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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Des Moines records

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1936-1995
Creator: League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Des Moines
Extent: 10.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0243
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: This non-partisan group studied and acted upon the many local issues including the following: the council-manager form of city government, home rule for local and county government, reapportionment of legislative districts of the Iowa General Assembly, desegregation and integration of Des Moines public schools, and the need for affordable housing in the community.

Alternate Extent Statement: 3 audiocassettes (AC353-AC355)
Artifacts in box 8

Access: The records are open for research.

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

Acquisition: The records (donor no. 338) were donated by the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Des Moines.

Preferred Citation: League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Des Moines 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

The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Des Moines was founded as the Des Moines League of Women Voters in 1920, shortly after the League of Women Voters of Iowa was created. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization which provides community education and public awareness on political issues. One of the main tenets of the organization is nonpartisanship, but in 1944 the Des Moines league endorsed the Republican Party and subsequently lost its charter. Later in the year the organization was rechartered by a core group of former league members from the area and several other interested women.

The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Des Moines records date from 1936 to 1995 and measure 10 linear feet. The records are arranged in seven series: Administrative records, Community involvement, History, Programs, Publications, Photographs, and Sherry Hutchison.

The Community involvement series (1950-1995) contains information about the three main programs which the league provides for the community: the Observers, the Speakers Bureau, and Voters Services. The Observers are members of the league who attend local and regional government meetings and give nonpartisan reports of what has happened there. They are a source of information for those in the community who do not have the time to attend the meetings themselves. The Speakers Bureau provides the community with knowledgeable lecturers on topics from the environment to how our local, state, and national government works. The Voters Services program provides information to the community on how to vote, who can vote, and when to vote and gives nonpartisan profiles of the candidates and the issues.

The Programs series (1947-1993) contains the political topic study guides and consensus forms used by the league during unit discussions and consensus building. The league studies subjects of local, state, national and international scope. Among the issues studied by the league and acted upon locally were the council-manager form of city government, home rule for local and county government, reapportionment of legislative districts of the Iowa General Assembly, desegregation and integration of Des Moines public schools, and the need for affordable housing in the community.

The Sherry Hutchison series (1955-1986), donated by Hutchison in 2008, includes correspondence, notes, pamphlets, clippings and League publications relating to state government controversies. Hutchison (listed as Mrs. L.O. Hutchison in early publications) served in various offices and committees for the Des Moines Metropolitan League from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s. One of her main duties was to the State committee that studied the Iowa Constitution to reach League consensus on issues such as district reapportionment, court reform, home rule for cities and counties and the Equal Rights Amendment. In the years that followed her official role as an officer and committee member, Hutchison continued to be an active participant in the League of Women voters of Metropolitan Des Moines.
The League of Women Voters of Iowa records (IWA).

The Institute of Public Affairs records (University Archives, Special Collections Department, The University of Iowa Libraries): Hutchison and the LWV used IPA publications in their research.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS
Series 2: COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Series 3: VOTERS SERVICES
Series 4: HISTORY
Series 5: PROGRAMS
Series 6: PUBLICATIONS
Series 7: PHOTOGRAPHS
Series 8: SHERRY HUTCHISON SERIES

