LGBT Life in Iowa City, Iowa: 1967-2010 Online Exhibit Earns Honorable Mention, the award-winning website on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer U.S. history, announced the winners of its “Since Stonewall Local Histories Contest,” 41 years after the start of the rebellion that marks the beginning of the modern movement for LGBTQ rights and liberation.

“LGBT Life in Iowa City, Iowa: 1967-2010” online exhibit curated by University Archivist David McCartney and Iowa Women’s Archives Curator Karen Mason earned an honorable mention in the competition. The exhibit is a timeline featuring over 70 images chronicling the history of the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender communities in Iowa City. Content was drawn from collections in the Iowa Women’s Archives, the University Archives, and from the personal collections of several members of the community, who contributed their time to the UI Libraries’ effort.

The contest—the first of its kind—invited people from across the country to create exhibits on about the history of LGBTQ life in their village, town, city, county, or state since the Stonewall riots, 40 years ago. The contest also offered five cash prizes, from $5,000 to $1,000, to the creators of the top five exhibits. The awards were provided by the Arcus Foundation, which funded for four years. received over thirty exciting exhibits about LGBTQ history. One of the contest’s major goals was to draw attention to LGBTQ history in places that scholars have overlooked. Exhibits include entries about states such as Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, and Virginia, among others.

The “Since Stonewall” exhibits are all geographically-based, but range dramatically in subject, from one New Yorker’s memoirs, to a history of the Gay Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C., an account of a long-lived gay bar in Michigan called The Flame, and a timeline of The Lesbian Mothers National Defense Fund in Seattle. All the entries are listed on the site.

Professors and historians of homosexuality John D’Emilio and Leisa Meyer served as judges of the contest.

“Comrades in the Labor Room,” Women’s History Month Lecture

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the University’s Council on the Status of Women, History of Medicine Society and Iowa Women’s Archives will sponsor a reception and a public lecture by University of Iowa History Professor Paula Michaels.

Wednesday, March 10
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Iowa Women’s Archives on the third floor of the Main Library. 

The festivities will begin at 4:30 p.m. with a reception featuring light refreshments.  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.  

At 5:30 p.m., Professor Michaels will begin her lecture, “Comrades in the Labor Room: The International Story of the Lamaze Method, 1950-1980,” which reveals the origins of the Lamaze method in the Soviet Union, its promotion by the French Communist Party, and the deliberate efforts to obscure these leftist ties that made Lamaze palatable to U.S. women during the Cold War era. 

Please join us for any or all of these activities.

For more information, contact Sharon Lake, Chair of Herstory Committee; Kären Mason, Iowa Women’s Archives, at 319-335-5068; or  Ed Holtum, History of Medicine Society, at 319-335-9154.

Women’s History Month reception, Mar 3

To celebrate women’s history month and to unveil a new digital collection of UI alumna Eve Drewelowe, the UI Libraries will host a reception from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 3, 2010, in the North Exhibition Hall of the Main Library.

Joni Kinsey, Curator of the Drewelowe art collection, will speak briefly on the artist’s work and the significance of the collection.

Pioneering Artist Eve Drewelowe Featured in Digital Archive

The life and work of painter Eve Drewelowe (1899-1988) are celebrated in a new digital collection created by the University of Iowa Libraries and the School of Art and Art History. This pioneering artist, who in 1924 received the UI’s first Master’s degree in studio arts, is the focus of the Eve Drewelowe Digital Collection, available online at .

To unveil the digital collection and to celebrate women’s history month, the UI Libraries will host a reception from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 3, 2010, in the North Exhibition Hall of the Main Library. Joni Kinsey, Curator of the Drewelowe art collection, will speak briefly on the artist’s work and the significance of the collection.

In addition to her pioneering role as an artist trained in a university and a college of liberal arts, Drewelowe represents another “uniquely American phenomenon,” according to UI School of Art and Art History Professor Wallace Tomasini:

[A] farmer’s daughter in a sparsely populated agricultural area, far removed from great urban art centers, can indulge in her desire to become an artist; can enjoy the benefits of an education which introduces her to the literature, the history and the art of the great civilizations of the world, and can have the freedom to be an individual, to be independent and to do the unusual. From the beginning, Eve Drewelowe was a rebel, a challenger of complacency and the expected role career model for women. [from the book Eve Drewelowe. University of Iowa School of Art and Art History, 1988.]

After graduating from the University in 1924, Drewelowe went on to enjoy a lengthy career as an artist. She exhibited in nearly a dozen states and was a founding member of the Boulder Arts Guild; her work was shown at National Association of Women Artists exhibitions, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Denver Art Museum, and the National Museum of Women and the Arts. Drewelowe also became an art patron, funding a scholarship in her name for female students majoring in art at The University of Iowa.

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.

“Drewelowe’s art is breathtaking,” says Kären Mason, Curator of the Iowa Women’s Archives. “And it’s exciting to see it made so accessible through the Iowa Digital Library. The Drewelowe Digital Collection brings together her artwork and her papers and gives people a chance to better understand the context within which she created her art. It’s great for scholars, but also for anyone who enjoys art.”

For more information about the project, contact Kären Mason, Curator of the Iowa Women’s Archives, at 335-5068, or Nicole Saylor, Head of Digital Library Services, at 335-9275.

