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IWA Diversity & Social Justice Collections: Home


About this Guide

The IWA Diversity & Social Justice Subject Guide highlights collections at the Iowa Women’s Archives related to diversity and social justice – in particular, collections that speak to African American Life and History in Iowa and those that address diverse struggles for racial and social justice over time. Materials on the Fight for Social Justice include the fights for Latinx and LGBTQ rights, as well as collections that reveal the Anti-Racist Work engaged in by individuals and organizations.  The Digital Resources page provides links to selected collection materials available in the Iowa Digital Library, as well as relevant online exhibits, collections, and sources.

How to Reach Us

The Iowa Women’s Archives is located on the third floor of the Main Library of the University of Iowa.

Due to Covid-19, the IWA is open for research by appointment only. Please visit the Fall 2020 Visitor's Guide to Special Collections for more information.

Mailing Address:

Iowa Women’s Archives

100 Main Library

University of Iowa Libraries

Iowa City, Iowa  52242-1420

Campus Mail: 3094 LIB

Phone: (319) 335-5068


Social Media: Facebook

Associate Curator, IWA

Profile Photo
Anna Holland
Iowa Women's Archives
Main Library 3094

Fighting for Social Justice in Iowa

1998 Gazette article marks the 50th anniversary of Edna Griffin's 1948 protest outside Katz Drug Store in Des Moines, Iowa after being denied service at the lunch counter.

Edna Griffin papers, Iowa Women's Archives

Quick Links to Resources

A History of Diversity

Multiracial quartet in performance, First United Methodist Church, Iowa City, Iowa, late 1940s. 

Esther Walls on the right.

Esther Walls papers, Iowa Women's Archives

Iowa Women's Archives

The Louise Noun – Mary Louise Smith Iowa Women’s Archives is named for its founders, who established the archives in 1992 as a repository dedicated to collecting the history of Iowa women. The Archives fulfills its mission by collecting and making available primary sources about the historical experience of Iowa women throughout the state and beyond its borders from the nineteenth century to the present, reflecting the diversity of Iowa women across race, class, ethnicity, and gender identity.  It undertakes a robust outreach program to gather and preserve the history of groups underrepresented in archives. Some of our collection strengths include materials relating to rural and farm women, women in politics, LGBTQ individuals, African American women, Latinas, and Jewish women.

Interested in learning more?

Click here to read more about our mission and explore a timeline of events and special projects at the IWA.

In 2017, the IWA celebrated its 25th anniversary. The accompanying exhibit, 25 Collections for 25 Years: Selections from the Iowa Women’s Archives, provides an excellent introduction to the ways our collections have been used by researchers, students, and professors. 

Guide Authorship

The content of the LibGuide was assembled and created by IWA Graduate Assistants and Student Staff in 2020. We extend our thanks to the following individuals for their work on this project: 

Heather Cooper, IWA Graduate Assistant

Erik Henderson, IWA Graduate Assistant

Dylan Davison, IWA Student Assistant