PHOTOGRAPHS AND PAPERS, 1870s-1970s (bulk 1900-1920)

5 linear feet








The photographs» and papers (donor no.150) were donated by Mary Noble» in 1993 and succeeding years.


The photographs» and papers are open for research.


»Copyright information is not available.


Your name, year»Natalie S. Brody in 1997-1998; Kären M. Mason, 5/3/2000 [Word 7  Noble.doc]




Mary Noble, a librarian and collector of historical photographs, was born in Berwyn, Illinois in 1945.  She attended the Riceville, Iowa public schools, graduating from Riceville Community High School in 1963.  She received her BA in Sociology from the University of Iowa in 1967 and her Master of Library Science degree from the University of Iowa in 1968.  She was hired as a cataloger by the University of Iowa Libraries in 1968 and continued to work there through the next  3+ decades.  She began collecting historical photographs in the 1980s, purchasing them at antique stores, photograph shows, and flea markets.  After the Iowa Women's Archives opened in 1992 she began donating photographs to the archives, with special attention to images of women and by women photographers.



Scope and Content Note


      Begin text here:The Mary Noble Photograph Collection consists of postcards, »cabinet cards, panoramic photographs, and various other types of photographs.  Also included are papers that complement the collection, including information about Iowa photographers, and miscellaneous printed material.  The collection is» arranged in eight series:  Begin text here:»Professional women photographers in Iowa;  Professional photographers in Iowa--Other; Photographic postcards; Photographs: various formats;  Photographs: oversize;   Glass negatives; Printed material; and Artifacts and miscellaneous items.


The first two series, Begin text here:»Professional women photographers in Iowa and Professional photographers in Iowa--Other consist for the most part of studio portraits in the form of cabinet cards.  Also included is some biographical information about individual women photographers, an article by Mary Noble entitled “Iowa’s Women Professional Photographers,” published in Books at Iowa  (November 1996); and information on professional photographers in Iowa compiled by Joann Burgess.


The next four series have been arranged by format and size in order to facilitate storage, and are organized by subject within each series.  These series are:  Photographic postcards; Photographs: various formats;  Photographs: oversize;  and Glass negatives.  The Photographic postcards are primarily amateur photographs printed as postcards. Many have messages written on the reverse.   and photographs in a variety of formats depicting life in Iowa.  The postcards, as well as the Photographs: various formats and Photographs: oversize depict buildings, street scenes, groups, recreational activities, and other aspects of life in Iowa.  The Glass negatives consist of  twenty-one glass negatives apparently taken by Otto F. Ney of Waukon in about 1908, depicting family and friends, as well as Waukon buildings.


            Printed material includes souvenir cards given out by teachers to their students in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; booklets and brochures published by businesses and women's organizations; trade cards of Iowa businesses; and campaign cards of Verna O'Connor, who ran for county office in Garber, Iowa, in 1928 and 1932.  Also in this series are several items published by the African-American printer W.E. Patten of Des Moines, including cardboard fans printed as advertisements.  A 1940 Negro Business and Information Directory published by the Negro Business and Information Directory [published by Negro Chamber of Commerce, Des Moines], 1940, and a 73rd Anniversary Booklet and Program, 1872-1945 published by the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, Des Moines provide considerable information on African Americans in Des Moines in the 1940s.


Artifacts and miscellaneous items consists of an autograph book, a Woman's Home Missionary Society ribbon, and a packet of sewing machine needles given out as an advertisement by Mrs. M. L. Johnson of Britt, Iowa.