Kerber Recognition in Iowa Womens Archives, Dec 10

Professor Linda K. Kerber, the May Brodbeck Professor in the Liberal Arts and Sciences, was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in Des Moines on August 29, 2009.  Please join us as we celebrate Professor Kerber, who has devoted her life and career to the empowerment of women through a better understanding of women’s history. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009
4:00-5:30 p.m. (program at 4:30 p.m.)
Iowa Women’s Archives, 3rd floor, Main Library

Since joining the History Department faculty in 1971 Professor Kerber has inspired and mentored generations of students.  Her creative intellect, influential leadership, and invigorating teaching place her at the top of her field.  She is a champion of the humanities and a steadfast supporter of archives. She has achieved international distinction for her contributions to our understanding of gender, citizenship, and the legal and political status of women.

Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame:

Looking at Life through the Large End of a Telescope: Sept 11

Lecture by Dr. N. Peggy Burke, CLAS Alumni Fellow 2009, sponsored by the Dept. of Health & Sport Studies and the Iowa Women’s Archives. A reception will follow the lecture.

Friday, September 11
3:30 – 5 p.m.
Pomerantz Career Center, Auditorium C20

N. Peggy Burke (Ph.D. ‘65, Physical Education) has spent a life in service to the principles of women’s and human rights, civic engagement, and social consciousness that defined her academic career. She served on the CLAS faculty for more than 30 years, and since 1957 has been actively involved in the promotion of women in sport, receiving numerous honors for these efforts.

Her papers are held by the Iowa Women’s Archives:

Iowa Women’s Archives Needs Your Vote: Sept 1-15 (links updated)

The Iowa Women’s Archives at The University of Iowa Libraries has been nominated for an Iowa Women’s Foundation 2009 50% Solution Award in the nonprofit category.

Vote Here!

The 50% Solution Awards began in 2006 as a way to recognize and reinforce positive contributions made to open doors and advance Iowa women and girls. Previous award winners have been honored for going above and beyond to offer professional development for women, enhanced leadership opportunities in fields where women are traditionally underrepresented and for changing the social framework in which we see women’s roles defined.

Iowa Women’s Foundation will hold a public vote September 1 – 15 for nominees. To support the Iowa Women’s Archives, please logon to and cast your vote.

Posted in IWA

Weaver to Speak at History for Lunch: Mar 25

The State Historical Society of Iowa’s popular “History for Lunch” lecture series continues this month with Janet Weaver, assistant curator of the Iowa Women’s Archives at the University of Iowa.

History for Lunch will be at noon Wednesday, March 25, 2009, at SHSI’s Centennial Building, 402 Iowa Avenue (Iowa and Gilbert streets) in Iowa City. The lecture is free and the public is encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch. Call 319-335-3911 for more information.

Weaver’s discussion, “Of Buttons and Barrios: Iowa Women Activists for Labor and Civil Rights, 1910-1960,” focuses on the agency of Eastern Iowa women in the long struggle for social and economic justice that preceded landmark legislative gains of the 20th century.

“Whether button workers in Muscatine or factory workers who lived in Mexican barrios in the Quad Cities, the activism of working-class Iowa women of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds challenges us to reconsider our understanding of early to mid-century Iowa history,” Weaver said.

Weaver earned a master’s degree in modern history at St. Andrews University in Scotland and is the author of a forthcoming article in the Summer 2009 issue of “Annals of Iowa” entitled, “From Barrio to ‘¡Boicoteo!’: The Emergence of Mexican American Activism in Davenport, Iowa, 1917-1970.”

The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit or call 515-281-5111 for more information.

Celebrate Women’s History Month: March 10

The Herstory Subcommittee of the Council on the Status of Women & the Iowa Women’s Archives present

A Women’s History Month Reception
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Program begins at 5:15, refreshments served.

Join us in celebration with guest speaker(s) Prof. Linda Kerber and Prof. Leslie Schwalm in the Iowa Women’s Archives (3rd floor, UI Main Library).

Louise Noun: Centenary Celebration – Dec 3

Louise Rosenfield Noun, social activist, art collector, author, philanthropist and co-founder of the Iowa Women’s Archives, was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1908. Noun became widely recognized for her leadership and commitment to a number of organizations and causes.

Please join us in a celebration of her life with cake and conversation.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008
4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Iowa Women’s Archives
Third Floor, Main Library

She served as president of the Iowa Civil Liberties Union and the Des Moines chapters of the League of Women Voters and the National Organization for Women. Noun established the Chrysalis Foundation in 1989 to provide financial assistance to Iowa women. She wrote several books, including Strong-Minded Women: The Emergence of the Woman-Suffrage Movement in Iowa; More Strong-Minded Women: Iowa Feminists Tell Their Stories; Iowa Women in the WPA; Journey to Autonomy: A Memoir; and Leader and Pariah: Annie Savery and the Campaign for Women’s Rights in Iowa, 1868-1891.

Louise Noun realized a long-term goal in 1992 with the establishment of the Louise Noun-Mary Louise Smith Iowa Women’s Archives at the University of Iowa Libraries. The Iowa Women’s Archives, which opened in October 1992, is devoted to preserving the history of women by acquiring and making available primary source material that documents the lives of Iowa women.  

Learn more about Louise Noun through the IWA Founder’s digital collection.