  • Series 1: ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS
  • Box 1:
  • Annual Meeting minutes (24 folders) - 1952-1975
  • Annual Meeting minutes (14 folders) - 1978-1991
  • Annual Meeting minutes - 1993
  • Annual reports (3 folders) - 1949-1952
  • Annual reports (2 folders) - 1954-1956
  • Annual reports (2 folders) - 1957-1959
  • Box 2:
  • Annual reports (12 folders) - 1959-1971
  • Annual reports - 1975-1976
  • Annual reports (2 folders) - 1978-1980
  • Annual reports (5 folders) - 1981-1986
  • Annual reports - 1990-1991
  • Annual reports, Undated
  • Board meeting minutes (2 folders) - 1951-1952
  • Box 3:
  • Board meeting minutes (18 folders) - 1953-1970
  • Board meeting minutes (7 folders) - 1973-1979
  • Box 4:
  • Board meeting minutes (9 folders) - 1983-1991
  • Bylaws: Final versions - 1952-1990
  • Bylaws: Recommended changes - 1975-1992
  • Committees: Citizens' Action Committee on County Building - 1974
  • Committees: Nominating committee - 1959-1960
  • Committees: Unit Action Committee - 1982, 1985
  • Correspondence: General - 1948-1949
  • Correspondence: General - 1950-1959
  • Box 5:
  • Correspondence: General - 1960-1969
  • Correspondence: General - 1970-1979
  • Correspondence: General - 1980-1989, 1990, 1994
  • Correspondence: Official League correspondence - 1953-1980
  • Correspondence: Catt, Carrie Chapman, with the Iowa Suffrage Memorial Commission - 1936, 1939
  • Financial reports - 1947
  • Financial reports - 1950
  • Financial reports (11 folders) - 1956-1966
  • Financial reports - 1970
  • Box 6:
  • Financial reports - 1975
  • Financial reports - 1977
  • Financial reports (3 folders) - 1979-1981
  • Membership: Brochure, undated
  • Membership: General information, undated
  • Membership: Lists - 1976-1989
  • Membership: League directory (officers and workshop chairmen) - 1961-1987
  • Membership: Local league directory - 1965-1989
  • Policy and procedure: Board policy - 1960, 1984-1987
  • Policy and procedure: Board policy changes - 1975-1982
  • Policy and procedure: Board procedures - 1985-1988
  • Policy and procedure: Board orientation - 1983
  • Policy and procedure: Citizens Information Services (CIS) projects and procedures - 1979, 1989
  • Policy and procedure: Consensus-forming process - 1979, 1984-1985
  • Policy and procedure: League policies and positions - 1972-1989
  • Policy and procedure: Local league handbooks - 1966, 1969
  • Policy and procedure: Position descriptions - 1979, 1983, 1984
  • Policy and procedure: Unit leadership - 1970
  • Policy and procedure: Unit organization - 1979
  • Policy and procedure: Public relations, General - 1977
  • Policy and procedure: Public relations, Correspondence - 1974-1983
  • Box 7:
  • Pamphlets, undated
  • Press releases (7 folders) - 1956-1962
  • Press releases (7 folders) - 1964-1970
  • Press releases - 1975
  • Press releases (9 folders) - 1977-1986
  • Summary - 1974
  • Series 2: COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
  • Box 7:
  • Observers: General - 1974-1976, 1982, 1985
  • Observers: Guides - 1974, 1984
  • Observers: Packets - 1981
  • Observers: Program information - 1975-1976
  • Speakers Bureau: General information - 1955-1978
  • Speakers Bureau: Speeches, Additional information - 1963, 1987-1988
  • Speakers Bureau: Speeches, Handouts - 1974
  • Speakers Bureau: Speeches, Outlines - 1957, 1961
  • Box 8:
  • Speakers Bureau: Speeches, Sample speeches - 1958-1978
  • Speakers Bureau: Speaking aids - 1959
  • Speakers Bureau: Speaking engagements - 1959-1964
  • Series 3: VOTERS SERVICES
  • Box 8:
  • Artifacts: Necklace and buttons, undated
  • Candidate profiles (6 folders) - 1957-1962
  • Candidate profiles - 1973
  • Candidate profiles: Undated
  • Democracy handbook - 1958
  • Des Moines Annual Citizenship School - 1941
  • Election report - 1974
  • General information - 1950
  • General information - 1952
  • General information (9 folders) - 1955-1963
  • Box 9:
  • General information - 1968
  • General information - 1970
  • General information - 1972
