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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Inez Christen papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1922-2000
Creator: Christen, Inez (1906-1999)
Extent: 6.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0469
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Transcribed diaries of a Northeast Iowa hired girl, farmwoman and mother.

Access: The diaries are open for research. Electronic file: Diary transcripts, 1922-1999. [3.5 floppy disc ASCII electronic, 2001-2005]; 1 CD [d0032]

Use: Copyright has been retained by the donor.

Acquisition: The diaries (donor no. 694) were donated by Glen Christen in 2000 and subsequent years.

Preferred Citation: Inez Christen 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

Inez Lucille Chase Christen, born November 26, 1906, was the second of seven children of Willis and Eliza Chase of rural Fayette County. Although active and successful as a student at Volga High School, she left before graduating, finding work as a hired girl at the Probert farm, just across the Volga River from the farm of her parents. She worked for the Proberts from 1926 until her marriage in 1941 to the neighboring farmer, Will Christen. They rented farms before buying a farm in the Elgin area in 1947 where they raised four sons, David, Paul, Glen, and Louis Christen. They retired to Elgin. Inez Christen died August 18, 1999.

The Inez Christen diaries consist of transcripts of diaries that date from 1922 to 1999 and measure 6 linear inches. Glen Christen transcribed the diaries over many years. The original diaries are in his possession. They recount the day by day activities of a hired girl on a northeast Iowa farm during the late 1920s and 1930s. The later diaries detail the daily routines and exceptional events of raising children on a farm in the 1940s and 1950s. They reveal the hard work of a hired girl and farm woman, as well as shopping trips and other entertainments in town and automobile vacations around the state. They also describe frequent socializing with nearby friends and family. World events are occasionally mentioned.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: Biography
Series 2: Diaries [typed transcriptions]
Series 3: Computer disks

  • Series 1: Biography
  • Box 1:
  • Biography - 1999-2000
  • Series 2: Diaries [typed transcriptions]
  • Box 1:
  • - 1922-1925
  • - 1926-1929
  • - 1930-1932
  • - 1933-1935
  • - 1936-1939
  • - 1940-1944
  • - 1945-1948
  • - 1949-1952
  • - 1953-1956
  • - 1957-1960
  • - 1961-1963
  • - 1964-1966
  • - 1967-1970
  • - 1971-1974
  • - 1975-1980
  • - 1981-1983
  • - 1984-1987
  • Box 2:
  • - 1988-1991
  • - 1993-1999
  • Series 3: Computer disks