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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Rowene Danbom papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1941-1987
Creator: Danbom, Rowene (1920-)
Extent: 5.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0494
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Journalist who worked at the International News Service in Des Moines, Iowa during World War II and became its first woman bureau chief.

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. 858) were donated by Rowene Danbom in 2002.

Preferred Citation: Rowene Danbom 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

Rowene Byers was born in Shenandoah, Iowa on December 25, 1920. Byers began her career by filling a volunteer position for the Evening Sentinel in Shenandoah in 1937. Upon moving to Des Moines, Iowa in 1939 to enroll in the American Institute of Business, she was hired at the Iowa Daily Press Association and quit school.

From 1941 to 1945, Byers held several short-term positions for various employers. She went back to the Evening Sentinel to replace a reporter who was serving in World War II. Then, the United Press assigned her to cover the Women's Army Corps, where she had the opportunity to interview Eleanor Roosevelt. She was hired on at the International News Service (also in Des Moines) as its first woman bureau chief. Shortly after, the Associated Press hired her to cover the Iowa statehouse and legislature.

Following her marriage to Raymond Danbom in October of 1945, she and her husband moved to Colorado, leaving the news business behind. Between the years of 1946 and 1958 Danbom's career was put on hold to raise her two sons. She then served the Colorado Department of Highways and the Department of Health. She also taught at Colorado State University from 1978 to 1981 where a scholarship was later created in her name. Among Danbom's many accomplishments are the Rocky Mountain Center on Environment award (1971) and the distinguished service award given by the International Association of Business Communicators (1982).

The Rowene Danbom papers date from 1941 to 1987 and measure 5 linear inches. The papers consist of tear sheets, newspaper clippings, professional correspondence, Colorado Department of Highways material, awards and recognitions, and photographs.

The tear sheets are drafts of articles Danbom wrote while working for the International News Service, the United Press, and the Associated Press. The newspaper clippings include articles by and about Danbom. The bulk of the clippings date from 1944-1945, and come from various newspapers throughout Iowa.

The professional correspondence is comprised mostly of congratulatory letters concerning her career as a journalist. The Colorado Department of Highways material includes a performance evaluation form, drafts of her articles about the department, and a magazine in which an article by Danbom was published. The awards and recognitions folder includes various items concerning Danbom's accomplishments throughout her career. There are two photographs dating from 1972 and 1992.

Browse by Series:

  • Box 1:
  • Tear sheets - 1944-1945
  • Newspaper clippings: Articles written by Danbom - 1944
  • Newspaper clippings: Articles written by Danbom (Jan.-April) - 1945
  • Newspaper clippings: Articles written by Danbom (May-Nov.) - 1945
  • Newspaper clippings: Articles written by Danbom - 1958-1974
  • Newspaper clippings: Articles referring to Danbom - 1941-1974
  • Newspaper clippings: Articles referring to Danbom (Colorado State University position) - 1975-1981
  • Professional correspondence: International News Service - 1944-1945
  • Professional correspondence: Kudos, acknowledgments, and references - 1961-1977
  • Professional correspondence: Colorado State University
  • Colorado Department of Highways: Performance rating
  • Colorado Department of Highways: Article drafts
  • Colorado Department of Highways: Magazine article
  • Awards and recognition: Newspaper clippings
  • Awards and recognition: Correspondence
  • Photographs - 1972, 1992