  • General information (3 folders) - 1974-1976
  • General information (5 folders) - 1978-1982
  • General information (2 folders) - 1984-1985
  • General information (2 folders) - 1988-1989
  • General information, Undated
    [also oversize: shelved in map case: drawer 4]
  • Instructions for local coordinators - 1982
  • Press releases - 1957
  • Press releases - 1961
  • Press releases (7 folders) - 1963-1969
  • Press releases - 1972
  • Press releases (4 folders) - 1980-1983
  • Press releases, undated
  • Box 10:
  • Program study - 1956, 1968, 1970
  • Tax paying guides - 1963
  • Tax paying guides - 1967
  • Voters guides - 1971-1995
  • Series 4: HISTORY
  • Box 10:
  • Awards: Certificates of Appreciation - 1953, 1979
  • Awards: Governor's Volunteer Award - 1995
  • Awards: International Women's year certificate - 1975
  • Awards: Lane Bryant Award - 1950
  • Awards: League of Women Voters of Metro Des Moines Month, undated
  • Awards: Outstanding Performance in Support of National Non-partisan Register and Vote Campaign - 1952, 1953
    [oversize; shelved in map case: drawer 4]
  • Cartoons - 1962
    [also oversize; shelved in map case: drawer 4]
  • General League history: Questions and answers - 1952
  • General League history: Fiftieth Anniversary - 1969
  • Local government history - 1959
  • Local league history: Accomplishments - 1964, 1966
  • Local league history: Handwritten history - 1974
  • Local league history: History committee reports - 1975
  • Local league history: Program record - 1956
  • Local league history: "This is Our Life" - 1956
  • Local league history: Timeline - 1922-1985, 1985
  • Box 11:
  • Scrapbooks [shelved in map case] - 1942
  • Scrapbooks - 1949-1951
  • Scrapbooks - 1956-1958
  • Box 12:
  • Scrapbooks - 1958-1967
  • Scrapbooks - 1967-1969
  • Box 13:
  • Scrapbooks - 1969-1972
  • Scrapbooks - 1972-1973
  • Box 14:
  • Scrapbooks - 1973-1975
  • Scrapbooks - 1975-1977
  • Box 15:
  • City Manager Campaign [disbound]: - 1948-1949
  • City Manager Campaign [disbound]: Correspondence
  • City Manager Campaign [disbound]: Editorials
  • City Manager Campaign [disbound]: Letters to newspapers
  • City Manager Campaign [disbound]: Newspaper clippings, January to April 15 - 1949
  • City Manager Campaign [disbound]: Newspaper clippings, April 16 to May 2 - 1949
  • City Manager Campaign [disbound]: Opposition propaganda and advertising
  • Operation Ballot Box - 1952
    [oversize:in box 24]
  • Campaign to preserve the council manager government in Des Moines - 1959
  • Box 22:
  • Scrapbook - 1953-1956
  • Box 23:
  • Scrapbook - 1981-1983
  • Box 24:
  • Scrapbook: Operation Ballot Box - 1952
  • Series 5: PROGRAMS
  • Box 15:
  • Planning - 1958-1990
  • Sub-Series: City/Local
  • Box 15:
  • Broadlawns Medical Center - 1984, 1990
  • Central city redevelopment - 1974-1991
  • Box 16:
  • "Cities: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" audiovisual presentation, AC353-AC355: Audiocassettes #1-3, Photographic slides - 1980
  • Des Moines Municipal Airport - 1980, 1987
  • Education: Desegregation and integration of the Des Moines schools - 1966-1989
  • "Employment in the Des Moines Area: An Overview" - 1979
  • Government: Boards and commissions - 1969-1991
  • Government: Council-Manager form - 1947-1979
  • Government: Finance - 1953, 1976-1984
  • Government: Home rule - 1966, 1975
  • Government: Metropolitan form - 1973-1976
  • Government: Ombudsman - 1971
  • Government: Police, fire protection and emergency medical services - 1980
  • Precinct polling places - 1970
  • Public recreation - 1955
  • Box 17:
  • Taxation
  • "Beyond the Property Tax" - 1987-1990
  • Tax base sharing - 1985
  • Sub-Series: County government
  • Box 17:
  • Charter commission - 1981-1993
  • Government structure, function and form - 1971-1983
  • Home rule - 1976
  • Polk County Jail - 1978-1991
  • Sub-Series: State
  • Box 17:
  • Courts: Adult correctional system - 1984-1985
  • Courts: Juvenile justice system - 1974-1979
  • Courts: Unified court - 1972
  • Election laws and procedures - 1970
  • Executive branch - 1960
  • Legislature - 1971-1986
  • Reapportionment - 1964, 1976-1991
  • Revisions to the Iowa State Constitution - 1962-1968, 1979-1980
  • Shaff plan - 1963
    [state constitution amendment on apportionment]
  • Tax system - 1972-1983
  • Sub-Series: National
  • Box 17:
  • Agriculture - 1987-1988
  • "Campaign Spending: The Great American Treasure Hunt" - 1973
  • Electoral college reform - 1968
  • "Examining the Presidency" - 1975, 1980
  • Federal finance - 1985-1986, 1990
  • Human resources: Day care/Children at risk - 1981, 1990
  • Human resources: Equality of opportunity - 1966-1986
  • Box 18:
  • Human resources: Health care - 1982, 1992
  • Human resources: Housing needs, General - 1949, 1961-1968
  • Human resources: Housing needs, General - 1971-1978
  • Human resources: Housing needs, Photographic slides - 1975
  • Human resources: Housing needs, Presentation - 1976
  • Human resources: Income assistance - 1969-1970, 1978
  • Human resources: Mental health facilities - 1958
  • Human resources: Welfare reform - 1970-1989
  • Sub-Series: Natural resources
  • Box 18:
  • The Brundtland report [environmental protection and sustainable development] - 1990
  • Energy - 1975, 1977
  • Environmental quality - 1971-1979
  • Hazardous waste - 1981
  • Land use - 1971-1984
  • Mass transit - 1969-1982
  • Solid waste - 1970-1992
  • Water conservation - 1957-1989
  • Box 19:
  • National security - 1983-1984
  • Revenue sharing - 1974
  • "U.S. Congress: Evaluation of Structure, Procedure and Practices, and Their Effect on Responsive Legislative Process" - 1972
  • Voting rights - 1971
  • Sub-Series: International
  • Box 19:
  • Central America - 1981
  • China - 1965, 1967
  • European Community - 1992
  • Foreign policy - 1959-1985
  • Foreign trade - 1962-1991
  • United Nations - 1976-1977
  • Series 6: PUBLICATIONS
  • Box 19:
  • Polk County Guide - 1977, 1983
  • The Des Moines Voter (14 folders) - 1953-1966
  • Box 20:
  • The Des Moines Voter (23 folders) - 1967-1989
  • Box 21:
  • The Des Moines Voter (3 folders) - 1990-1992
  • Series 7: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 21:
  • Polk county jail, undated
  • Photographs - 1977-1983
  • Series 8: SHERRY HUTCHISON SERIES
  • Box 25:
  • Constitutional Convention (Con Con) - 1980
  • Constitutional Convention, correspondence and notes - 1980
  • Constitutional Convention, publications - 1979-1981
  • Constitutional Convention, newspaper clippings - 1980
  • Election laws and procedures - 1969-1972
  • Electoral college - 1968-1971
  • Electoral college - 1968-1976
  • Home rule - 1964-1965
  • Home rule - 1964-1974
  • Home rule, publications - 1955-1969
  • Home rule, newspaper clippings - 1964-1982
  • Box 26:
  • Home rule, county - 1975-1976
  • Home rule, county - 1976-1978
  • Home rule, county, newspaper clippings - 1974-1976
  • Home rule, county, resources - 1975-1976
  • Institute of Public Affairs, publications (partial copies) - 1962-1975
    (see University of Iowa Archives collection for originals)
  • Iowa Constitution - 1963-1971
  • Iowa Constitution - 1966-1973
  • Iowa Constitution - 1969-1982
  • Iowa Constitution, other state examples - 1972-1974
  • Iowa Legislature - 1965-1972
  • Box 27:
  • Intergovernmental relations - 1965-1973
  • Miscellaneous - 1975, 1980
  • Miscellaneous, publications - 1955, 1958, 1962
  • League pamphlets - 1977, 1979
  • Police civilian review board, research, undated
  • Reapportionment - 1963-1982
  • Reapportionment, Shaff Plan - 1962-1963
  • Reapportionment, publications - 1962-1965
  • Reapportionment, newspaper clippings - 1964-1981
  • Reapportionment, resources - 1974-1978
  • State government reorganization - 1966-1974
  • State government reorganization, notes - 1967-1968
  • Box 28:
  • State government reorganization, newspaper clippings - 1966-1974
  • Support positions - 1971-1986
  • Unified court - 1966-1971
  • Unified court - 1971-1975
  • Unified court, newspaper clippings - 1966-1986