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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the War Brides of World War II

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1946-1996
Creator: War Brides Of World War II: Iowa Experiences
Extent: 1.00 linear inch.
Collection Number: IWA0215
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: 1995 honors thesis of University of Iowa undergraduate student, Rachel Casteel.

Alternate Extent Statement: 1 audiocassette [AC495]

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. 299) were donated by Rachel Casteel in 1995 and subsequent years.

Preferred Citation: War Brides of World War II 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

Rachel Casteel, a history student at the University of Iowa, wrote her undergraduate honors thesis on the experiences of World War II war brides in Iowa. Casteel placed an advertisement in a Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) newsletter in December 1994 inquiring about war brides in Iowa who would be willing to discuss their experiences. From this advertisement and from church and community contacts, Casteel identified twelve women to include in her thesis. The women she interviewed were originally from France, Germany, Great Britain, Australia, and Japan.

The War Brides of World War II: Iowa Experiences Records date from 1946 to 1996 and measure 1 linear inch. The records consist of a University of Iowa history student's undergraduate honors thesis on World War II war brides in Iowa and supporting materials used to write the thesis. Documents with addresses and phone numbers have been redacted and photocopied for the collection.

The Thesis folder contains Rachel Casteel's undergradate honors thesis, titled "War Brides of World War II: Iowa Experiences," which consists of fifty-five pages of text and appendices. The appendices include transcribed information from interviews, questionnaires and notes, as well as photocopies of souvenir newsletters from war bride transport ships.

The Correspondence folder contains letters and other material sent to Casteel, most of it from John Kelly who answered her VFW advertisement. John Kelly worked on the war bride transport ships alongside his wife, Barbara Sheriden. The folder contains the photocopied photographs of transport ships used to relocate the war brides and their children to America, photocopies of souvenir newsletters from 1946 and 1947 crossings, and correspondence from John Kelly.

The Questionnaires folder contains eight completed questionnaires. The Notes folder includes Casteel's handwritten notes from her interviews with five women. One taped interview completes the collection.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: WAR BRIDES

  • Series 1: WAR BRIDES
  • Box 1:
  • Thesis: "War Brides of World War II: Iowa Experiences" - 1995
  • Correspondence - 1946-1947, 1994-1996
  • Questionnaires - 1994-1995
  • Notes - 1994-1995
  • AC495: Interview with Eva Peiffer - 1995

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Casteel, Rachel

20th century

Women and war
World War, 1939-1945
War brides

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa

Genre/Form of Materials:
Oral histories (Document genres)
Sound recordings

Women and War
Women in Wartime