Main Library Gallery

Current Exhibit

May 15 – August 25, 2017

Power to the Printers:  The Alternative Press in Iowa City, 1965-1985 (May 15 – August 25, 2017)

In today’s era of instant communication, it’s hard to imagine a time when people relied on printing presses, the US Postal Service, and newspapers hawked on street corners to distribute information and calls to action. Unlike 21st century organizers of political action, activists in the 1960s and ‘70s relied on technology such as mimeograph machines and press type. Their medium was the printed word.

Image of the cover of the exhibit bookletIowa City was a hotbed of protest—and a hotbed of printing. Radical groups and individuals wrote newsletters and manifestos, printed fliers to post around town, and published literary magazines. Many of their newspapers were circulated nationally, creating space for local activists to engage with national conversations challenging the status quo.

The publications in this exhibition document many strands of protest in Iowa City: the anti-war movement, Chicana and Chicano liberation, feminism, black power, gay and lesbian rights. Visitors will see just a sample of Iowa City’s activism, drawn from extensive collections in the University Archives and the Iowa Women’s Archives.

Download the Exhibit Guide Booklet here (PDF)

SELECTED ITEMS FROM THE EXHIBIT

OBJECT LIST

IWA = Iowa Women’s Archives, UA = University Archives

  1. Ain’t I a Woman 1:1 (June 26, 1970), Sondra Smith papers, box 1, Iowa Women’s Archives (IWA)
  2. Ain’t I a Woman 1:1 (June 26, 1970), Ain’t I a Woman (AIAW), box 2, IWA.
  3. Ain’t I a Woman 2:2 (August 27, 1971). AIAW, box 2, IWA.
  4. Ain’t I a Woman 1:15 (April 30, 1971). AIAW, box 2, IWA.
  5. Ain’t I a Woman 3 (February 1973). AIAW, box 2, IWA.
  6. Handwritten page from Dale McCormick’s AIAW notebook, 1971-1973. Dale McCormick papers, box 2, IWA.
  7. Typed page from Dale McCormick’s AIAW Dale McCormick papers, box 2, IWA.
  8. Ain’t I a Woman/No Soy Una Mujer 4:2 (May 1974). AIAW, box 2, IWA.
  9. Because Mourning Sickness is a Staple in My Country, Dale McCormick papers, box 2, IWA.
  10. All Women are Welcome to Read Their Poetry, Jo Rabenold papers, box 1, IWA.
  11. All Women are Welcome to Read Their Poetry, Linda Yanney papers, box 1, IWA.
  12. The Common Woman #1 (Winter 1973), Adelaide “Dee” Morris papers, IWA.
  13. Greasy Thumb Automechanics Manual for Women, by Barb Wyatt and Julie Zolot (Iowa City Women’s Press, 1976), Karla Miller and Jean Bott papers, box 1, IWA.
  14. Greasy Thumb Automechanics Manual for Women.
  15. Greasy Thumb page layout, p. 161, Iowa City Women’s Press (ICWP) records, box 2, IWA.
  16. Greasy Thumb page layout, p. 186, ICWP records, box 2, IWA.
  17. Against the Grain: A Carpentry Manual for Women by Dale McCormick (ICWP, 1976) , IWA.
  18. Skills manuals for women ad layout, ICWP records, box 2, IWA.
  19. Iowa City Women’s Press flier, ICWP records, box 1, IWA.
  20. Poster for “Mothers: A Photography Exhibit of Our Own,” ICWP records, box 1, IWA.
  21. Mothers: A Photography Exhibit of Our Own, ed. Barbara Ettleson, ICWP records, box 3, IWA.
  22. The Story of the Itsy-Bit, by Anna and Agnes Carbrey, (ICWP, 1975), ICWP records, box 3, IWA.
  23. And Everyone of Us a Witch, by Jean Sirius (ICWP, 1979), ICWP records, box , IWA
  24. And Everyone of Us a Witch.
  25. Words of a Woman Who Breathes Fire, by Kitty Tsui (ICWP, 1983), ICWP records, box 5, IWA.
  26. Sinister Wisdom 21 (Fall 1982), ICWP records, box 5, IWA.
  27. Sinister Wisdom 24 (Fall 1983), ICWP records, box 5, IWA.
  28. shadow on a tightrope: writings by women on fat oppression, Lisa Schoenfielder and Barb Wieser (ICWP, 1983), ICWP records, box 4, IWA.
  29. Black Lesbians, J. R. Roberts. (ICWP, 1981), ICWP records, box 4, IWA.
  30. Women’s Wheels, by Deborah Linc (ICWP, 1982), ICWP records, box 4, IWA.
  31. Spinster: A Lighthearted Card Game, ICWP records, box 6, IWA.
  32. Snapshots of women working at Iowa City Women’s Press, ICWP records, box 1, IWA.
  33. Emma’s Periodical Rag (March 1980), Emma Goldman Clinic records, box 53, IWA.
  34. RFD (Rustic Fairy Dreams) (Autumn 1974), Jo Rabenold papers, box 3, IWA.
  35. Sign for Iowa City Women’s Press & Annie Graham, ICWP records, box 8, IWA.
  36. Paste-up of WRAC 10th anniversary logo, Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC) records, IWA.
  37. Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC) Newsletter 4:1 (October 1977), WRAC records, box 23, IWA.
  38. WRAC Newsletter 3:7 (May 1977), WRAC records, box 23, IWA.
  39. Grace and Rubies baseball cap, Kimela Nelson papers, box 3, IWA.
  40. Better Homes and Dykes #1 (1974), Jo Rabenold papers, box 3, IWA.
  41. Better Homes and Dykes 6: 2 (April 1980), Jo Rabenold papers, box 4, IWA.
  42. Better Homes and Dykes 6: 2 (April 1980), Jo Rabenold papers, box 4, IWA.
  43. Better Homes and Dykes (Summer 1976), Jo Rabenold papers, box 3, IWA.
  44. Ad for Grace and Rubies women’s restaurant, WRAC Newsletter 2:3 (November 1975), University Archives (UA).
  45. Loaned by Kären Mason.
  46. Common Lives/Lesbian Lives #1, Common Lives/Lesbian Lives records, IWA.
  47. Common Lives/Lesbian Lives #5, Common Lives/Lesbian Lives records, IWA.
  48. Common Lives/Lesbian Lives #6, Common Lives/Lesbian Lives records, IWA.
  49. Common Lives/Lesbian Lives #22, Common Lives/Lesbian Lives records, IWA.
  50. Cover of Common Lives/Lesbian Lives #8 (Summer 1983), Common Lives/Lesbian Lives records, IWA.
  51. Women’s movement buttons, Ruth Becker papers, box 16, IWA.
  52. Middle Earth
  53. El Nahuatzen (1979)
  54. RFD (Rustic Fairy Dreams)(Autumn 1974)
  55. Nahuatzen (4:1)
  56. Nahuatzen (2:1)
  57. Middle Earth
  58. Pamoja (Summer 1977)
  59. Pamoja (May 1980)
  60. RAT Subterranean News
  61. Flier: Human Relations Lab
  62. Flier: Center for Draft Information & Counseling
  63. Flier: High & Mighty
  64. Iowa City Oppressed Citizen
  65. Flier: Other Ways
  66. Flier: Contraceptives
  67. Flier: Crisis Center Rock Concert
  68. Flier: Grand Opening
  69. Flier: Canvas
  70. Flier: Work for Peace
  71. Flier: Vietnam Moratorium
  72. Iowa City Oppressed Citizen
  73. Free Voices (AP2 .F685)
  74. Free Environment (GE195 .F74)
  75. Free Flowing (Folio AP2 .F684)
  76. Petitions signed in blood (RG 02 .0006.002 Antiwar Petitions Collection)
  77. 1969 Yearbook (RG02.0006.002)
  78. Flier: Action Studies (RG02.0002.001)
  79. Flier: Action Studies Link Fair (RG02.0002.001)
  80. Flier: Action Studies Human Sexuality Series (RG02.0002.001)
  81. Flier: Action Studies (RG02.0002.001)
  82. Compost brochure (RG02.0002.001)

