nevada to pursue the study of cultural anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Following postgraduate study in Arabic at UC Berkeley, she entered the doctoral program in anthropology at the University of California, Davis. In 1988, she completed her doctoral research and dissertation, which involved an extensive study of western Nevada cattle ranching families. In 1988, she published a book based on her research.

In 1973, she married Carson Valley veterinarian, Dr. Stephen C. Talbot and moved to Gardnerville, Nevada. After completing her master’s degree at UC Davis, she taught anthropology at Western Nevada Community College and at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, Nevada.

Through lecturing on cross-cultural issues and topics related to gender communication differences, she established her own business as a free-lance lecturer and communications consultant. Using video as a tool, she helped people evaluate and improve their communication style and self-presentational skills.

Over the years, Derby served on many boards and commissions in Douglas and Carson City counties and on statewide commissions such as the Judicial Selection Commission and the Supreme Court Gender Bias Task Force. Derby has also run for political positions, including the University of Nevada, Reno Board of Regents and Congress. She has been extremely active with the Nevada Woman’s Caucus at the local, state, and national levels.


1.75 Linear Feet (3 boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



Jill Derby is a Nevada anthropologist, consultant and lecturer on social concerns, communication dynamics, and cross-cultural perspectives; leader of the organization Nevadans for ERA; member of the Nevada Board of Regents; first state chair of the National Women's Political Caucus (NWPC) (U.S.), Nevada; and active in the Douglas County (Nevada) branch of the NWPC (U.S.). Included are political materials about Derby's campaigns for University of Nevada Regent and Nevada state Assemblyman; research gathered for a proposed Ph.D. dissertation on the Nevada Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; records of the Douglas County, Bird Wilson, and Anne Martin chapters of the NWPC (U.S.), Nevada; and general reports issued by the NWPC (U.S.). Material between 1970-2014.


Arranged in the following series: 1) Politics and Leadership Materials; 2) Women's Political Caucus; 3) Equal Rights Amendment Research; 4) Women in Politics and Women's Rights

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Jill Derby in 1993 and 2015.

A Part of

Nevada women's archives.


Jill Derby Papers
Susan Searcy
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)