Skip to Main Content
Skip to content

Diaries, Memoirs & Oral Histories: An Iowa Women's Archives' Autobiographical Resource Guide: Oral History Projects

From the Giving Voice to their Memories: Oral Histories of African American Women in Iowa project

"Queen of the Campus," Saturday Evening Post, February 4, 1956.

Oral History Interview with Mary Wood, May 22, 1997, "Giving Voice to Their Memories," Box 1.

From the Verda Williams papers

"Black Des Moines: Voices Seldom Heard" transcript, James Bowman, 1985.


African American History. Nine interviews with African Americans (predominantly women) from different parts of Iowa formed the basis of a research project conducted by Frances Hawthorne in 1992.

Giving Voice to their Memories: African American Women in Iowa. Oral History Project by the Iowa Women’s Archives.  Fourteen interviews conducted between 1996 and 1997. The collection includes manuscript material, audio, and transcripts.

Artists in Iowa. Interviews with seventy Iowa women artists conducted by Jane Robinette, 1998-1999.  Audiotapes and transcripts.

Benton County Women. Interviews with ten women from Benton County, Iowa, were conducted through an oral history project of the Benton County Association of American University Women in 1994.  Transcripts only.

Black Des Moines: Voices Seldom Heard. Eleven interviews conducted by Verda Williams for her documentary film, Black Des Moines: Voices Seldom Heard.  Audiotapes and transcripts.

Feminists of the Second Wave in Iowa. Twenty-one interviews conducted by Louise Noun with Iowa feminists, social reformers, and community organizers as research for her book, More Strong-Minded Women: Iowa Feminists Tell their Stories (Ames, Iowa, 1992).  Audiotapes and transcripts.

 Iowa Women Judges. Interviews with the first generation of Iowa’s women jurists.   Five oral histories conducted by political science undergraduate students at Iowa State University, Ames, 1997-1998.  Transcripts only.

Iowa Women Legislators. Interviews with fifty Iowa women legislators conducted by Suzanne O’Dea Schenken between 1988 and 1993. Transcripts only.

Mujeres Latinas. Oral History Project of the Iowa Women’s Archives. Over one hundred interviews with Iowa Latinas and their families (predominantly Mexican American women) conducted from 2004 to 2017. The project is ongoing. In addition to audiotapes and transcripts, the collection includes associated materials such as photographs and newspaper clippings.

Policewomen in Iowa. The entry of women into law enforcement agencies in Iowa is documented through fifteen oral history interviews conducted by retired police officer Phylliss Henry, 1997-2005. Audiotapes and transcripts. [See also Phylliss Henry Papers]

Rural Women. A collaborative project lead by the Iowa Women’s Archives and Iowa State University. Thirty-five interviews with Iowa farm women were conducted from 2001 to 2002. Consists of tapes and transcripts of oral histories, photographs, slides, and resource files. The Oral Histories cover topics such as Iowa Farm Women in Transition, Tama County Farm Women in Transition, National Farmers Organization Activists, and Women Active During the 1980s Farm Crisis. Audiotapes and transcripts.

Sioux City, Diocese of. Interviews conducted with five members of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Sioux City, 1991. Audiotapes and transcripts.

Women’s Resource and Action Center. Fourteen interviews with founding members of WRAC to celebrate its thirtieth anniversary.  Audiotapes and transcripts.