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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Wanda Edgerton papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1938-1993
Creator: Edgerton, Wanda Misbach (1905-2004)
Extent: 5.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0603
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Occupational therapist who worked in Venezuela, 1940-1942, and at Ohio State University.

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. 708) were donated by Wanda Misbach Edgerton in 2000.

Preferred Citation: Wanda Edgerton 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

Educator, therapist, speaker, author, Wanda Misbach Edgerton was born in Williamsburg, Iowa, 1905 to Jesse Davis and Emelia Sophie Misbach. Edgerton graduated from Coe College in 1929, and received her professional training at the Boston School of Occupational Therapy. After graduating in 1938 she worked as an occupational therapist in Massachussetts and in Caracas, Venezuela. Edgerton's position in Venezuela was part of a United States teaching and demonstration team of psychiatric nurses employed by the Venezuelan government to assist in reforming and modernizing the Caracas Hospital Municipal Psychiatrico. During her two year stay in Venezuela, Edgerton organized and directed an industrial therapy program.

In 1942 Edgerton returned to the United States where she applied for a newly created job as the chairman of the Occupational Therapy Department at Ohio State University. Once hired Edgerton organized a student training curriculum, which consisted of establishing a curriculum, policy and admission standards, as well as recruiting future students. In addition to her administrative and teaching obligations, Edgerton gave speeches and published articles on the status of the evolving field of occupational therapy.

During the formative stage of the Occupational Therapy Department, Edgerton sought assistance from the Psychology Department's vocational counselor, Harold Asahel Edgerton. After a courtship, the Misbach-Edgerton wedding took place in Columbus, Ohio on the 27 th of July 1945. Harold Edgerton worked at the Ohio State University's Department of Psychology as an associate professor and Director of Occupational Opportunities Services.

The Wanda Misbach Edgerton papers date from 1938 to 1993 and measure 5 linear inches. The papers are arranged in three series: Biographical information, Municipal Psychiatric Hospital in Caracas, Venezuela, and Occupational Therapy as a profession.

The Biographical Information series (1939-1993) consists of Wanda Misbach Edgerton's resume, newspaper clippings, and an autobiographical book illustrating the life of a farm family in Iowa.

The Municipal Psychiatric Hospital in Caracas, Venezuela series (1940-1943) is comprised of newspaper clippings, papers, photographs of hospital wards and industrial therapy projects, and a series of letters dated 1940-1942 written by Edgerton about her work as the "Occupational Therapy Girl in the Wilderness."

Edgerton's involvement in the field of Occupational Therapy is documented in the Occupational Therapy as a Profession series (1935-1949). Included are newspaper clippings, published pamphlets and articles, Edgerton's personal and published papers and correspondence with publishers.
Dorothy Misbach papers (IWA): Misbach was Wanda Misbach Edgerton's sister.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
Series 2: MUNICIPAL PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL, CARACAS, VENEZUELA
Series 3: OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY AS A PROFESSION

  • Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
  • Box 1:
  • General - 1939-1993
  • Correspondence - 1945-1946
  • Our Home Place by Wanda Misbach Edgerton
  • Wanda Misbach scrapbook, compiled by Shirley Buswell (2 folders)
  • Series 2: MUNICIPAL PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL, CARACAS, VENEZUELA
  • Box 1:
  • General - 1940-1942
  • Correspondence (folder 1) - 1940-1942
  • Correspondence (folder 2) - 1940-1942
  • Correspondence (folder 3) - 1940-1942
  • Correspondence (folder 4) - 1940-1942
  • Newspaper clippings - 1940-1943
  • Photographs
  • Series 3: OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY AS A PROFESSION
  • Box 1:
  • General - 1935-1949
  • Manuscript essays - 1943, 1947
  • Publications by Wanda Misbach Edgerton - 1943
  • Publications by Wanda Misbach Edgerton - 1938-1946
  • Newspaper clippings - 1943-1944