Guide to the Helen Gunderson papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1994-2004
Creator: Gunderson, Helen (1945-)
Extent: 1.00 linear inch.
Collection Number: IWA0286
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Papers include photographs of 1995 suffrage parade and Iowa ERA rallies.

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: 1 videocassette [V339]

Arrangement: Two folders, shelved in SCVF; one videocassette [V339] shelved in videocassette collection.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has not been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 391) were donated by Helen D. Gunderson in 1995 and succeeding years.

Preferred Citation: Helen Gunderson 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

Biographical Note

Independent photographer, video producer, and regional historian Helen D. Gunderson, a fourth generation Iowan, was born in 1945 to Marion Abbott Gunderson and Deane Gunderson; she was raised with her five siblings on a farm in northwest Iowa near the town of Rolfe. Gunderson earned a BA in physical education at Iowa State University in 1967, an MA in Instructional Media Technology from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 1975, and a Master of Divinity Degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 1985. Gunderson returned to Iowa in 1993 and took up residence in Gilbert, Iowa, where she started Gunder-friend Productions and served on the city council from 2000 to 2002. Gunderson's photographs, videos, and books interpret the history, culture, and heritage of rural Iowa.

Content Description

The Helen D. Gunderson papers date from 1994 to 2004 and measure 1 linear inch. They consist of two folders and a videocassette. The first folder contains photographs Gunderson took of the Suffrage Day Parade on Equality Day in Des Moines in 1995. It includes a photo of Louise Noun and Mary Louise Smith, and many photos of women with ERA NOW and other banners. The second folder contains a CD (and some hard copies) of documents related to the local government of Gilbert, Iowa, dating from 1999 to 2004. These include editorials Gunderson published in the Gilbert Gazette, an unofficial community web site that she started, and emails between Gunderson and city officials related to issues of open government and the transformation of a farm town to a suburban area. The videocassette, produced by Gunderson and Robert B. Lindemeyer in 1994, is titled "Doing Local History With Video." It includes interviews with Mary Bennett and Loren Horton of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and Iowa historian Dorothy Schweider of Iowa State University. The videocassette was removed from papers donated by Verda Williams and placed with Gunderson's collection.

Related Materials

Helen D. Gunderson Papers, Iowa State University, Parks Library, Special Collections Department, Ames, Iowa.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Browse by Series:


This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Gunderson, Helen, 1945-
Bennett, Mary
Horton, Loren N.
Schweider, Dorothy


Local government
Local history
Women's rights
Transparency in government
Rural women


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa -- Gilbert
United States -- Iowa -- Des Moines
United States -- Iowa

Genre/Form of Materials:
Video recordings
Personal papers
Oral histories (Document genres)