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‘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.

IWA Display Celebrates 90 Years of Women’s Suffrage

Student processor Annette Bramstedt just helped finalize a new exhibit in honor of the 90th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States (and Iowa).

Bramstedt says working on the exhibit broadened her view of women’ s suffrage—she didn’t realize how much the women of Iowa played a role in national events.

Some highlights of the exhibit include quotes from influential women, photos and a 1920-1945 ledger from the League of Women Voters.

Several IWA collections have material relating to women’s suffrage.
Check out the ones used in the new exhibit:
Iowa Suffrage Memorial Commission records
League of Women Voters of Iowa records
Woman’s Christian Temperance Union records
Genevieve Taylor papers
Jennifer Riggs Cosson papers
Carolyn Campbell Pendray papers

To see the exhibit for yourself, visit the 3rd floor of the Main Library—right outside the Iowa Women’s Archives.

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.

There’s this thing called Lamaze. . .

On Wednesday, March 10th, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. we’ll be talking Lamaze in the Iowa Women’s Archives.

We’ve joined forces with the UI History of Medicine Society and the Council on the Status of Women’s Herstory Committee to bring you some entertainment and enlightenment.  Join us from 4:30 to 5:15 for cookies and conversation with old friends and new.

At 5:15 p.m., Theatre Arts graduate student Janet Schlapkohl will entertain with “There’s This Thing Called Lamaze,” a brief monologue and song about natural childbirth in the 1970s.  We’ll be entering uncharted territory in the IWA with live music  (if we can pull it off).  Some of you will have seen Janet perform at the Riverside Theater as part of Walking the Wire.

At 5:30 p.m. Professor Paula Michaels of the UI History Department will present a lecture “Comrades in the Labor Room: The International Story of the Lamaze Method, 1950-80.”  Most of us are familiar with the Lamaze method’s patterned breathing and conscious relaxation that became popular in the 1960s and 70s along with the natural childbirth movement (be sure to check out the very seventies attire pictured on the Lamaze books in the IWA reading room display).  But who knew about the Soviet origins of Lamaze and its association with the French Communist Party?   Paula Michaels will talk about the origins of the Lamaze method and the efforts to obscure these leftist ties during the Cold War in order to make Lamaze palatable to Americans. 

Hope to see you here on Wednesday afternoon. 

(3rd floor, south side, University of Iowa Main Library at the corner of Burlington and Madison in Iowa City).

All About Eve

Our first women’s history month event features the work of Eve Drewelowe, who in 1924 became the first person to earn a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Iowa. 

The painting “Summertime with Sis and Soot” evokes Drewelowe’s Iowa childhood and on a day like today, with the sun shining and snow melting, I can almost believe that summer–or at least spring–is on the way.  I’m lucky to have this painting hanging in my windowless office, providing a glimpse of Iowa fields and sky on a summer day.

On Wednesday, March 3rd, from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. in the North Exhibition Hall of the University’s Main Library, we’ll unveil the Eve Drewelowe Digital Collection that was recently completed by the University of Iowa Libraries with the assistance of Lindsay Shannon, a graduate student in the School of Art and Art History.  Upon her death, Drewelowe bequeathed her artworks and personal papers to the School of Art and Art History. When the Iowa Women’s Archives was established in 1992, the papers were placed in the Archives on permanent loan. These materials have now been digitized in their entirety for the online collection, which features more than 700 items, including paintings, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, and correspondence. 

Professor Joni Kinsey, Curator of the Drewelowe art collection, will speak about the artist’s work and the significance of the collection at 4:30 p.m.  Please join us on Wednesday to celebrate the remarkable Eve Drewelowe.

Welcome to our blog!

Women’s History Month is upon us and there’s a lot happening in the Iowa Women’s Archives.  We thought it would be nice to let people know about events, collections, exhibits, and other newsworthy items, so we’ve started a blog. 

For our first post, we wanted to share a local TV news story highlighting valentines in the Iowa Women’s Archives.  This news story was prompted by a post on the Digital Library Services blog by Joanna Lee.

Winners All: The Experiences of Women in Iowa Sports

April 13, 2009

Iowa Women’s Archives curator Kären Mason will moderate a panel discussion concerning the role of sports in girls’ and women’s lives and the impact of changing opportunities for participation in organized sport. Panelists will include former director of UI Women’s Athletics Christine Grant, UI volleyball coach Sharon Dingman, sports reporter Susan Harman, assistant UI women’s basketball coach Jan Jensen, and visiting assistant professor in Health and Sport Studies Christina Johnson. Monday, April 13, 7:00 p.m. at the UI Athletics Hall of Fame and Museum on the corner of Mormon Trek Blvd. and Melrose Avenue. The forum is free and open to the public. Admission to the Hall of Fame and Museum will also be free from 6:00-7:00 p.m. on April 13th. 

Making Women’s History: An Iowa Perspective

Mar 28, 2009 

Iowa Women’s Archives curator Kären Mason will discuss how the Archives gathers the history of Iowa women and will tell the stories of some of the remarkable Iowa women represented there, many of whom were leaders in their communities and beyond. Saturday, March 28, 1:00 PM, at the Fort Des Moines Museum & Education Center, 75 East Army Post Road, Des Moines, Iowa 50315, 1-888-828-FORT (515) 282-8060. Free.

IWA History

Newsletters – Previous Issues

The Iowa Women’s Archives no longer publishes a separate newsletter. The Libraries newsletter, Bindings, often features stories about Iowa Women’s Archives collections, staff, and projects.

Press Releases