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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Anabeth Koob Voigts papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1976-1999
Creator: Voigts, Anabeth Koob (1943-)
Extent: 2.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0694
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Materials relate to the efforts of Voigts to obtain the release of her sister, Kathryn Koob, who was held hostage in Iran between 1979 and 1981.

Alternate Extent Statement: 7 videocassettes [V291-V297]
Photographs in boxes 2-3

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. 821) were donated by Anabeth Voigts in 2001.

Preferred Citation: Anabeth Koob Voigts 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

Anabeth Koob is the child of Elsie and Harold Koob. She was the fourth of six Koob daughters: Kathryn, Mildred (Zeller), Vivian (Homeyer), Anabeth (Voigts), Mary Jane (Engquist), and Emogene (Zuck). The Koob girls were the fifth generation of their family to be raised on a farm near Jesup, Iowa. As each girl turned ten, "chores and farm life turned synonymous. The girls rotated: feed the chickens Monday, help with the pigs next day, milk the cows Wednesday. Cook one night, clean-up the next. And on and on...Given her druthers, Anabeth favored indoor jobs....The unwritten schedule that called for chores at ten sent the Koob girls packing for college at eighteen." [The Tampa[ Florida] Times, November 3, 1980]

Anabeth Koob married David Voigts. The couple settled in Tampa, Florida where David Voigts worked for the Florida Power Corporation and Anabeth Voigts worked as a teacher´s aide for the second grade class of Citrus Park Elementary School and taught piano lessons out of their home. The Voigts had two children: Mark and Emma Lou.

On November 5, 1979 Voigts´ oldest sister, Kathryn Koob, was taken hostage in Iran as part of the student-taking of the American Embassy the day before. Koob became one of the fifty-two American hostages kept for 444 days before being released on January 20, 1981. During her sister´s captivity, Voigts worked endlessly to keep the hostages in the public´s mind and prayers, while simultaneously pressing the government to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. Voigts wrote many congresspersons, pushing for passage of the Hostage Relief Act. She also participated in the Family Liaison Action Group (FLAG), the Free the Hostages pin project, the Hostage cross project, Stand Up for America, and the Yellow Ribbon Campaign. She joined the Iran Working Group, an organization Kathryn Koob had worked with prior to her assignment in Tehran. Voigts encouraged a nationwide prayer campaign. Through interviews and speaking engagements, Voigts articulated the country´s hopes and fears through the lens of her family´s experiences.

The Anabeth Koob Voigts papers date from 1976 to 1999 and measure 2.5 linear feet. The papers are arranged in four series: Campaigns, Iran Working Group, Scrapbooks and Videocassettes. The Campaigns series consists of the correspondence between Voigts and various congresspersons leading up to the passage of the Hostage Relief Act. There are also correspondence, pamphlets and articles representing the Family Liaison Action Group (FLAG), the Free the American Hostages Rally, the Free the Hostages pin project, the Hostage cross project, Stand Up for America, the Yellow Ribbon Campaign, church and prayer services (including the memorial service for the eight servicemen who died in the failed rescue attempt), and Voigts' personal drive for prayers to be said for the hostages nationwide. Voigts' handwritten speech notes are also included in this series.

The Iran Working Group series consists of background information on the organization, along with articles about Iran. The bulk of the series consists of weekly news packets the group collected regarding the Iran Hostage Crisis. Voigts received these informational packets from June 30, 1980 through January 11, 1981.

The Scrapbooks series consists of four scrapbooks Voigts maintained throughout her sister's captivity. The scrapbooks are filled with newspaper articles, correspondence, pamphlets and photographs documenting local, national and personal reactions to the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The Collected Materials sub-series contains articles, correspondence, and photographs that were not formally integrated into the existing scrapbooks. Included is a 1976 article on Kathryn Koob, and a page from Voigts' "countdown" calendar, along with press releases and copies of press photographs.

The Videocassettes series consists of seven video tapes that record both Tampa, Florida and national news coverage of the Iran Hostage Crisis and the eventual release of the hostages. Included in the footage are several interviews with Anabeth Voigts and other family members. There are also interviews with Kathryn Koob following her release.
Mildred "Micki" Zeller papers (IWA): Micki Zeller was Anabeth Voigts' older sister.

