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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Lois Baker Muehl Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1962-1984
Creator: Muehl, Lois Baker (1920-2013)
Extent: .75 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0665
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Manuscripts and correspondence related to her books for children including My Name Is-- (1959) and Hidden Year of Devlin Bates (1967).

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: Mrs. Muehl donated her papers of the University of Iowa Libraries in 1985.

Preferred Citation: Lois Baker Muehl Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Lois Baker Muehl, educator and writer, was born on April 29, 1920 in Oak Park, Illinois. She received her BA in English in 1941 from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. On April 15, 1944, she married Siegmar Muehl. The couple had four children, Erika, Sigrid, Torsten, and Brian.

Muehl earned an MA in English Education from the University of Iowa in 1967. In the late 1960s, she took two years off from her position as a rhetoric professor at the University of Iowa to teach in a program for African American college students in Charlotte, North Carolina. A rich part of Lois Muehl's professional life included her experiences teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) in refugee camps in Thailand; Kyungnam University, Korea; Hohai University in Nanjing, China; and in Merced, California.

A freelance writer, Lois Baker Muehl published numerous poems along with articles, and children's books, of which one was a Junior Literary Guild selection and another was on the New York Times' "100 Best" list. Her poetry and light verse appeared in such publications as Capper's , Country Woman , Midwest Poetry Review, and The Saturday Evening Post , as well as in the books If We'd Wanted Quiet We Would Have Raised Goldfish , and More Phonics Through Poetry . Muehl also published academic articles and a textbook/reader for college level rhetoric students. In collaboration with her husband, she wrote Trading Cultures in the Classroom , focusing on the couple's experiences teaching English as a Second Language in China prior to the Tienanmen Square incident of 1989.

Lois Baker Muehl retired from her position as associate professor of rhetoric and director of the Developmental Reading Lab at the University of Iowa in June 1985. During her retirement, she continued to write and publish children's work, short stories, poetry, essays, and non-fiction. She remained active in several writing clubs and organizations, including the American Pen Women and the University Club Writers. Lois Baker Muehl died in 2013.

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