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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Gertrude Taft papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1908-1926
Creator:
Extent: 4.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0843
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Humboldt, Iowa, native who taught high school in Iowa and worked for the Unitarian Church in Cleveland and Boston.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 1 and scattered.

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. 1292) were donated by Patricia Baker in 2013.

Preferred Citation: Gertrude Taft 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

The Gertrude Taft papers date from 1908 to 1926 and measure 4.4 linear feet. The papers are arranged in two series: Correspondence and Biographical. There are a few photographs interspersed with the correspondence; most of the photographs are in the Photographs folder and in the Memory Book.

The Biographical series includes the Blockhead Boomerang, a humorous newsletter written by Gertrude Taft and friends in 1911. Also included are ephemera from Taft's college days, including her appointment book and State University of Iowa (SUI) publications, and a Miscellaneous folder with lists of college expenses. Among the items in the memory book are Valentine's Day cards and dance cards from 1911-1915. An April 26, 1915 letter mentions a visit to the University by Helen Keller.

The Correspondence series is arranged chronologically and consists of letters to and from Gertrude Taft and her parents, brother, and friends from home in Humboldt, Iowa and from her college days at the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa) in Iowa City. The letters often contain descriptions of food and fashions. The two 1914 Sorority Question folders concern Gertrude Taft's offer of induction into the Delta Zeta sorority and the ensuing correspondence about it with her family, who opposed her joining a sorority because they believed that it an undemocratic system that promoted a class aristocracy and discriminated against less well-to-do students. Gertrude agreed with them and declined to join despite the pleas of her friends in the sorority, who wrote to her parents to try and convince them to change their minds. Some of the correspondence describes the flu quarantine in 1918 and World War I as experienced by Taft and her friends in the Midwest and California. The Camp Dodge folder consists of letters written in 1918 by Gertrude's brother Thurlow T. Taft from Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa. The Titanic folder€ contains a letter from Thurlow Taft which describes his reaction and thoughts on the 1912 disaster.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
Series 2: CORRESPONDENCE

  • Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
  • Box 1:
  • "Blockhead Boomerang" - 1911
  • Appointment Calendar - 1912-1913
  • State University of Iowa - 1905-1916
  • State University of Iowa publications - 1902-1916
  • Student Directories - 1912-1913
  • Miscellaneous
  • Photographs
  • Box 10:
  • Memory Book
  • Series 2: CORRESPONDENCE
  • Box 1:
  • 1907-1908
  • 1909
  • May-June - 1910
  • July-December - 1910
  • Postcards - 1911
  • January-June - 1911
  • September (folder 1) - 1911
  • October (folder 1) - 1911
  • Box 2:
  • October (folder 2) - 1911
  • November (folder 1) - 1911
  • November (folder 2) - 1911
  • December - 1911
  • Postcards - 1912
  • Letter regarding the Titanic - 1912
  • January (folder 1) - 1912
  • January (folder 2) - 1912
  • February (folder 1) - 1912
  • February (folder 2) - 1912
  • March - 1912
  • Box 3:
  • April - 1912
  • May - 1912
  • June-July - 1912
  • September - 1912
  • October (folder 1) - 1912
  • October (folder 2) - 1912
  • November (folder 1) - 1912
  • December - 1912
  • Postcards - 1913
  • Box 4:
  • January (folder 1) - 1913
  • February (folder 1) - 1913
  • March - 1913
  • April - 1913
  • May - 1913
  • June-August - 1913
  • September-October - 1913
  • November-December - 1913
  • Box 5:
  • February - 1914
  • March - 1914
  • April-May - 1914
  • June-July - 1914
  • September-November - 1914
  • The Sorority Question (folder 1) - 1914
  • The Sorority Question (folder 2) - 1914
  • December - 1914
  • Box 6:
  • May - 1915
  • June - 1915
  • July-September - 1915
  • October-December - 1915
  • January-March - 1916
  • April-August - 1916
  • September-December - 1916
  • January-March - 1917
  • April-June - 1917
  • Box 7:
  • July-September - 1917
  • October-December - 1917
  • Thurolow's letters from Camp Dodge - 1918
  • January-March - 1918
  • Box 8:
  • April-July - 1918
  • August-October - 1918
  • November-December - 1918
  • January-February - 1919
  • March - 1918
  • April - 1919
  • May-June - 1919
  • July-September - 1919
  • October-December - 1919
  • June-September - 1919
  • October-December - 1919
  • Box 9:
  • January-August - 1920
  • September-December - 1920
  • January-October - 1921
  • November-December - 1921
  • January-February - 1922
  • March-December - 1922
  • January-February and undated - 1923
  • April-August - 1923
  • September-October - 1923
  • November-December - 1923
  • 1926
  • Undated Correspondence

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.