print page banner

Iowa Women's Archives

Iowa Women’s Archives

The Iowa Women’s Archives holds more than 1200 manuscript collections that chronicle the lives and work of Iowa women, their families, and their communities. These personal papers and organizational records date from the nineteenth century to the present. Together with oral histories, they document the activities of Iowa women throughout the state and beyond its borders. The Iowa Women’s Archives is open to the public.

News from the Archives

  • New Website Celebrates Mildred Wirt Benson, the First Carolyn Keene

    In 1930, the Stratemeyer Syndicate published the first Nancy Drew mystery, The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene. Since then, Nancy Drew has become known around the world. But who was behind Carolyn Keene? The mystery of the pseudonym persisted until a 1980 court case identified Mildred Wirt…

  • Lupita Larios Travels through Time with Mujeres Latinas Oral Histories

    Have you ever heard a story that your grandparents, for example, told you and you were so fascinated to hear the story that you still remember it? With oral histories, a person is able to travel through time and imagine all the events and experiences that the narrator was living in those years. My…

  • Dr. Myrtle Hinkhouse: From China to the Iowa Women’s Archives

    In 1916, a young doctor by the name of Myrtle Hinkhouse stepped onto a ship heading toward China. Years earlier, the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions appointed her to serve in Tengchoufu and, after studying at the Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia, she was ready to begin her work.…

  • Ordinary People, Extraordinary Things: Iowans of the Greatest Generation

    In the window of the Main Library Gallery sit two bags, a trunk, an Army uniform, and the navy nurse’s cape that Evelyn Crary Bacon wore as a student at the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa.) What do all of these items have in common? They belonged to members of “The…

  • Aeon and Reading Room Changes

    As of August 23rd, 2018 the Iowa Women’s Archives has started using Aeon, a new reading room management system! Thanks to Aeon, visitors to any of the special collections reading rooms will be able to: Set up an online account in advance of their visit. Schedule upcoming visits Request…

  • Reflections of an IWA Student

    Maritza Lopez- Campos joined the IWA student staff to work on the Mujeres Latinas Project. Since then she’s learned about processing, written finding aids, and been an invaluable member of the team at several 25th anniversary events. We’re all wishing her the best as she leaves the…

  • A Donation 46 Years in the Making!

    In 1972, the University of Iowa’s Manuscript Librarian, Robert McCown, wrote a letter to Nora Leander. He hoped that she would donate the papers of her aunt, Esther Bacon, an Iowan and missionary to Liberia from 1941 – 1972. In 2018, Leander’s niece, Ann Prekker, found the letter…