1.7 linear feet

ACQUISITION: The transcripts (donor no. 147-2) were donated by Suzanne Schenken in 1993 and 1994.

ACCESS: The collection is open for research. The transcripts are also available at Iowa State University, Parks Library, Department of Special Collections.

PROCESSED BY: Robert J. Jett, 1994 and Marie Schroer, 1995.



          A Political Dialogue: Iowa's Women Legislators was an oral history project undertaken by Suzanne O'Dea Schenken at the request of State Representative Minnette Doderer in 1987. Doderer, House members Dorothy Carpenter and Johnie Hammond, and lobbyist Joe Kelly raised funds to cover the expenses of the project. Between 1988 and 1992 Schenken conducted interviews with women who had served or were then serving in the Iowa General Assembly. In the cases of deceased legislators, Schenken interviewed acquaintances or family members.

         The interviews served as the basis for Schenken's dissertation, Legislators and Politicians: Iowa's Women Legislators (Iowa State University, 1992).          


Scope and Content Note

         A Political Dialogue: Iowa's Women Legislators consists of transcripts of oral histories of Iowa women legislators conducted by Suzanne O'Dea Schenken between 1988 and 1992 and related material. The collection measures 1.7 linear feet and is arranged in two series: Introductory material and Transcripts.

         Introductory material (ca.1992) consists of an introductory overview of the A Political Dialogue project with an accompanying list of contributors, biographical information on Iowa women legislators primarily taken from Iowa Official Registers published between 1929 and 1991, two tables listing the women serving in each legislative session in Iowa between 1929 and 1992, one organized alphabetically and the other by session dates served, and an essay by Schenken entitled "Entering Men's Territory," which outlines the emergence of women in politics in Iowa beginning in 1869. This material can also be found in Schenken's dissertation, which is available here at the University of Iowa Libraries.

         The Transcripts series (1988-1992) is comprised of transcripts of the oral histories conducted by Schenken. Included are forty-seven interviews with Iowa women legislators. With the exception of the interview with Helen Anderson, each transcript has a subject index. The series also contains four interviews with secondary sources about deceased legislators. These interviews are unindexed.


Box no. Description

Box 1
                       Introductory material, ca.1992
                               Project Overview and List of Contributors
                               Biographical Notes of Women Legislators
                               "Entering Men's Territory," Suzanne Schenken
                               Table of Women Serving By Session, 1929-1993
                               Alphabetical Table of Women Legislators, 1929-1993.
                               Adams, Janet (February 13, 1993)
                               Baxter, Elaine (June 26, 1990)
                               Beatty, Linda (September 26, 1991)
                               Bloom, Amy (interview with Helen Anderson, acquaintance, March 11, 1991)
                               Boyd, Nancy Shimanek (July 5, 1989)
                               Brandt, Diane (June 26, 1989)
                               Buhr, Florence (June 28, 1990)
                               Carl, Janet (June 15, 1990)
                               Chapman, Kay (May 21, 1991)
                               Clark, Betty Jean (July 13, 1989)
                               Cohen, Gertrude (March 1, 1991)
Box 2
                               Conklin, W. Charlene (November 2, 1989)
                               Corning, Joy (October 31, 1991)
                               Crabb, Helen M. (April 18, 1988)
                               Doderer, Minnette
                                     Part 1 (June 27, 1989)
                                     Part 2 (May 23, 1991)
                               Duitscher, Lucille Dreier (June 16, 1989)
                               Franklin, June (1991)
                               Garman, Teresa (October 29, 1991)
                               Gentleman, Julia (June 29, 1989)
                               Gregerson, Mary Pat (July 26, 1989)
                               Gruhn, Josephine (1991)
                               Hammond, Johnie (October 17, 1991)
                               Hannon, Beverly (February 25, 1991)
Box 3
                               Harper, Mattie (interview with Deverre Harper, husband, and
                                           Rick Harper, son, April 15, 1991)
                               Harper, Patricia (January 30, 1991)
                               Hoffmann-Bright, Betty (July 27, 1989)
                               Larsen, Sonja (June 26, 1989)
                               Lipsky, Joan (July 7, 1989)
                               Lloyd-Jones, Jean (July 27, 1989)
                               Lonergan, Joyce (June 23, 1989)
                               Lundby, Mary A. (October 1, 1991)
                               McElroy, Lillian (June 5, 1989)
                               McKee, Vera Shivvers (May 20, 1988)
                               Metcalf, Janet (October 7, 1991)
                               Metz, Katheryn Clancy (interview with Cora Mullins (acquaintance), February 19, 1991)
                               Metz, Katheryn Clancy (interview with Casey Canovan [former employer and acquaintance], February 21, 1991)
                               Miller, Elizabeth (interview with Mary Lou Speas (daughter), April 12, 1991)
                               Mullins, Sue B. (July 13, 1989)
                               Neuhauser, Mary C. (May 21, 1991)
                               O'Halloran, Mary T. (August 5, 1989)
                               Orr, Joann (June 22, 1989)
                               Sargisson, Hallie (June 4, 1989)
                               Smith, Joan H. (May 20, 1991)

Box 4
                               Svoboda, Jane (October 29, 1991)
                               Svoboda, Linda (June 20, 1989)
                               Teaford, Jane (May 23, 1991)
                               Thompson, Patricia L. (September 16, 1989)
                               Torrence-Laughlin, Janis I. (April 16, 1991)
                               Van Alstine, Percie (August 1, 1988)
                               Wick, Kathlyn M. (May 23, 1988)
                               Zastrow, Katherine M. (June 10, 1988)