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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Marilyn Sippy papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1955-2004
Creator: Sippy, Marilyn (1935- )
Extent: 5.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0680
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Peace activist and volunteer from Marion, Iowa, who was active in UNICEF for over thirty years.

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. 774 ) were donated by Marilyn Sippy in 2004.

Preferred Citation: Marilyn Sippy 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

Peace activist and volunteer Marilyn Sippy was born August 22, 1935 in Newark, New Jersey to H.J. and Ruth Clarke. She was ten when her family moved from Maplewood, New Jersey to Hinsdale, Illinois, which is where she completed high school. In 1957 Sippy received her bachelor's degree in education with a minor in religion and philosophy from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. Upon graduating she settled in Cedar Rapids, Iowa until her marriage to Dayton K. Sippy in 1960. The couple moved to Marion, Iowa where they raised two children, Karen, born in 1962 and Keith, born in 1963. Sippy taught in the Cedar Rapids Community Schools for three years until her resignation due to health problems; however, she continued to teach as a volunteer.

Sippy dedicated her time to volunteer activities such as the Peace Inquiry and Action Group and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). The Peace Inquiry and Action Group was formed in 1961 by women in the Cedar Rapids area who were concerned about nuclear testing and governments approaching international problems through military action. Members presented proposals regarding action and wrote letters to publishers requesting articles that dealt with peace work.

UNICEF, an agency of the United Nations, provides support to equip and staff long-term programs such as health centers, schools, daycare and community centers for the benefit of infants and children. As the acting UNICEF Marion Area Chairman from the mid-1960s through the mid-1990s, Marilyn Sippy helped organize the neighborhood house-to-house UNICEF Trick or Treat Collection. The annual event involved children and youth recruited through local schools, churches, and organizations. Sippy visited schools, organized check-in places and collection parties, and coordinated sub-chairmen acting on behalf of churches and organizations. Sippy was awarded the Honorary Chair of United Nations Day in 1994 for her volunteer work.

The Marilyn Sippy papers date from 1955 to 2004 and measure 5 linear inches. The papers are arranged in five series: Biographical information, Peace movement, United Nations (UN), Elizabeth Young, and Artifacts.

The Biographical Information series (1995-2004) contains a biographical information sheet written by Sippy, a collection of favorite quotes and a chapter about Sippy's volunteering from America's Small Town Heroes, by Harold William Thorpe, 2003.

Sippy's involvement in grassroots peace work is reflected in the Peace Movement series (1955-1965). The series consists of Sippy's printed material and correspondence with publishers both requesting and applauding the publication of articles that dealt with peace and nuclear test bans.

The United Nations series (1968-2004) consists of United Nations Association of Iowa (UNA) newsletters and correspondence, and UNICEF financial reports, printed material, and game sheets used for Trick or Treat collections. Newspaper clippings include articles concerning the UNICEF organization, collection announcements, and letters to the editor. Sippy's recollections of her work as the Marion Area Chairman complete the series.

Fellow peace activist and volunteer Elizabeth Young (1910-1999), a resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa since 1948, was born and raised in San Francisco, California. Married to James Young in 1938, the couple raised two children, David and Eve. Elizabeth Young, a journalist, editor and short story writer, held bachelor's and master's degrees in English Literature from Stanford University and later pursued a bachelor's degree in music from Coe College in 1962. She then turned her attention to a career in acting during the 1970s. An active member of the peace movement, Young was a member of the United Nations Association and volunteer on the UNICEF Card and Gift Committee. The Elizabeth Young series (1979-1996) contains a holiday letter written by Young to her friends and family after the death of her husband, and Elizabeth Young's memorial service program. Included are newspaper clippings pertaining to Young's theatre career and articles she wrote for the Cedar Rapids Gazette's "Outlooks" column.

UNICEF erasers, a ruler, pencil, given to children as prizes and a Trick or Treat Collection Box comprise the Artifacts series.

Browse by Series:

  • Box 1:
  • Biographical Information Sheet - 2004
  • Favorite Short Quotations - 1995
  • Volunteering - 2003
    [chapter about Sippy in America's Small Town Heroes, by Harold William Thorpe]
  • Series 2: PEACE MOVEMENT
  • Box 1:
  • Peace Inquiry and Action Group - 1960-1965
  • Printed Materials - 1955, 1962, 1964
  • Series 3: UNITED NATIONS
  • Box 1:
  • United Nations Association of Iowa (UNA) - 1995, 1998, 2001-2002
  • United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF): Children of Asia
  • United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF): Certificate of Appreciation - 1978
  • United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF): Correspondence - 1969-1990
  • United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF): Financial Reports - 1975-1990
  • United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF): Game Sheets - 1970-1980
  • United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF): Newspaper Clippings, Editorials and Articles - 1968-1995
  • United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF): Newspaper Clippings, Local UNICEF Leaders - 1971-2001
  • United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF): Printed Material
  • United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF): "Recollections of UNICEF Doings in Marion, Iowa from the mid 1960s to the mid 1990s," by Marilyn Sippy - 2004
  • United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF): Trick or Treat Collections - 1970-1977, 1992
  • Box 1:
  • Biographical Information
  • Cedar Rapids Gazette columns by Elizabeth Young - 1979-1988
  • Theatre - 1982-1996
  • Series 5: ARTIFACTS
  • Box 1: