From the collections Category


The Nutcracker in Cedar Rapids

Program and photographs of productions of The Nutcracker from the records of the Dieman-Bennett Dance Theatre of the Hemispheres.

Dancers Edna Dieman and Julia Bennett opened their dance studio in 1951 at a rented room in the Cedar Rapids YWCA.  Ten years later they formed the Dance Theatre of the Hemispheres and built a repertoire in classical ballet, Indian and Spanish dance, tap, jazz, and historical dance.

For more information about the company and its productions, go to

Program for 1985 performance of The Nutcracker.

Dancer with the Nutcracker, 1960s?

Nutcracker performance with Jefferson choir, 1955


‘Peace by Any Plan’

by Christine Mastalio

1923 scrapbook, Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs

This just in….
We have just processed a large addition to the Iowa Federation of Women’s Club (IFWC) records. The IFWC was founded in 1893 to help women’s clubs from across the state to communicate and collaborate. The Iowa chapter was the first state federation to join the national one—the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GWFC). By the 1980s, the GFWC was considered the largest and oldest non-denominational women’s organization in the world.
Women in the organization campaigned for literacy, conservation and civic responsibility, but there was also a serious peace movement in the IFWC following World War I.
A county and city federation scrapbook compiled by Blanche Wingate in 1923-1924 (Box 20) reveals how club women actively campaigned for peace in the interwar years.

Selected headlines from the scrapbook read: Peace by Any Plan, Demand Clubwomen; Women Told it Is Their Duty to End Strife; Mrs. Armstrong Urges Women to Advocate Peace; Next War Means Civilization’s End…
Other clippings in this particular scrapbook highlight a Daughters of the America Revolution event, a fashion show and meetings of the executive officers of the club.


We think it’s a breast pump

Lamaze books, baby bonnet, and early breast pump.

We’ve put up a small exhibit in the Iowa Women’s Archives reading room in conjunction with our upcoming Women’s History Month event about the history of the Lamaze method of natural childbirth.  The exhibit includes several Lamaze books from the 1970s from the papers of Patricia Hillard, a leader in La Leche League International from the 1970s through the 1990s.  Also in the exhibit are a baby bonnet dating from the early 1900s, and an unusual glass breast pump.

The breast pump came to the Iowa Women’s Archives with various artifacts and historical records from the Heritage Room of the University of Iowa College of Nursing.  A tag accompanying the breast pump says that it was purchased in New Orleans in 1750.  If anyone knows how this early breast pump worked, we’d like to hear from you.