We are happy to welcome Kate Orazem as the inaugural Iowa Women’s Archives Women in Politics Archivist.
Orazem joined the team at the beginning of October. She received a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) and Master of Arts in women’s and gender studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Yale University. Orazem recently worked as the first archivist for the Rural Organizing Project in Oregon, a network of community activists across small-town and rural Oregon. Her work in the Iowa Women’s Archives will focus on collecting, processing, and bringing to light the stories of Iowa women and politics.
When asked about working in this new position, Orazem stated she was “looking forward to building community with people at the University of Iowa, across the state, and beyond who are passionate about the rich history and future of Iowa women and their political work.”
The Jean Lloyd-Jones and Michal Eynon Lynch Iowa Women’s Archives Women in Politics Archivist was generously funded by Jean Lloyd-Jones (71MA), who spent 16 years as an Iowa legislator and much of her life advocating for women—from all backgrounds and political affiliations—to pursue careers in politics. This is the second named position in the Libraries and Orazem will be formally invested into the role in 2023. Orazem will help update, maintain, and expand the Hard Won, Not Done—A Salute to Iowa Women Politicians online project. Learn more about Lloyd-Jones and the “Hard Won, Not Done” initiative here.
As an archivist, Orazem says she is a big dabbler and has always loved the generalist nature of the archival profession. “Whether it’s developing relationships with donors, assisting researchers on their subjects of expertise, working with students who are new to archives, or interviewing people about the stories they’ve lived, you get to wear many different hats and dip a toe into many different projects, so my passion for the work is constantly renewed.”
When not working in the IWA, Orazem enjoys seeing live music, playing euchre, and exploring local cemeteries (wait till she hears about our haunted stacks!)
We are so happy to have Kate on the team and look forward to watching her grow the IWA as the Women in Politics Archivist.