Skip to content
print page header

The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Iowa Press Women records

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1933-2001
Creator: Iowa Press Women, Inc.
Extent: 4.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0016
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Local affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The records (donor no. 17) were donated by Iowa Press Women, Inc. in 1973 and succeeding years.

Preferred Citation: Iowa Press Women records, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason
Email: lib-women@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa

Iowa Press Women, Inc. (IPW) was established to foster communication among, and promote the interests of, women journalists. The preliminary organizational meeting of what was to become IPW was held in April 1937. Ella Taylor, who began her work with the Traer, Iowa Star-Clipper in 1888, and who at the time was reputed to be the oldest active woman columnist in the state of Iowa, initiated the meeting. Invitations were sent out to those who were already affiliated with the National Federation of Press Women. Seven women attended.

In January 1939, a second meeting was called in Des Moines, Iowa. Preliminary drafts of a constitution and bylaws were discussed and adopted on February 11, 1939. The purpose of the IPW was "to provide a means of contact between women writers, to foster mutual improvement through association, to make possible the expression of a common voice in matters of interest to women, to promote the highest ideals of American journalism, and to cooperate with the National Federation of Press Women and affiliates." The majority of the members at this time were editors or associate editors of their publications. Seventy-two members paid the one dollar entrance fee prior to the January 1939 meeting. The intent of the founders was to limit the membership strictly to newspaper women. On May 6, 1939, the IPW held its formal christening ceremony in Ames, Iowa.

In 1941 the first issue of the group's newsletter, Iowa Press Women, was published and the "little sister" program was initiated to allow girls to join. Iowa Press Women incorporated in 1943 and membership continued to grow; by 1949 there were 101 members. In 1967 a new newsletter, The Challenger, was inaugurated. Membership fluctuated throughout the years, with 84 members in 1969, 112 members in 1976, and 82 members in 1989.

Noteworthy events of IPW included lobbying for the Equal Rights Amendment in 1953, establishing a scholarship fund for an outstanding woman in journalism in 1954, and raising the requirements for teaching journalism in Iowa high schools in 1975.

The Iowa Press Women, Inc. (IPW) records measure 4 linear feet and date from 1933 to 2001. The collection is divided into five series: Iowa Press Women, Inc., National Federation of Press Women, National League of American Pen Women and Branches, Press Women's Clubs in other states, and Photographs.

The Iowa Press Women, Inc. series (1933-1996), makes up the bulk of this collection and includes the constitution, bylaws and articles of incorporation, correspondence (including letters of former presidents of IPW), financial records, and membership records. Three histories of IPW, written in 1980, 1987, and 1991 are included in this series. The membership records contain samples of applicants' work and biographical information, as well as membership lists from 1938 to 1974. The minutes and newsletters document the organization's activities and growth, and illustrate the role women played in the press from the 1930s to the early 1970s. The scrapbooks were taken from three-ring binders and their original order was preserved.

The National Federation of Press Women series (1938-2001) includes information on conventions, meetings, and projects, and a transcript of an oral history interview with Iowan Lois Jacobs, who served as president of the National Federation of Press Women from 1985 to 1987. Material in the National League of American Pen Women and Branches series (1940-1948), includes a 1940s roster of national members of the American Pen Women, and copies of The Pen Woman published in 1945 and 1948. The Press Women's Clubs in other states series (1937-1961) is comprised of bylaws and constitutions, correspondence, newspaper clippings and copies of club newsletters from Illinois and Missouri.  The Photographs series (1954-1993) contains photographs of members of Iowa Press Women, Inc. at their meetings. Some of the photographs are labeled on the back.
Wilma Belden Collins papers (IWA):  This collection contains photographs and articles concerning Collins' involvement in Iowa Press Women and the National Federation of Press Women.
 
Dorothy Place papers (IWA):  Place was the author of “History of Iowa Press Women, Inc. 1987-1991.”

Browse by Series:
Series 1: IOWA PRESS WOMEN, INC.
Series 2: NATIONAL FEDERATION OF PRESS WOMEN , INC.
Series 3: NATIONAL LEAGUE OF AMERICAN PEN WOMEN AND BRANCHES
Series 4: PRESS WOMEN'S CLUBS IN OTHER STATES
Series 5: PHOTOGRAPHS

