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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Virginia Tanner Simonsen papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1941-1943
Creator: Simonsen, Virginia Tanner (1923- )
Extent: 1.00 linear inch.
Collection Number: IWA0433
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Cherokee, Iowa-born woman who enrolled at Iowa State College in home economics and later moved to Quimby, Iowa.

Arrangement: One folder, shelved in SCVF.

Access: The papers are open for research.

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

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 553) were donated by Merle Simonsen in 1999.

Preferred Citation: Virginia Tanner Simonsen 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

Virginia Tanner was born January 2, 1923 in Cherokee, Iowa to Anna Johns Tanner and Dr. A. J. Tanner. Her father was a dentist in Cherokee, where Virginia Tanner graduated from high school in 1941. That fall she enrolled at Iowa State College, now Iowa State University, in home economics and lived in Welch Hall. In the summer of 1942, Merle Simonsen, a fellow student and former dental patient of Dr. A. J. Tanner, arranged a "blind date" with Virginia Tanner. They dated for two years and married on June 10, 1944. June continued in college, graduating in1946. Afterward her graduation, they moved to Quimby, Iowa and raised three sons and two daughters. In 1977, they moved to Cherokee where Virginia Simonsen entered a care facility in 1997.

The Virginia Tanner Simonsen papers consist of photocopies of letters written by Virginia Tanner to her parents from 1941 to 1943 and measure one linear inch. They recount the daily studies and activities of this Iowa State College coed in a lively, engaging style. Written every three or four days throughout her freshman year, the letters reveal many experiences typical of student life as well as the impact of World War Two on this generation of students.

The photocopies were made and organized by Merle Simonsen, who also wrote a brief introduction, added page numbers, and compiled an index.

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This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Simonsen, Virginia Tanner, 1923-
Simonsen, Merle
Tanner, Anna Johns
Tanner, A. J.

Corporate Names:
Iowa State College


Home economics
World War, 1939-1945

College students

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa -- Ames

Genre/Form of Materials:
Personal papers

Women in Wartime