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Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice donates papers to UT

Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice and Toledo native Judith Ann Lanzinger recently donated her personal papers to the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections at The University of Toledo.

Lanzinger, who is the only person ever elected to all four levels of Ohio’s judiciary, retired from the state’s highest court in 2016.

Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice and UT law alumna Judith Ann Lanzinger, second from left, recently donated her personal papers to the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections. She posed for a photo with, from left, Lauren White, manuscripts librarian and lecturer; D. Benjamin Barros, dean of the College of Law; and Barbara Floyd, director of the Canaday Center and interim director of University Libraries, who propped up a 2007 portrait of justices from the Supreme Court of Ohio.

During her long career, she also served on the 6th District Court of Appeals, the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas and the Toledo Municipal Court.

The Canaday Center, the special collections department of the UT Libraries, has long collected manuscript materials related to the history of women in northwest Ohio. Noteworthy collections include the papers of educators, politicians and activists such as Linda Furney, Betty Mauk, Betty Morais, Mary Boyle Burns, Ella P. Stewart and Olive Colton. The center recently has begun collaborating with the College of Law to preserve the history of Toledo’s women lawyers and judges.

“We are delighted to help ensure this important history is accessible to future scholars and citizens,” said D. Benjamin Barros, dean of the College of Law.

As part of this collaboration with the College of Law, the center also recently acquired a collection of scrapbooks documenting the career of Geraldine Macelwane, the first woman elected judge of the Toledo Municipal Court (appointed in 1952) and the first woman judge of the Lucas County Common Pleas Court (appointed in 1956). She died in 1974.

“Justice Lanzinger is one of our most distinguished alumni, having notably served at all levels of the Ohio judiciary. We are honored that the University is able to house her papers, which we hope will encourage and inspire others to civic engagement,” Barros said.

The Lanzinger collection contains photographs, awards and research files documenting her judicial career. Of particular note are the former justice’s case notes that provide insight into her thoughts and opinions as they developed during trials.

“This collection will provide a rich source of information on many aspects of Justice Lanzinger’s career,” said Barbara Floyd, director of the Canaday Center and interim director of University Libraries. “We hope to continue to collect and preserve the papers of other women lawyers and judges from this area to add to these collections.”

Lanzinger said, “I am honored that the Ward M. Canaday Center has accepted these documents that represent my 31 years of service at all levels of Ohio’s judiciary. I hope they may be of help in future academic projects at The University of Toledo, my alma mater.”

For more information on the collection, contact Floyd at 419.530.2170.