The Jo Rabenold papers date from 1965 to 1983 and measure 3.75 linear feet. The papers are arranged in eight series: Action Studies courses, Clippings and resource files, Conferences, Events and leisure, Organizations, Publications, Political causes and Surveys.
Action Studies was a University of Iowa program founded in 1968 to ensure variety within University course offerings. The Action Studies courses series (1965-1972) contains materials from courses in African-American studies and from a women's poetry reading.
The Clippings and resource files series (1972-1982) contains clippings files on various topics of interest to Rabenold. Many of these files relate to the subjects of female sexuality--especially lesbianism--and feminism. There are also files on discrimination, disabilities and weight prejuidice.
The Conferences series (1974-1982) consists of materials related to a variety of conferences held during the mid-1970s and early 1980s. It includes handouts, promotional materials, and registration forms.
The Events and leisure series (1976-1982) contains materials primarily related to local events. The series includes flyers and posters for events such as book readings, dances and lectures. There are also clippings on subjects such as Billie Jean King and local gay bars.
The Organizations series (1972-1983) incorporates information on various, primarily women's, organizations. It includes materials about the Emma Goldman Clinic, the Gay Liberation Front, the Lesbian Alliance (LA), a few lesbian support services, the Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP), the Women's Coffeehouse and the Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC). A large number of Better Homes and Dykes, the Lesbian Alliance newsletter, is included.
The Publications series (1971-1983) primarily consists of issues from a variety of gay and women's periodicals. The periodicals are arranged alphabetically by title. Blank lines have been left to indicate the separation between folders. Most of the periodicals are from the 1970s and represent attempts at independent publishing, often by a collective. Many were short-lived with narrow distribution. The series also includes a few promotional materials about Common Lives/Lesbian Lives, a journal published in Iowa City, and some poetry chapbooks.
The Political causes series (1975-1982) covers several issues of interest to Rabenold, including: the Equal Rights Amendment, reproductive rights, and nuclear energy. Most of the folders are comprised mainly of newspaper clippings; however, the protest letters and petitions folder contains several complaints written by Rabenold. These include letters to Ms. Magazine and to Lynn Watson, author of Alimony, or, Death of a Clock. Rabenold chastises Watson for using thinly-disguised descriptions of people and events from the Women's Coffeehouse.
The final series, Surveys (1976-1980), contains surveys about a variety of women's issues. The lesbian health survey folder mainly involves a survey done by a physician at the University of Iowa Hospitals. It includes a copy of the survey as well as a copy of a paper prepared from the survey findings.
Access: The papers are open for research.
Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.
Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 272) were donated by Jo Rabenold through the Women's Resource and Action Center in 1994.
Preferred Citation: Jo Rabenold papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.