  • Series 1: IOWA PRESS WOMEN, INC.
  • Box 1:
  • Constitution, bylaws and articles of incorporation - 1938-1976
  • Correspondence: Presidents: Bless, Mrs. Bertha - 1940-1941
  • Correspondence: Presidents: McElroy, Edith Wasson - 1956-1961
  • Correspondence: Presidents: Needham, Grace D. (folder 1) - 1933-1960
  • Correspondence: Presidents: Needham, Grace D. (folder 2) - 1933-1960
  • Correspondence: President's letter - 1959-1961
  • Correspondence: Miscellaneous (folder 1) - 1938-1962
  • Correspondence: Miscellaneous (folder 2) - 1938-1962
  • Box 2:
  • Correspondence: Miscellaneous - 1963-1976
  • Financial records: General ledger - 1960-1964
  • Financial records: Journals - 1960-1962
  • Financial records: Reports and statements - 1941-1974
  • Financial records: State treasurer's report - 1959-1976
  • History: "Iowa Press Women, Inc. History, 1937-1980" by Dorothy H. Schrader - 1980
  • History: "Iowa Press Women, Inc. History, 1980-1987" by Mary J. Buchele - 1987
  • History: "History of Iowa Press Women, Inc. 1987-1991" by Dorothy J. Place - 1991
  • International relations project - 1949-1950
  • Journalism education in Iowa project by Dorothy H. Schrader - 1970
  • Box 3:
  • Leadership manual (revisions) - 1977, 1992
  • Meetings and conventions (folder 1) - 1939-1994
  • Meetings and conventions (folder 2) - 1939-1994
  • Meetings and conventions (folder 3) - 1939-1994
  • Membership records: Applicants' correspondence and biographies (folder 1)
  • Membership records: Applicants' correspondence and biographies (folder 2)
  • Membership records: Application forms and information - 1940-1952
  • Membership records: Charter membership - 1939
  • Membership records: Correspondence: Letters - 1939-1961
  • Membership records: Correspondence: Postcards - 1940-1961
  • Box 4:
  • Membership records: Rejected applications
  • Membership records: Membership lists (folder 1) - 1938-1994
  • Membership records: Membership lists (folder 2) - 1938-1994
  • Membership records: Membership lists (folder 3) - 1938-1994
  • Membership records: Membership lists (folder 4) - 1938-1994
  • Membership records: Membership lists (folder 5) - 1938-1994
  • Minutes - 1940-1951
  • Minutes - 1952-1978
  • Newsletters: Iowa Press Woman's Club Bulletin - 1939-1940
  • Box 5:
  • Newsletters: Iowa Press Woman - 1940-1953
  • Newsletters: Iowa Press Women, Inc. Newsletter - 1963-1965
  • Newsletters: The Challenger - 1967-1996
  • Newspaper clippings (folder 1) - 1939-1992
  • Newspaper clippings (folder 2) - 1939-1992
  • Press releases - 1943-1976
  • Printed material - 1949-1953
  • Publications: The Iowa Publisher - 1942-1948
  • Publications: Midwest Parade - 1941
  • Reports, committees and officers - 1939-1987
  • Resolutions and official statements - 1941-1951
  • Salary survey - 1986
  • Box 6:
  • Scrapbooks - 1940-1956
  • Scrapbooks - 1959-1979
  • Scrapbooks - 1980-1987
  • Scrapbooks - 1987
  • Box 7:
  • Scrapbooks - 1989-1990
  • Scrapbooks - 1990-1991
  • Summaries of activities, events and actions taken - 1939-1976
  • Survey of Iowa newspapers regarding employment of women
  • Writing contests - 1943-1991
  • Youth project - 1969-1970
  • Miscellaneous - 1986
  • Box 10:
  • Scrapbook - 1940-1943
  • Scrapbook - 1980
  • Box 11:
  • Index cards from survey of Iowa newspapers on women's employment - 1951
  • Series 2: NATIONAL FEDERATION OF PRESS WOMEN , INC.
  • Box 7:
  • Communication contest entries of Mary Lou Hinrichsen - 1997-2001
  • Constitution - 1950
  • Contests - 1943-1975
  • Conventions - 1940-1951
  • Box 8:
  • History - 1941, 1987
  • Leader Letter - 1976-1993
  • Manuals (folder 1)
  • Manuals (folder 2)
  • Meetings and conventions - 1938-1993
  • Membership lists - 1938-1964
  • Official letters and printed materials - 1938-1975
  • Oral history Lois Jacobs - 1987
  • Pin and emblem - 1939-1943
  • Press releases - 1945, 1949
  • The Press Woman - 1941-1973
  • Projects - 1939-1961
  • Recruitment - 1987
  • Box 9:
  • Reports - 1939-1973
  • War time publication conference - 1943
  • Youth project - 1986-1989
  • Series 3: NATIONAL LEAGUE OF AMERICAN PEN WOMEN AND BRANCHES
  • Box 9:
  • general - 1940-1948
  • Series 4: PRESS WOMEN'S CLUBS IN OTHER STATES
  • Box 9:
  • Illinois - 1937-1961
  • Minnesota - 1941
  • Missouri - 1937-1960
  • Various states - 1938, 1941
  • Series 5: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 9:
  • Meetings (folder 1) - 1954-1993
  • Meetings (folder 2) - 1954-1993
  • National Federation of Press Women luncheon, Chicago - 1954
    [shelved in map case]