EXHIBITION CREDITS

POWER TO THE PRINTERS: THE ALTERNATIVE PRESS IN IOWA CITY, 1965-1985 is an exhibition drawn from the holdings of the Iowa Women’s Archives and the University Archives in the University of Iowa Libraries and from the online exhibit UPTIGHT AND LAID-BACK: IOWA CITY IN THE 1960S, curated by David McCartney. dsps.lib.uiowa.edu/sixties/

EXHIBITION CURATION
Kären Mason, Curator, Iowa Women’s Archives, UI Libraries
David McCartney, University Archivist, UI Libraries
Colleen Theisen, Special Collections Outreach and Engagement Librarian, UI Libraries

PREPARATION & INSTALLATION
Giselle Simón & Bill Voss, UI Libraries Conservation Lab

FRONT CASE
Typewriters loaned by Jennifer Burek-Pierce, Rhoda McCartney, Jodi Scholl, and Nicholas Theisen.
Ditto machine loaned by Rich Dana.

DESIGN
Heidi Wiren Bartlett, UI Libraries Creative Coordinator

EXHIBITION GUIDE EDITING, WEB SITE & PUBLICITY
Jennifer Masada, UI Libraries Strategic Communications Manager
Ken Clinkenbeard, UI Libraries Web Services Specialist

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR THE EXHIBITION
Friends of the UI Libraries

Power to the Printers, 2017