IOWA WOMEN’S ARCHIVES

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LIBRARIES

IOWA CITY, IOWA

 

 

 

 

RUTH SCHAEFER (1909-2002)

 

PAPERS, 1956-2002

2.1 linear feet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACQUISITION:

The papers» (donor no. 736) were donated by Helen Ryan in 2001.

ACCESS:

The »papers are open for research

COPYRIGHT:

»Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa. 

PHOTOGRAPHS:

In Boxes 5 and 6.

PROCESSED BY:

Jun-Nicole Matsushita, 2003. [SchaeferRuth.doc]Your name, year [FileName.doc]»

 


 

»Biography

      Pioneer, educator, advisor, volunteer, Ruth Schaefer was born in Colchester, Connecticut in 1909 to Harriet and Arthur Stebbins.  Schaefer attended Middlebury College in Vermont after which she taught in the Norwich, Connecticut, school system.  Married to Charles Schaefer of New York City in 1935 the couple moved to Alaska three years later to live as pioneers until 1963.  In Matanaska Valley, Alaska, Schaefer was an active educator, 1955-1963, and mother of four children, Elizabeth, Patricia, Helen, and Charles Schaefer.  Schaefer later moved to Iowa City in 1963 and pursued a Masters of Arts degree at the University of Iowa.  Upon graduating in 1967 Schaefer taught Latin at City High and West High School until 1976. 

Begin text here:»

      An active friend and advisor to members of the Vietnamese refugee community in Iowa City, Schaefer assisted families and students.  She opened her home to provide living accommodations, assisted in the daily needs of immigrant families and tutored students.  In response to her kindness and support numerous families welcomed Schaefer to share their family celebrations and maintained correspondence with her after moving away from Iowa City.  She was honored for her work as the recipient of the State of Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award in 1984 and the Vietnamese Friendship Award of the Vietnamese Association of Cedar Rapids in 1987.  Schaefer died at the age of 90, as a result of breast cancer. 

 

 

Scope and Content Note

 

      Begin text here:The Ruth Schaefer» papers date from 1956» to 2002 and measure »2 linear feet.  The »papers »are arranged in six »series: biographical information, correspondence, University of Iowa, newspaper clippings, photographs, and artifacts.

 

The Biographical Information consists of Ruth Schaefer’s obituary and newspaper clippings featuring Schaefer’s work with refugees.

 

The Correspondence series (1956-2000) is comprised of letters and postcards written by her daughter Elizabeth (Schaefer) Childress, dated 1956-1965.  Later correspondence, dated 1970-2000, is a collection of letters, cards, drawings, birth, graduation and wedding announcements, invitations, and photographs from friends of the Vietnamese community who fondly refer to her as Mrs. Ruth, Mother, and Grandma.» 

 

Schaefer’s involvement in the local Asian refugee community of Iowa City is documented in the University of Iowa series (1987, 1989, undated).  Included are the University of Iowa Vietnamese Student Association Directory and pin.  Papers and poetry written by Vietnamese students Hoa and Binh Huynh are also included.

 

The Newspaper Clippings series is rich in information about the Southeast Asian refugee crisis of the 1980s.  Articles include the plight of refugees awaiting sponsorship in camps throughout Asia, as well as the lives of recent immigrants to Iowa and their struggles and dreams upon reaching the United States.

 

The Photographs series consists of a portrait of Ruth Schaefer in 1968, numerous candid and posed images of Schaefer with Asian families, including some in which she is wearing the traditional Vietnamese Au Dai (Long Dress), and numerous school portraits of children, weddings, graduations, and birth announcements, many with messages written on the backs.

 

Three Artifacts make up the final series: the State of Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award, the Vietnamese Friendship Award of the Vietnamese Association of Cedar Rapids, and a wood mounted poem of thanks written by the Duong Families.

 

 

Related Collections

Box no.   Description

 

Box 1

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

 

CORRESPONDENCE

1956-1957

1958-1959

1960-1963

1964-1965

1970-1976

1977-1979

1980

1981

 

Box 2

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985-1986

1986

 

Box 3

1987

1988-1989

1990

1991-1992

1993-1994

 

Box 4

1995-1996

1997-1998

1999-2000

Undated (4 folders)

 

Box 5

Undated (3 folders)

 

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA

Vietnamese Student Association, 1989, and undated

Hoa and Binh Huynh student papers, 1987, 1989, and undated

 

NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS, 1980-1988, and undated

 

PHOTOGRAPHS

1968-1999, and undated (3 folders)

 

 

Box 6

      Vietnamese Student Association, 2000

ARTIFACTS

State of Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award

Vietnamese Friendship Award

Mounted poem of thanks written by the Duong Families.