The Kathryn Koob papers are held by Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: CAMPAIGNS
Series 2: IRAN WORKING GROUP
Series 3: SCRAPBOOKS
Series 4: VIDEOCASSETTES

  • Series 1: CAMPAIGNS
  • Box 1:
  • Church and prayer services - 1980
  • Family Liaison Action Group (FLAG), undated
  • Free the American Hostages Rally
  • Free the Hostages pin project, undated - 1980
  • Hostage cross project, undated
  • Pray for hostages campaign - 1980
  • Presentation notes, undated
  • Stand Up for America - 1980
  • Yellow Ribbon Campaign - 1981
  • Series 2: IRAN WORKING GROUP
  • Box 1:
  • Background, undated
  • Articles - 1979-1980
  • Weekly news packets, June 30-September 21, 1980 (folder 1)
  • Weekly news packets, June 30-September 21, 1980 (folder 2)
  • Weekly news packets, June 30-September 21, 1980 (folder 3)
  • Weekly news packets, June 30-September 21, 1980 (folder 4)
  • Weekly news packets, June 30-September 21, 1980 (folder 5)
  • Weekly news packets, June 30-September 21, 1980 (folder 6)
  • Weekly news packets, June 30-September 21, 1980 (folder 7)
  • Weekly news packets, June 30-September 21, 1980 (folder 8)
  • Weekly news packets, June 30-September 21, 1980 (folder 9)
  • Weekly news packets, June 30-September 21, 1980 (folder 10)
  • Weekly news packets, June 30-September 21, 1980 (folder 11)
  • Weekly news packets, June 30-September 21, 1980 (folder 12)
  • Box 2:
  • Weekly news packets, September 22, 1980-January 11, 1981 (folder 1)
  • Weekly news packets, September 22, 1980-January 11, 1981 (folder 2)
  • Weekly news packets, September 22, 1980-January 11, 1981 (folder 3)
  • Weekly news packets, September 22, 1980-January 11, 1981 (folder 4)
  • Weekly news packets, September 22, 1980-January 11, 1981 (folder 5)
  • Weekly news packets, September 22, 1980-January 11, 1981 (folder 6)
  • Weekly news packets, September 22, 1980-January 11, 1981 (folder 7)
  • Weekly news packets, September 22, 1980-January 11, 1981 (folder 8)
  • Weekly news packets, September 22, 1980-January 11, 1981 (folder 9)
  • Weekly news packets, September 22, 1980-January 11, 1981 (folder 10)
  • Weekly news packets, September 22, 1980-January 11, 1981 (folder 11)
  • Weekly news packets, September 22, 1980-January 11, 1981 (folder 12)
  • Weekly news packets, September 22, 1980-January 11, 1981 (folder 13)
  • Weekly news packets, September 22, 1980-January 11, 1981 (folder 14)
  • Weekly news packets, September 22, 1980-January 11, 1981 (folder 15)
  • Series 3: SCRAPBOOKS
  • Box 2:
  • Collected materials: Article on Kathryn Koob - 1976
  • Collected materials: Correspondence - 1980-1981
  • Collected materials: Federal Register papers - 1981
  • Collected materials: Homecoming (folder 1) - 1981
  • Collected materials: Homecoming (folder 2) - 1981
  • Collected materials: Magazine articles - 1980-1981
  • Collected materials: News releases - 1980
  • Collected materials: Photographs (folder 1) - 1980-1981
  • Collected materials: Photographs (folder 2) - 1980-1981
  • Collected materials: Photographs (folder 3) - 1980-1981
  • Box 3:
  • White scrapbook - 1979-1980
  • Blue scrapbook - 1980-1981
  • Red scrapbook - 1981-1983
    [Disassembled materials and photocopies of the originals]
  • Box 4:
  • Oversized scrapbook - 1979-1981
  • Series 4: VIDEOCASSETTES
  • Box 4:
  • V291: "America Held Hostage: The Secret Negotiations," , undated
    (an ABC special with Pierre Salinger)
  • V292: Channel 13 news coverage and "Insight: an interview with Kathryn Koob" (Tampa, Florida) - 1980-1981
  • V293: "Free at Last: Kathryn Koob," interview - 1981
    Interview and call-in show and Channel 10 news coverage (Tampa, Florida)
  • V294: Release of hostages: News of pending release - 1981
    (2 videocassettes)
  • V295: Release of hostages:Press conference in Algiers - 1981
  • V296: "Voigts Tape Five stories" (St. Petersburg, Florida)
  • V297: Welcome home reception at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, (Tampa, Florida) - 1981