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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Vina Thorpe papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1893-1995
Creator: Thorpe, Vina (1906-)
Extent: 1.25 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0253
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Des Moines newspaper columnist and editor who ran Thorpe Publications with her husband.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in boxes 1-4

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers were donated by Vina Thorpe (donor no. 355) and Deborah Conger (donor no. 358) in 1996.

Preferred Citation: Vina Thorpe 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

Vina Roberts was born on March 25, 1906 in Centerville, Iowa, to Clyde L. and Dora Belle Roberts. Roberts married Ray Thorpe in 1933. She worked at Western Union for twenty years before quitting to join her husband in the newspaper business in 1947. Together they ran Thorpe Publications in Des Moines, Iowa, which published and distributed nine weekly newspapers in central Iowa, among them the Grimes Citizen and the Waukee Citizen. Even after her husband died in 1961, Thorpe continued to write for and edit the weekly newspapers her husband had established.

The Vina Thorpe papers date from 1893 to 1995 and measure 1.25 linear feet. The papers are arranged in four series: Personal, Professional, Travel columns, and Photographs.

The Personal series (1893, 1900, 1907-1995) contains many of Thorpe's writings about herself, her family's history, and other interests including the Questers, a group devoted to promoting the study and appreciation of antiques and their historical backgrounds. There is also biographical information on her husband Ray Thorpe, and some correspondence. Vina Thorpe's journals(1979-1995) concern her daily activities, thoughts, and concerns.

The Professional series (1953-1975 and undated) contains information on Thorpe Publications and many of the "Linotype Chatter" columns she wrote for the Thorpe newspapers.

The Travel columns series (1948-1967) contains the travelogue columns Thorpe wrote while on vacation plus photographs which she took on her trips.

The Photographs series (1893-1986 and undated) contains many photographs of Thorpe and her family, several of which pre-date her birth. Other photographs are of her travels and of the people employed by Thorpe Publications.
Wilma Belden Collins papers (IWA): Collins was a newspaper correspondent for Thorpe Publications Weekly from 1946 to 1947.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: PERSONAL
Series 2: PROFESSIONAL
Series 3: TRAVEL COLUMNS
Series 4: PHOTOGRAPHS

  • Series 1: PERSONAL
  • Sub-Series: Biographical writings
  • Box 1:
  • "Imported French Organdy," undated
  • "It's a Virus," undated
  • "Reminiscing" - 1989
  • "The Life and Times of Vina P. Thorpe" - 1986
  • "Vignettes of Childhood," undated
  • Sub-Series: Family history writings
  • Box 1:
  • "A History of the Mikels Clan" - 1973
  • "Christmas a Long Time Ago" - 1993
  • "Dora Belle's 'An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving,'" undated
  • "Genealogy of Lyman Mikels" - 1993
  • "The Valentine", undated
  • "Recollections of Dora Belle Mikels Roberts as told to her daughter Vina Roberts Thorpe," undated
  • "Great Grandfather Clyde Leslie Roberts" - 1962
  • "Childhood Memories: My Most Unforgettable Character" - 1989
  • "The Murphy Farm," undated
  • "Where my Grandmother Went to School" - 1959
  • Sub-Series: Journals
  • Box 1:
  • Chronological - 1979-1992
  • Chronological - 1992-1995
  • Sub-Series: Twenty-fifth anniversary
  • Box 1:
  • Twenty-fifth anniversary - 1958
  • Sub-Series: Newspaper clippings
  • Box 1:
  • Newspaper clippings - 1941, 1955
  • Sub-Series: Ray E. Thorpe
  • Box 1:
  • Ray E. Thorpe - 1961, 1964, 1981, 1983
  • Sub-Series: Essays
  • Box 1:
  • Questers - 1962, 1986, 1994
  • Remembrances - 1992, 1993
  • Articles - 1978, 1979
  • Memorials - 1983, 1986
  • Miscellaneous - 1975-1994
  • Sub-Series: Correspondence
  • Box 1:
  • Correspondence - 1960-1994
  • Sub-Series: Videotaped reminiscences
  • Box 1:
  • Videocassette V88: (also includes Evelyn Reames discussing the Reames Noodle Co. and with Iowa Women's Archives curator Karen Mason) - 1996
  • Series 2: PROFESSIONAL
  • Box 1:
  • Thorpe Publications - 1953-1975
  • Linotype Chatter - 1950-1969
  • Box 3:
  • Scrapbook [Linotype Chatter] - 1950-1965
  • Series 3: TRAVEL COLUMNS
  • Box 1:
  • Colorado - 1948
  • Smokey Mountains - 1950
  • Park Rapids, MN - 1953
  • Mississippi River - 1954
  • Wisconsin - 1954
  • Lake Michigan - 1955
  • Box 2:
  • Yellowstone - 1956
  • New Mexico - 1957
  • Texas - 1957
  • Michigan - 1958
  • Mexico - 1959
  • Hawaii - 1962
  • New England - 1963
  • Europe - 1967
  • Box 4:
  • Florida (Scrapbook) - 1959
  • Series 4: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 2:
  • Family - 1912
  • Family and friends - 1893, 1900, 1920, 1924, 1941
  • Mexico trip - 1959
  • Ray Thorpe - 1913, 1958, 1959
  • Twenty-fifth anniversary - 1958
  • Thorpe Publications - 1953-1975
  • Vina Roberts Thorpe - 1907, 1908, 1916, 1919, 1924, 1986
  • Vina and Ray Thorpe - 1933, 1960
  • Miscellaneous: Vacation - 1933, 1951
  • Miscellaneous: "The Bloomer Girls," undated