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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Noble Photograph collection

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1870-1979
Creator: Mary Noble Collection
Extent: 5.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0031
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Postcards and photographs of Iowa includes the work of professional women photographers in Iowa.

Access: The collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright information is not available.

Acquisition: The collection (donor no.150) was donated by Mary Noble in 1993 and succeeding years.

Preferred Citation: Noble Photograph collection, 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

Mary Noble, a librarian and collector of historical photographs, was born in Berwyn, Illinois in 1945. She attended the Riceville, Iowa public schools, graduating from Riceville Community High School in 1963. She received her BA in Sociology from the University of Iowa in 1967 and her Master of Library Science degree from the University of Iowa in 1968. She was hired as a cataloger by the University of Iowa Libraries in 1968 and continued to work there for more than three decades. She began collecting historical photographs in the 1980s, purchasing them at antique stores, photograph shows, and fleamarkets. After the Iowa Women's Archives opened in 1992 she began donating photographs to the archives, with special attention to images of women and by women photographers.

The Mary Noble Photograph Collection consists of postcards, cabinet cards, panoramic photographs, and various other types of photographs.  Also included are papers that complement the collection, including information about Iowa photographers, and miscellaneous printed material.  The collection is arranged in eight series:  Professional women photographers in Iowa;  Professional photographers in Iowa--Other; Photographic postcards; Photographs: various formats;  Photographs: oversize;   Glass negatives; Printed material; and Artifacts and miscellaneous items.

The first two series, Professional women photographers in Iowa and Professional photographers in Iowa--Other consist for the most part of studio portraits in the form of cabinet cards.  Also included is some biographical information about individual women photographers, an article by Mary Noble entitled "Iowa's Women Professional Photographers," published in Books at Iowa  (November 1996); and information on professional photographers in Iowa compiled by Joann Burgess.

The next four series have been arranged by format and size in order to facilitate storage, and are organized by subject within each series.  These series are:  Photographic postcards; Photographs: various formats;  Photographs: oversize;  and Glass negatives.  The Photographic postcards are primarily amateur photographs printed as postcards. Many have messages written on the reverse, and photographs in a variety of formats depicting life in Iowa.  The postcards, as well as the Photographs: various formats and Photographs: oversize depict buildings, street scenes, groups, recreational activities, and other aspects of life in Iowa.  The Glass negatives consist of  twenty-one glass negatives apparently taken by Otto F. Ney of Waukon in about 1908, depicting family and friends, as well as Waukon buildings.

Printed material includes souvenir cards given out by teachers to their students in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; booklets and brochures published by businesses and women's organizations; trade cards of Iowa businesses; and campaign cards of Verna O'Connor, who ran for county office in Garber, Iowa, in 1928 and 1932.  Also in this series are several items published by the African-American printer W.E. Patten of Des Moines, including cardboard fans printed as advertisements.  A 1940 Negro Business and Information Directory published by the Negro Business and Information Directory [published by Negro Chamber of Commerce, Des Moines], 1940, and a 73rd Anniversary Booklet and Program, 1872-1945 published by the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, Des Moines provide considerable information on African Americans in Des Moines in the 1940s.

Artifacts and miscellaneous items consists of an autograph book, a Woman's Home Missionary Society ribbon, and a packet of sewing machine needles given out as an advertisement by Mrs. M. L. Johnson of Britt, Iowa.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: PROFESSIONAL WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS IN IOWA
Series 2: PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS IN IOWA: OTHER
Series 3: PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARDS
Series 4: PHOTOGRAPHS: VARIOUS FORMATS
Series 5: PHOTOGRAPHS: OVERSIZE
Series 6: GLASS NEGATIVES
Series 7: PRINTED MATERIAL
Series 8: ARTIFACTS AND MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
Series 9:

  • Series 1: PROFESSIONAL WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS IN IOWA
  • Sub-Series: Papers
  • Box 1:
  • Noble, Mary L. "Iowa's Women Professional Photographers," Books at Iowa, November - 1996
  • Identification numbers (Jo Ann Burgess)
  • Sub-Series: Photographers and related information (arranged by photographer)
  • Box 1:
  • Ayers, Mrs. W.C. (Esthervillle)
  • Bellamy, Miss (Indianola)
  • Benfer, Emma and Eva (Cambridge)
  • Berger, Mrs. (Elgin)
  • Briel, Julia (Des Moines): Biographical information
  • Briel, Julia (Des Moines): Photographs
  • Briel, Julia (Des Moines): Panoramic photographs [oversize: in boxes 11-13]
  • Cutler, Viola (Creston)
  • Diggs, Mrs. M.E. (Earlham)
  • Fawcett, Inez (Shellsburg)
  • Findlay, Emma (Dysart)
  • Fleming, Jennie (Council Bluffs)
  • Frush, Mrs. R.T. (New Hampton)
  • Hall, Mida (Woodbine)
  • Harvey, Mrs. H.P. (Maquoketa)
  • Jefferson, Lilian (Woodbine)
  • Johnson, C.M. (Emmetsburg)
  • Lane, Mrs. H.M. (Columbus Junction)
  • Lyon, Ms. D.D. (Woodbine)
  • Merriam. Sarah H. (Sigourney)
  • Merrill, Mrs. E.J. (Oskaloosa)
  • Mudge, Kate Raymond (Randalia)
  • Newville, Nora (Maxwell)
  • Parsons and Bates, Misses (Iowa Falls)
  • Pomeroy, Miss L.E. (Independence)
  • Raimbold, Mrs. (Marshalltown)
  • Robinson, Mrs. (Fort Madison)
  • Rossiter, Elizabeth and Matilda (St. Ansgar)
  • Schaefer, Mary J. and Lida S. (Clarion)
  • Schooley, Mrs. L.A. (Indianola)
  • Schooonover, Mrs. M.J. (Vinton)
  • Shepard, Idalene (Waukon)
  • Stone, Mrs. Anna (Marion)
  • Storaker, Dora (Roland)
  • Strom, Marie (Sheldahl)
  • Warner, Birdia (Brighton)
  • Weigel, Mary (Dyersville)
  • Young sister (Winfield )
  • Box 11:
  • Bloomfield, Iowa: Iowa State Teachers College, Extension summer School - 1926
  • Denison, Iowa: Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 59th annual state convention - 1932
  • Des Moines, Iowa: American Institute of Business, Des Moines - 1928
  • Des Moines, Iowa: American Institute of Business, Des Moines - 1930
  • Des Moines, Iowa: Great Council of Iowa, ORM and D of P - 1928
  • Des Moines, Iowa: Iowa Cooperative Live Stock Shippers - 1929
  • Des Moines, Iowa: Iowa House of Representatives, 44th General Assembly - 1931
  • Des Moines, Iowa: Iowa Manufacturers of Carbonated Beverages - 1928
  • Des Moines, Iowa: Iowa Pharmaceutical Association - 1931
  • Belvidere, Illinois: National Sewing Machine Co.: - 1925
  • Belvidere, Illinois: National Sewing Machine Co.: Carpenter (3)
  • Belvidere, Illinois: National Sewing Machine Co.: Japan Room
  • Belvidere, Illinois: National Sewing Machine Co.: Office
  • Belvidere, Illinois: National Sewing Machine Co.: Polishing and plating department
  • Belvidere, Illinois: National Sewing Machine Co.: Tool
  • Des Moines, Iowa (cont.): Jensen Motor Company - 1929
  • Des Moines, Iowa (cont.): Letter carriers - 1930
  • Des Moines, Iowa (cont.): Rexalites of Iowa (4) - 1927
  • Des Moines, Iowa (cont.): Rex's Band, Des Moines - 1924
  • Des Moines, Iowa (cont.): SF of A, 22nd annual meeting - 1930
  • Des Moines, Iowa (cont.): St. John's School - 1921
  • Dubuque, Iowa: Bayless College - 1925
  • Dubuque, Iowa: Holy Trinity School - 1922
  • Fort Dodge, Iowa: Tobin Business College - 1924
  • Omaha, Nebraska: Retail Grocers Association, Dubuque - 1925
  • Nashville - 1926
  • Houston, Texas: Incarnate Word Academy, High School Department - 1925
  • La Crosse, Wisconsin: La Crosse Hospital Training School for Nurses - 1928
  • Miscellaneous: Briel with pilot Archie Peterson and Mayor A. H. Beecher - 1922
  • Miscellaneous: Luthe Hardware Co., picnic - 1920
  • Miscellaneous: Unidentified photographs (10)
  • Box 12:
  • Belvidere, Illinois: National Sewing Machine Company - 1925
  • Des Moines, Iowa: Allis-Chalmers Monarch Tractor School, Dukehart Machinery Company - 1931
  • Des Moines, Iowa: American Institute of Business, Des Moines - 1928
  • Des Moines, Iowa: Des Moines University: faculty and students (6) - 1928
  • Des Moines, Iowa: Federal, State, County and City Employees, first annual picnic, State Fairgrounds
  • Des Moines, Iowa: P.O. employees and Auxiliaries convention, Des Moines - 1930
  • Des Moines, Iowa: University of Commerce, Des Moines (4) - 1930
  • Dubuque, Iowa: Mount St. Joseph College - 1925
  • Dubuque, Iowa: St. Mary's Commercial High School - 1924
  • Dubuque, Iowa: Sisters of Mercy
  • Indianola, Iowa: Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Iowa, 54th Annual Convention - 1927
  • Newton, Iowa: Newton Foundry employees - 1925
  • Storm Lake, Iowa: Camp McHenry - 1920
  • Morrison, Illinois: Illinois Refrigerator Company employees (3) - 1925
  • Miscellaneous: Walker playground
