CONTACT: SELDEN SMITH
Director of Development
University of Iowa Libraries
UI Foundation News
500 Alumni Center
Iowa City IA 52242
Gift to Iowa Women's Archives will preserve rural and farm history
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A contribution of $40,000 from the Iowa Farm Bureau
Federation (IFBF) to the University of Iowa Libraries will help preserve
the stories and accomplishments of the state's rural and farm women.
The Farm Bureau contribution, made through the UI Foundation, provides
the first year of funding for an archivist to undertake a two-year documentation
project for the Louise Noun - Mary Louise Smith Iowa Women's Archives at
the UI Libraries.
The archivist will travel throughout the state to collect and preserve
personal papers, letters, photographs, memorabilia and other materials
that tell the history of rural and farm women in Iowa from the nineteenth
century to the present. According to Kären Mason, curator, the Archives
is seeking candidates for the two-year archivist position.
"Collecting these materials is an important consciousness-raising
project," Mason said. "Many women believe their lives have been
insignificant. By gathering the papers of rural and farm women from all
corners of the state, including those now working off the farm, we will
illuminate the vital roles these women have played in our state's history."
Mason said the collected materials will be available at the Iowa Women's
Archives to students, scholars and others interested in researching women
and farm issues. Guides to each collection within the project will be
accessible globally through the World Wide Web.
Sheila D. Creth, university librarian, said, "We're grateful to
the Farm Bureau for funding that will allow the Iowa Women's Archives to
give increased and special attention to collecting the papers of farm and
rural women and their organizations."
Creth added, "In addition to the richness that these papers will
bring to the Archives, this project also fulfills a desire by co-founder
Mary Louise Smith to ensure that the contributions of these women to their
communities and the state of Iowa are preserved."
The IFBF is the state's largest general farm organization and is dedicated
to improving net farm income and the quality of rural life in the state.
More than 159,000 Iowans are IFBF members.
Other contributions have been made by the IFBF to the UI, including
support for the School of Social Work, College of Law and College of Medicine.
The Iowa Women's Archives was founded in 1992 to identify, collect,
preserve, and make available the personal papers and organizational records
of Iowa women from all walks of life. Located in the Main Library at the
UI, the Archives is open to the public. For more information about donating
materials or using the collections, contact Kären Mason, curator,
at (319) 335-5068.
The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel of support
for private contributions to all areas of the University of Iowa. Foundation
staff work with alumni, friends and businesses to provide funds for special
collections, user services and resources at the UI Libraries, as well scholarships
and other forms of support for areas throughout the UI.