Iowa Women's Archives
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa



7 linear inches
and audiovisual


Iowa Women's Archives
100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

Phone: 319-335-5068
Fax: 319-335-5900
E-mail the Iowa Women's Archives

Please cite materials from this collection as follows:
Nancy Drew Collection, Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.


Collection Overview

The collection (donor nos. 154, 219, and others) consists of material donated by The University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1993, Kären Mason, and other donors in subsequent years.
The collection is open for research.
  Audiovisual: Fifteen videocassettes (V10-V24) shelved in videocassette collection.  
Copyright held by the donor has been retained by the donor.
Processed by:
Elizabeth Engel, 2005. [NancyDrewCollection.doc]


The Nancy Drew Collection is an ongoing collection of materials related to the Nancy Drew Conference and Mildred Wirt Benson, author of the first Nancy Drew mysteries. The collection also contains material related to other Nancy Drew phenomenon.

The Nancy Drew Conference was held at The University of Iowa on April 16-18, 1993. The conference was called following the induction of Mildred Augustine Wirt Benson, author of the first Nancy Drew mysteries, to The University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communications Hall of Fame in 1992. This honor was bestowed on Benson after Susan Redfern, the journalism school secretary, discovered that Mildred Benson had been the first person to receive an M.A. from the school.

Such great public interest was created by Mildred Benson’s election to the hall of fame that the school organized a conference to explore the phenomenon of Nancy Drew. Journalism professor Carolyn Dyer chaired the conference organizing committee. Some of the sessions included: “Nancy Drew: A Moment in Feminist History,” “Nancy Drew and Modern Adult Mystery Writers,” “Gender Roles and Nancy Drew,” and “Cultural Perspectives on Nancy Drew.” Mildred Wirt Benson attended the conference as an honored guest.

In 1995 the University of Iowa Press published Rediscovering Nancy Drew, a collection of papers, speeches and interviews from the conference, edited by Carolyn Dyer and Nancy Romalov.

Scope and Content Note

The collection dates from 1964 to the present and measures 7 linear inches. The collection is arranged in three series: Mildred Wirt Benson, Conference files, and Nancy Drew Ephemera. The collection consists of conference materials, such as planning committee materials and videotaped conference sessions, as well as bibliographies, and articles about Mildred Wirt Benson and the phenomenon of Nancy Drew. The bibliographies include “An Annotated Checklist of Stratemeyer and Stratemeyer Syndicate Publications” and a publishing history of the Nancy Drew series.

The collection also contains two copies of the video “The Storied Life of Millie Benson.” One is a 60 min. unabridged and unedited version and the other is 30 min. long.

Related Collections

Mildred Wirt Benson papers
Journalist for the Toledo Blade and writer of the first Nancy Drew mysteries and other children's series books.
The Special Collections Department at the University of Iowa Libraries holds many books written by Mildred Wirt Benson under her own name and various pseudonyms, including the Nancy Drew books she wrote for Stratemeyer Syndicate under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene.

Box List

Box 1                          
  Mildred Wirt Benson        
    Articles about Mildred Benson, 1983-2002
      “The Storied Life of Millie Benson,” (VHS, 30 min.) [shelved in Videocassette collection: V238]
“The Storied Life of Millie Benson,” unabridged and unedited interview (VHS, 60 min.) [shelved in Videocassette collection: V324]
  Conference files        
    Newspaper clippings, 1993
Planning committee materials, 1992-1993
Pocket program, 1993
Preliminary program and registration information, 1993
Press releases, 1993
Programs, 1993
Rediscovering Nancy Drew conference book materials, 1994
1995Videocassettes: Nancy Drew Conference, 1993 [stored in Videocassette collection: V10-24]
      Keynote address (V10)
Banquet (V11)
Mildred Wirt Benson: Nancy Drew and Girls’ Adventures (V12)
Doing Research on Children’s Series books (V13)
Reading from “The Secret of the Old Clock” (V14)
History of the Stratemeyer Syndicate (V15)
Is Reading Series Fiction Bad for Kids? (V16)
Nancy Drew and Modern Adult Mystery Writers (V17)
Nancy Drew Conference Testimonials (V18)
The Nancy Drew Series (V19)
Stereotypical Racial and Ethnic Images in Nancy Drew (V20)
Cultural Perspectives on Nancy Drew (V21)
Gender Roles and Nancy Drew (V22)
Images of Nancy Drew (V23)
Research Roundtable (V24
  Nancy Drew Ephemera                
      “The Case of the Girl Detectives” by Barbara Bedway, Ohio Magazine, November 1989
“The Ghost of Nancy Drew” by Geoffrey S. Lapin, 1984
“The Lives and Times of Nancy Drew,” Mademoiselle, July 1964
Miscellaneous Nancy Drew articles, 1993-2004 and undated
    Bibliographies, 1987-1992 and undated
Materials relating to Betsy Caprio’s The Mystery of Nancy Drew: Girl Sleuth on the Couch
      Excerpt and postcard, 1992
River Heights map [stored in map case]
Box 2                          
    Nancy Drew Conference T-shirts      
    Conference posters [stored in map case]
River Heights map [stored in map case]


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Iowa Women’s Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City IA 52242.
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Page created March 2006.