  • Miscellaneous: Unidentified (2)
  • Box 13:
  • Belvidere, Illinois: National Sewing Machine Company - 1925
  • Chariton, Iowa: Iowa State Teachers' College Extension Summer School - 1922
  • Des Moines East High School - 1921
  • Des Moines F.E. and C.W. of America, Iowa Division, Ninth Annual Meeting - 1925
  • Des Moines Striking street car men - 1925
  • Dubuque, Iowa St. Raphael's School (2) - 1924
  • Marion, Iowa: Marion High School - 1924
  • Ottumwa, Iowa: Ottumwa High School - 1924
  • Webster City, Iowa: Webster City Junior High School - 1924
  • La Crosse, Wisconsin: State Normal School faculty and students - 1923
  • Platteville, Wisconsin: State Normal Summer Session - 1924
  • Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin: Field Mass of the Mississippi Anniversary 250th year, Campion College - 1923
  • Miscellaneous: Iowa National Guard Encampment - 1930
  • Miscellaneous: Savanna Boys' Band
  • Miscellaneous: Unidentified (2)
  • Series 2: PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS IN IOWA: OTHER
  • Box 2:
  • Cabinet cards and cartes de visites [to be arranged by photographer]
  • Box 3:
  • Cabinet cards and cartes de visites [to be arranged by photographer]
  • Box 4:
  • Other formats [to be arranged by subject]
  • Series 3: PHOTOGRAPHIC POSTCARDS
  • Box 5:
  • Photographic postcards [to be arranged by subject]
  • Box 6:
  • Photographic postcards [to be arranged by subject]
  • Series 4: PHOTOGRAPHS: VARIOUS FORMATS
  • Box 7:
  • Photographs: various formats [to be arranged by subject]
  • Series 5: PHOTOGRAPHS: OVERSIZE
  • Box 8:
  • Photographs: oversize [to be arranged by subject]
  • Sub-Series:
  • Box 35:
  • "The Voter" - 2010-2012
  • Series 6: GLASS NEGATIVES
  • Box 9:
  • People: Adeline on couch.
  • People: Bessie and Gerty playing croquet. Taken by Ernist T.
  • People: Elgin[?] Bert
  • People: Ernist and Adeline and horse.
  • People: Ernist and lamb.
  • People: Ernist in chair.Taken by me.
  • People: Gerty and Bessie sitting on ground by our house. Taken by Ernist T. Home.With Lader [sic] on porch.
  • People: Ma and Lizz washing, Monday morning.
  • People: [Man and woman sitting on grass]
  • People: Nagles Dog.
  • People: Otto F. Ney [and] horse
  • People: Our bunch.By Ernist on fourth of July - 1908
  • Waukon, Iowa, buildings: Allamakee Street. Looking south from O. Hagen House.Taken from Center Street.
  • Waukon, Iowa, buildings: City Hall.Taken from Park NW.
  • Waukon, Iowa, buildings: Court house.Across street.
  • Waukon, Iowa, buildings: Jail. Across street.
  • Waukon, Iowa, buildings: Methodist Episcopal Church. Taken from SW.
  • Waukon, Iowa, buildings: Norwegian Church.Taken from SW.
  • Waukon, Iowa, buildings: Public School.E. Side.
  • Waukon, Iowa, buildings: Sister School.Corner of Streets.
  • Series 7: PRINTED MATERIAL
  • Box 10:
  • Anamosa District Fair: Children's admission card - 1899
  • Campaign cards:Verna M. O'Connor, Garber, Iowa - 1928, 1932
  • Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie No. 150, Burlington Iowa, Ladies Auxiliary:Membership Yearbook - 1972
  • Hawkeye Natives Ladies Auxiliary, Burlington, Iowa: History - 1925
  • Iowa Children's Home Society: meeting notice
  • Killian Company, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Employes' Manual - 1921
  • Killian Company, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Advertisement for Sweet-Orr Women's Overalls, undated
  • Negro Business and Information Directory [published by Negro Chamber of Commerce, Des Moines] - 1940
  • Patten, R.E.: Calendar - 1910
  • Patten, R.E.: Fans [with business advertisements] - 1910
  • Patten, R.E.: Miscellaneous - 1910
  • St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, Des Moines:73rd Anniversary Booklet and Program - 1872-1945
  • Teacher souvenirs - 1874-1913
  • Trade cards
  • Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Iowa: Benedict Home - 1932
  • WCTU of Iowa: Brochure [with pledge] - 1996
  • WCTU of Iowa: The Crusade Anniversary [comp. Anna Marden DeYo] - 1874-1934
  • WCTU of Iowa: Inventory of records held by WCTU of Iowa - 1996
  • WCTU of Iowa: "Modern Day Jericho Walk," by Jeanne Lillig [re: illegal drugs' effect on Des Moines neighborhood] - 1995
  • WCTU of Iowa: Executive Committee of the 12th Annual Meeting, Iowa City, Iowa, Oct. 13-16 [shelved in map cabinet] - 1885
  • Series 8: ARTIFACTS AND MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
  • Box 10:
  • Autograph book - 1884-1903
  • Sewing machine needle packet and advertisement, Mrs. M. L. Johnson, Britt, Iowa
  • Ribbon: Woman's Home Missionary Society, Methodist Episcopal Church, New London, Iowa, May 5-6-7 - 1916
  • Greeting cards
  • Series 9:
  • Box 10: