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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Modern Idea Club of Thurman Iowa records

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1902-1998
Creator: Modern Idea Club of Thurman, Iowa
Extent: 1.25 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0535
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Fremont County, Iowa women's club that was responsible for opening a public library in the small town of Thurman in 1936.

Access: The records are open for research.

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

Acquisition: The records (donor no. 939) were donated by Shelda Baylor in 2004.

Preferred Citation: Modern Idea Club of Thurman Iowa records, 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

The Modern Idea Club of Thurman, Iowa, which is located in Fremont County in southwest Iowa, was organized on September 23, 1899 with twelve charter members. Its purpose was to bring women together to socialize and promote self-improvement. The records of the first three years were lost in a fire in 1902. Club programs were temporarily dropped in 1917-1918 so that members could give more time to the Red Cross during World War I. In 1922, the group was federated into the General Federation of Women's Clubs.

In 1936, the Modern Idea Club opened a library in Thurman, a town of four hundred people. It was housed in several places around town before eventually settling in 1951 into a former laundry about seven feet wide and twelve feet long, making it perhaps the smallest library in Iowa. Operating costs were met by the club. The club ceased to exist around 1998.

The Modern Idea Club of Thurman, Iowa records date from 1902 to 1998 and measure 1.25 linear feet. The records consist of yearbooks, two scrapbooks, minute books and recognition certificates received by the club from the Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs. The yearbooks are small booklets that list club members and topics to be discussed at meetings during the coming year. Yearbooks are lacking for some years. The scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings on club activities, memorabilia, and a few photos, as well as materials relating to the Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs. All minutes are handwritten and meeting topics included subjects like "The Model Husband" and "The Negro of Today," both given at 1903 meetings.

Browse by Series:

  • Series 1: MODERN IDEA CLUB
  • Box 1:
  • Historical information - 1958-1966
  • Minute books - 1902-1908
  • Minute books - 1908-1915
  • Minute books - 1915-1923
  • Minute books - 1923-1930
  • Box 2:
  • Minute books - 1946-1956
  • Minute books - 1967-1992
  • Recognition certificates - 1958-1962
  • Scrapbooks - 1958-1970
  • Box 3:
  • Scrapbooks - 1977-1988
  • Yearbooks - 1905-1916/1917
  • Yearbooks - 1920/1921-1929/1930
  • Yearbooks - 1930/1931-1939/1940
  • Yearbooks - 1941/1942-1949/1950
  • Yearbooks - 1950/1951-1959/1960
  • Yearbooks - 1960/1961-1969/1970
  • Yearbooks - 1970/1971-1978/1979
  • Yearbooks - 1981/1982-1997/1998