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IWA Diversity & Social Justice Collections: Selected Collections Relating to African Americans

Selected Collections Relating to African Americans

BERAN, JANICE A. (1931- )

Professor in the College of Education at Iowa State University until her retirement in 1994. Materials relate to the history of sports, and particularly the participation of women and African Americans in Iowa sports.



Pharmacist, dancer, and theater director from Bombay, India. Moved to Iowa in the 1950s and founding the Gateway Dance Theatre, a Des Moines-based company specializing in multiethnic dance, with her husband, Lee Furgerson, in 1972.



Puerto Rican woman who served in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. She married Harold Gaines of Buxton, a predominately African-American coalmining town, and their daughter, Angela, was born in 1953. The papers include the unpublished memoir of Reuben Gaines.



Founded in 1904 to promote and improve the professional skills and status of nurses and advocates for better working conditions and to improve the status of nurses.



Established by the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women in 1975, the organization recognizes women from Iowa who have contributed their ideas, talents and skills to others.



Postcards and photographs of various Iowa subjects. Printed Materials include items published by the African American printer, W.E. Patten, of Des Moines, Iowa, as well as an anniversary program for the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1872-1945.



Correspondence of nineteenth-century woman includes discussion of African Americans encountered in the South during the Civil War and in Iowa City in 1865.


ODELL, MARY JANE (1923-2010)

Host of public affairs radio and television programs from the 1950s to the 1970s in Des Moines and Chicago. Iowa Secretary of State from 1980 to 1986.


SMITH, MARY LOUISE (1923-2010)

First woman to chair the Republican National Committee, serving 1974-1977. Co-founder of the Louise Noun-Mary Louise Smith Iowa Women's Archives. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights series includes a clipping file on African Americans, as well as material on affirmative action, busing, and voting rights.


WERNER, MARTHA (1906-1989)

Native of Mexico who came to Fort Madison, Iowa in 1914. Her community activism centered on the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison and collection includes records of inmate organizations for African Americans and other minority groups. Werner also worked with Virginia Harper on prison issues and opposition to Highway 61.