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Release: Nov. 1, 2002

Iowa Women's Archives to celebrate ten years

The Iowa Women's Archives at the University of Iowa Libraries will celebrate its tenth anniversary with a two-day symposium on women's history and the history of women in Iowa Nov. 15-16.

"Making Women's History: The Louise Noun-Mary Louise Smith Iowa Women's Archives at Ten Years" will feature tours of the Archives, five roundtable discussions and a keynote speech by Gerda Lerner, a pioneer in the field of women's history. She will discuss "Archives and Women's History" on Friday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. in Shambaugh Auditorium in the Main Library, with a reception to follow in the library's North Exhibition Hall.

In addition, Christine Grant, former UI women's athletics director and currently an associate professor in the UI department of health and sports studies, will discuss "Why the History of Women and Sport Matters" during a luncheon address on Saturday, Nov.16 at noon in the Richey Ballroom, Iowa Memorial Union.

Founded in 1992, the Archives preserves the history of Iowa women by collecting letters, diaries, scrapbooks, speeches, photographs and other papers by or about the state's women. The Archives is named for its founders, Louise Noun and Mary Louise Smith, two prominent Des Moines women who conceived the idea of a repository that would document Iowa women's history and serve as a resource for researchers. Noun was an art collector, historian, social activist, and philanthropist. Smith was a Republican Party activist and the first woman to chair the Republican National Committee, serving from 1974 to 1977.

The Archives' collections have grown to include hundreds of thousands of items of women ranging from farmers to filmmakers, homemakers to politicians.

Among the speakers will be: Rusty Barcelo, vice president for minority affairs and diversity at the University of Washington; Betty Jean Furgerson, former member of the Iowa Board of Regents; and Gilbert Cranberg, who was an editor at the Des Moines Register for many years.

Symposium discussions will be held in the Illinois Room of the IMU and include:

Friday, Nov. 15

"Voices From the Land: Iowa's Rural Women," 1:15 to 3 p.m.
"Research and Discovery: Using the Iowa Women's Archives," 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Saturday, November 16

"Strong-Minded Women: Political Activists in Iowa," 8:30 to 10 a.m.
"Reclaiming Our History: African-American Women in Iowa," 10 a.m. to noon
"Many Women, Many Pasts: New Directions in Collecting," 1:45 to 3:15 p.m.

In addition, an exhibition of items drawn from the Iowa Women's Archives will be on display during the symposium and continuing through February 2003 in the North Exhibition Hall of the UI's Main Library.