Box no.           Description

       Box 1


Professional women photographers in Iowa


Noble, Mary L. “Iowa’s Women Professional Photographers,”    Books at Iowa, November 1996

Identification numbers (Jo Ann Burgess)


      Photographs and related information [arranged by photographer]

Ayers, Mrs. W.C. (Esthervillle)

Bellamy, Miss (Indianola)

Benfer, Emma and Eva (Cambridge)

Berger, Mrs. (Elgin)

Briel, Julia (Des Moines)

      Biographical information


      Panoramic photographs [oversize: in boxes 11-13]

Cutler, Viola (Creston)

Diggs, Mrs. M.E. (Earlham)

Fawcett, Inez (Shellsburg)

Findlay, Emma (Dysart)

Fleming, Jennie (Council Bluffs)

Frush, Mrs. R.T. (New Hampton)

Hall, Mida (Woodbine)

Harvey, Mrs. H.P. (Maquoketa)

Jefferson, Lilian (Woodbine)

Johnson, C.M. (Emmetsburg)

Lane, Mrs. H.M. (Columbus Junction)

Lyon, Ms. D.D. (Woodbine)

Merriam. Sarah H. (Sigourney)

Merrill, Mrs. E.J. (Oskaloosa)

Mudge, Kate Raymond (Randalia)

Newville, Nora (Maxwell)

Parsons and Bates, Misses (Iowa Falls)

Pomeroy, Miss L.E. (Independence)

Raimbold, Mrs. (Marshalltown)

Robinson, Mrs. (Fort Madison)

Rossiter, Elizabeth and Matilda (St. Ansgar)

Schaefer, Mary J. and Lida S. (Clarion)

Schooley, Mrs. L.A. (Indianola)

Schooonover, Mrs. M.J. (Vinton)

Shepard, Idalene (Waukon)

Stone, Mrs. Anna (Marion)

Storaker, Dora (Roland)

Strom, Marie (Sheldahl)

Warner, Birdia (Brighton)

Weigel, Mary (Dyersville)

Young sister (Winfield )





Boxes 2-3

                        Professional photographers in Iowa:  Other

                              Cabinet cards and cartes de visites [to be arranged by photographer]



Box 4

                               Other formats [to be arranged by subject]



Boxes 5-6

                        Photographic postcards [to be arranged by subject]



Box 7

                        Photographs: various formats [to be arranged by subject]



Box 8              

                        Photographs: oversize [to be arranged by subject]


Box 9

                        Glass negatives


Adeline on couch.

Bessie and Gerty playing croquet.  Taken by Ernist T.

Elgin[?] Bert

Ernist and Adeline and horse.

Ernist and lamb.

Ernist in chair.  Taken by me.

Gerty and Bessie sitting on ground by our house. Taken by Ernist T.

Home.  With Lader [sic] on porch.

Ma and Lizz washing, Monday morning.

[Man and woman sitting on grass]

Nagles Dog.

Otto F. Ney [and] horse

Our bunch.  By Ernist on fourth of July 1908.


Waukon, Iowa, buildings

Allamakee Street.  Looking south from O. Hagen House.  Taken from Center Street.

City Hall.  Taken from Park NW.

Court house.  Across street.

Jail.  Across street.

Methodist Episcopal Church. Taken from SW.

Norwegian Church.  Taken from SW.

Public School.  E. Side.

Sister School.  Corner of Streets.






Box 10

                        Printed material

                              Anamosa District Fair:  Children's admission card, 1899

Campaign cards:  Verna M. O'Connor, Garber, Iowa, 1928, 1932

Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie No. 150, Burlington Iowa, Ladies Auxiliary:  Membership Yearbook, 1972/72

Hawkeye Natives Ladies Auxiliary, Burlington, Iowa:  History, 1925

Iowa Children's Home Society:  meeting notice

Killian Company, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      Employes' Manual, 1921

      Advertisement for Sweet-Orr Women's Overalls, undated

Negro Business and Information Directory [published by Negro Chamber of Commerce, Des Moines], 1940

Patten, R.E.

      Calendar, 1910

      Fans [with business advertisements]


St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, Des Moines:  73rd Anniversary Booklet and Program, 1872-1945

Teacher souvenirs, 1873/74-1913

Trade cards

Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Iowa

      Benedict Home, 1932

      Brochure [with pledge], 1996?

      The Crusade Anniversary, 1874-1934 [comp. Anna Marden DeYo]

      Inventory of records held by WCTU of Iowa, 1996?

      "Modern Day Jericho Walk," by Jeanne Lillig, 1995 [re: illegal drugs' effect on Des Moines neighborhood]



                        Artifacts and miscellaneous items

Autograph book, 1884-1903

Sewing machine needle packet and advertisement, Mrs. M. L. Johnson, Britt, Iowa

Ribbon:  Woman's Home Missionary Society, Methodist Episcopal Church, New London, Iowa, May 5-6-7, 1916


Greeting cards


Box 11             Oversize:  Panoramic photographs by Julia Briel

Bloomfield, Iowa

     Iowa State Teachers College, Extension summer School, 1926

Denison, Iowa

     Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 59th annual state convention, 1932

Des Moines, Iowa

American Institute of Business, Des Moines



Great Council of Iowa, ORM and D of P, 1928

Iowa Cooperative Live Stock Shippers, 1929

Iowa House of Representatives, 44th General Assembly, 1931

Iowa Manufacturers of Carbonated Beverages, 1928

Iowa Pharmaceutical Association, 1931

Box 11             Oversize:  Panoramic photographs by Julia Briel  (cont.)

Belvidere, Illinois:  National Sewing Machine Co., 1925

    Carpenter (3)

Japan Room


Polishing and plating department


Des Moines, Iowa (cont.)

Jensen Motor Company, 1929

Letter carriers, 1930

Rexalites of Iowa, 1927 (4)

Rex's Band, Des Moines, 1924

SF of A, 22nd annual meeting, 1930

St. John's School, 1921

Dubuque, Iowa

     Bayless College, 1925

     Holy Trinity School, 1922

Fort Dodge, Iowa

     Tobin Business College, 1924

Omaha, Nebraska

     Retail Grocers Association, Dubuque, 1925

Nashville, 1926

Houston, Texas

     Incarnate Word Academy, High School Department, 1925

La Crosse, Wisconsin

     La Crosse Hospital Training School for Nurses, 1928


     Briel with pilot Archie Peterson and Mayor A. H. Beecher 1922

     Luthe Hardware Co., picnic, 1920

     Unidentified photographs (10)


Box 12

Belvidere, Illinois

     National Sewing Machine Company, 1925

Des Moines, Iowa

          Allis-Chalmers Monarch Tractor School, Dukehart Machinery Company, 1931

     American Institute of Business, Des Moines [1928]

     Des Moines University: faculty and students, 1928 (6)

     Federal, State, County and City Employees, first annual picnic, State Fairgrounds

     P.O. employees and Auxiliaries convention, Des Moines, 1930

University of Commerce, Des Moines, 1930 (4)

Dubuque, Iowa

     Mount St. Joseph College, 1925

     St. Mary's Commercial High School, 1924

     Sisters of Mercy

Indianola, Iowa

     Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Iowa, 54th Annual Convention, 1927

Newton, Iowa

     Newton Foundry employees, 1925

Storm Lake, Iowa

     Camp McHenry, 1920

Box 12 (cont.)  Oversize:  Panoramic photographs by Julia Briel  (cont.)

Morrison, Illinois

     Illinois Refrigerator Company employees, 1925 (3)


     Walker playground

     Unidentified (2)


Box 13

Belvidere, Illinois

     National Sewing Machine Company, 1925

Chariton, Iowa

     Iowa State Teachers' College Extension Summer School, 1922

                             Des Moines

          East High School, 1921

     F.E. and C.W. of America, Iowa Division, Ninth Annual Meeting, 1925

    Striking street car men, 1925

Dubuque, Iowa

     St. Raphael's School, 1924 (2)

                             Marion, Iowa

                                  Marion High School, 1924

Ottumwa, Iowa

     Ottumwa High School, 1924

                             Webster City, Iowa

                                  Webster City Junior High School, 1924

                             La Crosse, Wisconsin

                                  State Normal School faculty and students, 1923

Platteville, Wisconsin

     State Normal Summer Session, 1924

Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin

Field Mass of the Mississippi Anniversary 250th year, Campion College, 1923?


     Iowa National Guard Encampment, 1930

     Savanna Boys' Band

     Unidentified (2)



Map cabinet     Oversize:

Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Iowa, Executive Committee of the 12th Annual Meeting, Iowa City, Iowa, Oct. 13-16,1885