Iowa Women: From Homemakers to Activists (Event Rescheduled)

The University of Iowa Libraries is celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting archival collections about rural women and civil rights activists from the Iowa Women’s Archives (IWA). A selection of digitized photographs, correspondence, audio recordings and other artifacts documenting the lives of Iowa women is currently featured on the University’s Iowa Digital Library .

In addition to the online collections, two public events are scheduled in March to celebrate the history of women in Iowa. The Mujeres Latinas Project will be featured during a brown bag lunch “Latinas and the Emergence of a Grassroots Civil Rights Movement in Iowa” on Tuesday, March 27 at 12 p.m. in the Main Library as part of the campus-wide Latinos in Action Week: Honoring Cesar Chavez.

An event highlighting the African American Women in Iowa collections will be Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. in the Afro American Cultural Center at 303 Melrose Avenue (this event has been rescheduled from March 20).

“Every month is a celebration of women’s history in the Iowa Women’s Archives,” says Kären Mason, Curator of IWA. “We’re happy to take part in the celebration of Women’s History Month, which gives us a chance to highlight some of the many exceptional women who have changed the course of Iowa history in ways large and small.”

The Iowa Digital Library, an online repository of the University’s locally created digital collections, is featuring the following digitized selections from IWA in honor of Women’s History Month:

Evelyn Birkby Collection of Radio Homemaker Materials
Wife, mother, homemaker, newspaper columnist, and radio personality, Birkby is a journalist with a passion for rural history.

Noble Photograph Collection
Mary Noble, a librarian at the University for over three decades, has collected thousands of historic photographs, postcards, glass plate negatives and other images of and by Iowa women.

Virginia Harper Papers
As a student at the University of Iowa, Harper helped integrate Currier residence hall in 1946; after graduation, she went on to become president of her local branch of the NAACP.

Shirley Sandage Papers
Activist Sandage managed a variety of social programs to help migrant farm workers, impoverished children, and people with disabilities.