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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Helen Bamford papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1911-1994
Creator: Bamford, Helen (1902-1994)
Extent: 1.10 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0193
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Professional photographer from Muscatine.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in boxes 1-3
Artifacts in Box 3

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 274) were donated by Mary Zoller in 1995.

Preferred Citation: Helen Bamford papers, 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

Helen Bamford was born on November 16, 1902, in Muscatine, Iowa, to Frank and Mary Dietrick Bamford. She spent her entire life in Muscatine except for five years in California as a young child. Bamford graduated in 1920 from Muscatine High School and started in the photography business as a receptionist at the J. A. Chamberlin studio in 1924. It was there that she learned the profession. In 1949 she opened her own studio. She specialized in portrait photography and won many awards, including the Medlar Award for Iowa's best portrait in 1968. She was a member of Professional Photographers of America, Professional Photographers of Iowa and Southeast Iowa Photographers. Bamford retired in 1978 and died in 1994.

The Helen Bamford papers date from 1911 to 1994 and measure 1.1 linear feet. The papers are arranged in four series: Biographical information, Professional photography, Photographs, and Artifacts.

The Biographical information series (1926-1994, scattered) includes newspaper clippings about Bamford, her obituaries, and diaries from the years 1979, 1981, 1983 and 1989. Account books including household, charity, and medical expenses, and miscellaneous notes in spiral notebooks complete the series.

Bamford's professional career as a photographer is detailed in the series Professional photography (1949-1980) which includes information about the awards she received, memorabilia, and newspaper clippings about her studio, as well as a number of studio portraits.

The Photographs series (1913-1994) includes two albums of family snapshots from the years 1913 to 1941 and various photos of the Bamford family. The Photographs series (1913-1994) includes two albums of family snapshots from the years 1913 to 1941 and various photos of the Bamford family. The Photographs series (1913-1994) includes two albums of family snapshots from the years 1913 to 1941 and various photos of the Bamford family.

A Photography Hall of Fame medal and miscellaneous nametags comprise the Artifacts series (1967, 1969 and undated).

Browse by Series:
Series 1: Biographical information
Series 2: Professional Photography
Series 3: Photographs
Series 4: Artifacts

  • Series 1: Biographical information
  • Box 1:
  • Certificates and diplomas - 1911, 1919, 1920
    [shelved in map case]
  • General - 1926-1994
  • Diaries - 1970, 1981
  • Diaries - 1983, 1989
  • Notes and household account books - 1981-1989
  • Account books - 1976-1994
  • Series 2: Professional Photography
  • Box 1:
  • Awards - 1957-1980
  • Bamford Studio - 1949-1964
  • Studio portraits, undated
    shelved in map case
  • Series 3: Photographs
  • Box 2:
  • Family albums - 1913-1932
  • Family albums - 1932-1941
  • Helen Bamford, family and friends, undated
  • Series 4: Artifacts
  • Box 3:
  • Medal and nametags - 1967, 1969

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.


Personal Names:
Bamford, Helen, 1902-1994

Dates:
20th century

Topics:
Women

Occupations:
Photographers

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa -- Muscatine

Genre/Form of Materials:
Personal papers
Archives
Photographs
Cultural artifacts