The Iowa Women’s Archives at the University of Iowa Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

Iowa Women's ArchivesThe Iowa Women’s Archives (IWA) located on the third floor of the main library at the University of Iowa, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. The mission of the archives is to gather letters, photos, scrapbooks, writings, and other traces of women’s lives and make them available to students, scholars, and anyone else interested in doing research. The archives include nearly 1,200 collections of personal papers, records of women’s organizations, and oral histories of women from across the state.

A nursing class at the University of Iowa in the 1940s

The founders of the archives were adamant that it seek out the histories of groups underrepresented in archives and historical societies. Over the past quarter-century, the archives undertook projects focused on preserving the history of African American and rural women, Latinas, and Jewish women.

“It’s a wonderful resource for studying Iowa history, women’s history, and the long-overlooked history of the Midwest,” says Kären Mason, who has been the IWA’s curator since it opened in 1992. “To have an entire repository dedicated to stories that have largely been ignored through history is empowering to girls and to women.”

Dr. Mason, who is also an adjunct assistant professor of history at the university, is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. She holds a master’s degree in history from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Michigan.

Filed Under: Women's Studies


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply