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



PAPERS, 1909-2004
8.75 linear feet


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:
Lola Moeller Zook Papers, Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.


Collection Overview

  Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 677) were donated by Margaret Nelson in 1999 and ensuing years.  
The papers are open for research.
Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.
In Boxes 22, 23 and 24.
Processed by:

Lisa Mott, 2004. [ZookLola.doc]



Lola Dorothy Moeller was born September 6, 1909 on a farm near Everly, Iowa. Her parents were Maggie Zentner Moeller and George Walter Moeller. She had one older brother, Leslie George Moeller. As a child Lola Moeller was active in Girl Reserves and Camp Fire Girls.

Moeller graduated from Spencer High School in 1926. She attended Grinnell College from 1926 to 1927, and the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa) in Iowa City, Iowa from 1927 to 1930 where she was only the second woman to serve as managing editor of the student newspaper, The Daily Iowan, and earned a B.A. in journalism. Following graduation, Moeller worked at the Tama News Herald in Tama, Iowa before joining the staff on the Coconino Sun in Flagstaff, Arizona where her future husband, Maurice (pronounced Morris) Manford Zook, worked. Lola Moeller married Maurice Zook on August 2, 1932. The couple had no children. The Zooks worked together editing, publishing and writing for newspapers for fifteen years in the southwest United States and Alberta, Canada. From 1936 to 1942 they owned the Flagstaff Journal, in Arizona. Maurice Zook joined the American Red Cross and served in the Pacific theater during World War II.

From 1942 to 1946, Lola Zook worked as the news editor for the Madison Star-Times in Madison, Nebraska. In December 1946, Lola Zook joined her husband Maurice Zook, who was stationed in Japan as an American Red Cross director, and spent the following year “vacationing” as an American Red Cross wife and occasional writer. From 1948 to 1951, Lola Zook worked for the Chief of Editorial and Production Division, Natural Resources Section, GHQ, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, Tokyo. She was responsible for publishing a weekly staff magazine. In addition she edited and managed the production of 150 technical reports, and edited a two-volume book. For her work in Japan, Zook received the Department of the Army Award for Meritorious Civilian Service. The Zooks returned to the United States in 1951.

In 1952, the Zooks moved to Washington, D.C. Perusing the classified ads in the newspaper, Lola Zook found a position for a technical writer and editor listed under the heading “male help wanted.” Ignoring the obvious gender bias, she applied for the job and became managing editor and chief of the editorial and production office for the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO), a newly formed research firm with contracts to do research for the United States Army. Zook worked at HumRRO from 1952 until 1999, semi-retiring in 1976 but continuing as a publications consultant and editor. Zook also worked for other research firms, and for Editorial Experts (now EEI Communications) during the first dozen years of their existence.

Throughout her life Zook joined various organizations as a scholar, woman and technical writer and editor. During her university days, Zook belonged to Phi Beta Kappa, Theta Sigma Phi, Delta Zeta and Mortar Board. She was a member of P.E.O., the Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). In 1956, Zook joined the Association of Technical Writers and Editors (now the Society for Technical Communication – STC). Zook presented papers at STC conventions, wrote for their journal, and was editor of the first STC anthology on technical editing, published in 1975. She also served on the Society’s Scholarship Committee for many years. In 1981, Zook became an Associate Fellow and in 1984 she became a Fellow of the Society.

Maurice Zook died in 1981. Lola Moeller Zook died July 30, 1999.

Scope and Content Note

The Lola Moeller Zook papers date from 1909 to 2004 and measure 8.75 linear feet. The papers are arranged in ten series: Biography, Correspondence, Journalism, Occupied Japan, Human Resources Research Organization, Society for Technical Communication, Women’s Clubs, Scrapbooks, Photographs and Artifacts. The Biography series consists of Lola Zook’s obituary; articles written about Zook; a diary she kept from 1925 to 1929; her baptismal book; legal documents such as copies of her birth certificate, marriage certificate and a passport issued in 1951 when she was preparing to leave Japan; several versions of her resume; a notebook containing financial records; various awards Zook received, including her commendation for meritorious civilian service from the United States Army; two notebooks that appear to be filled with story ideas; information about the Scottish terriers the Zooks raised; and original artwork by Zook. There are also papers concerning the deaths of her parents, George W. Moeller in 1932 and Maggie Moeller in 1955, her brother Leslie Moeller’s career, and other family members. This series also contains husband Maurice Zook’s obituary, along with his draft notice. Also included in the series are several papers Zook wrote in college concerning imperialism along with articles Zook saved regarding State University of Iowa figures such as Nile Kinnick and Benjamin Shambaugh. Researchers should see the Scrapbooks series for additional material on her high school and college years, and her wedding.

The Correspondence series spans Lola Zook’s adult life from 1926 until just before her death in 1999. The bulk of the series consists of letters between Zook and her parents from 1926 to 1955. These letters span Zook’s college years, her early career and marriage, and the years she spent in Occupied Japan with her husband Maurice Zook. Zook was unable to return to Iowa from Arizona for her father’s funeral in 1932; thus, there are several letters and telegrams between Zook and her brother Leslie, and sister-in-law Dorothy Moeller concerning their father’s death. This series also contains letters written by Maurice Zook to his wife when he was traveling on business, many versions of the Zook’s self-designed Christmas cards, and numerous letters from Lola Zook’s high school and college friends. From her years in Occupied Japan, there are several notes written by her household staff concerning time off and various problems, along with a series of letters and telegrams written prior to Zook’s departure from the United States revealing both the military and civilian obstacles she had to overcome. There are also several letters Zook wrote when she was seeking employment following her return to the United States in 1952. They include inquiries to the National Geographic Society and the Central Intelligence Agency, and the replies sent by the various firms and organizations who received her letters.

The Journalism series consists of full editions of several of the newspapers Lola Zook wrote for during her career. There are also several columns she wrote while managing editor of the Madison Star-Mail in Nebraska, and those she sent to the paper while she was living in Japan. Also included in the series are articles and clippings Zook saved, many having to do with writing and getting published. World War II clippings include an article on censorship and one on war casualties of the American Red Cross. There is also a humorous booklet titled, “Air Information Sense,” published by the Bureau of Aeronautics.

The Occupied Japan series spans the years Lola Zook lived with her husband Maurice Zook in Japan following World War II. The series includes material regarding their daily lives and the Zooks’ rich social and cultural life, including opera and musical programs, excursion trip brochures, and invitations to dinner and cocktail parties. There are a variety of instructional manuals and Lola Zook’s handwritten notes for learning Japanese. Also included in the series are articles regarding the military tribunal for war crimes: Zook attended some of the sessions and both her passes and her 1998 reflections on the experience are included in the series. There is also a 1996 memoir written by Lorena Martini, who served in Japan and was friends with the Zooks during the 1940s. The Natural Resources Section sub-series concerns Lola Zook’s employment with the Army and includes her employment papers, general memos and information regarding the NRS; original artwork by Zook; and sketches of co-workers provided at Zook’s farewell. Also included is a farewell booklet for Colonel Hubert G. Schenck that consists of original cartoons depicting his experiences in Japan.

The Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) series covers many of the projects Zook handled as an editor and consultant during her employment and semi-retirement. Most of the materials consist of billing records and correspondence. Included in the series is the original letter-of-application Zook wrote to HumRRO, with the “male help wanted” advertisement attached to it.

The Society for Technical Communication series covers Zook’s vast array of involvements with the organization. Zook wrote articles for the STC’s various publications, presented papers at local, national and international level conferences, edited and reviewed manuscripts, collaborated with other members, judged writing competitions and served on scholarship and nominating committees. Zook was also the recipient of several STC awards, including those presented by the Washington, D.C. chapter for her work at HumRRO. There is also evidence of Zook’s impact on technical writing through examples of articles where her work is cited.

The Women’s Clubs series contains materials from several of the organizations Zook belonged to in the early decades of her adult life, including awards, correspondence, presentations, programs and newspaper articles. Zook received first place honors in a national competition sponsored by The New York Herald Tribune for her writings on behalf of the Arizona Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs. The Delta Zeta items include a script “The Rushee’s Dream,” which is a humorous look at the rushing experience, along with three copies of The Lamp, the official magazine of the sorority. The Nebraska Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs includes a copy of the first newsletter printed with Zook as editor, along with several letters of congratulations.

The Scrapbooks series consists of eight scrapbooks. Three are filled with newspaper columns written by Lola and Maurice Zook during various periods of their journalism careers. A fourth scrapbook is from the couple’s 1932 wedding and contains newspaper clippings, cards and other memorabilia. Zook also kept scrapbooks during her years at Spencer High School, 1922-1926; Grinnell College, 1926-1927; and the State University of Iowa, 1927-1930; and one covering her post-graduation and early marriage, 1931-1936.

The Photographs series consists of several photo albums, including the Zooks’ 1932 wedding album and three albums representing the early years of the Zooks’ marriage. A fifth photo album appears to cover Lola Zook’s high school and early college days, with several photographs of friends and her brother, Leslie. This series also contains loose photographs of Lola Zook, from her infancy to old age, including several photographs of Zook in the baptismal gown found in the Artifacts series. There are photographs of Lola and Maurice Zook throughout their marriage, and many photographs Zook included in letters to her family from Occupied Japan, with lengthy descriptions. Several photographs of Zook taken at various Society for Technical Communication events are also included in the series.

The Artifacts series consists of Lola Zook’s baptismal gown, along with several other white gowns for older children, and her wedding dress. Also included are a charm bracelet, Camp Fire Girl patches and beads, wooden paddle given to Zook on her birthday by Daily Iowan staff, several sorority and club pins, Lola Zook’s wedding band, and two Society for Technical Communication plaques awarded to Zook when she became an associate fellow in 1981 and a fellow in 1984.

Related Collections

The Dorothy and Leslie Moeller papers are housed at the State Historical Society of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.
The Maurice M. Zook papers are housed at the American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming, in Laramie, Wyoming.

Box List

Box 1                          
    Obituary, 1999
Articles about Zook, 1987-1999
Address files, undated
Awards, 1951-1999
Baptismal book, 1915
Diary, 1925-1929
Dogs, 1937, 1945 and undated
Education [see also Scrapbooks, Boxes 18-20]
      General, 1926
State University of Iowa
        College notes, 1928-1929 and undated (3 folders)      
Box 2              
        Papers on imperialism, 1929-1930      
    Employment letters, 1946-1953
      Moeller, George M. (father), 1932
Moeller, Leslie (brother), 1978-1997 and undated
Moeller, Maggie (mother), 1956
Relatives, 1936 and undated
Zook, Maurice M. (husband)
        Biographical information, 1943, 1947 and undated
Obituary and tributes, 1981
University of Wyoming, 2002-2003
      Financial records, 1941-1947
Genealogy, 1995-1999 and undated
Legal documents, 1932-1992 and undated
Lola Moeller Zook and Leslie G. Moeller Community Service Award, 2001-2004
Notebooks, undated
Original artwork, undated
Personal papers, 1926-1943 and undated
Resumés, 1985-1999 and undated
Travel, undated
Newspaper articles regarding Lola and Maurice Zook, undated
Newspaper articles relating to State University of Iowa, 1939 and undated
    Employment letters, 1946-1953
      Lola Moeller Zook with parents, 1926-1930 (4 folders)      
Box 3                          
      Lola Moeller Zook with parents, 1931-1932 (4 folders)
Lola Moeller Zook with mother, 1933-1955 (6 folders)
Lola Zook with Maurice Zook, 1936-1947, 1966 and undated (2 folders)
Lola and Maurice Zook Christmas cards, 1937, 1945 and undated
Death of George M. Moeller (father), 1932
Moeller, Dorothy (sister-in-law), 1955 and 1991-1995
Moeller, Leslie (brother), 1930s
Nelson, Margaret (niece), 1990-1999
Box 4                          
      General, 1926-1999 and undated (8 folders)
Occupied Japan
        Arrival, 1946
Family, 1946-1951 and undated (3 folders)
Box 5                          
        Family, 1946-1951 and undated (7 folders)
Household staff, undated
Lola and Maurice Zook, undated
General, 1949 and undated
Departure, 1951
      Coconino Sun, 1931 and undated [see also Full editions]
Flagstaff Journal, 1940 and undated [see also Full editions]
General, 1942 and undated
    Gallup Gazette ( New Mexico), 1935
Kearney Daily Hub ( Nebraska), 1931
Madison Star-Mail ( Nebraska)
      General, 1944 and undated
Rotary Club, 1944, 1946 and undated
World War II articles, 1944 and undated
Columns by Lola Zook, undated
Columns from Japan by Lola Zook, 1947-1948 and undated

Box 6

        Front pages, 1943-1946 [oversized]          
      Full editions [oversized]        
        Coconino Sun ( Arizona), 1931
Flagstaff Journal ( Arizona), 1942
The Raton Range ( New Mexico), 1933
The Spencer News Herald ( Iowa), 1932
The Wainwright Star ( Alberta, Canada), 1932
Box 8                          
      Articles and clippings saved by Lola Zook        
        Articles regarding journalists and newspapers, undated
Articles from The Writer’s Monthly, undated
Assorted clippings and headlines, 1936 and undated
Clippings regarding discontinued publications, undated
World War II, 1943 and undated
  OCCUPIED JAPAN                  
    American Red Cross        
      Bankers’ Club, undated
Japanese employees, undated
    Daily life, 1946-1949 and undated
Learning the language, 1946-1947 and undated
Memoir – By the Grace of God and MacArthur: A Department of Army Civilian in Occupied Japan by Lorena
Martini, 1996
Military tribunal for war crimes, 1998 and undated
Natural Resources Section
      General, 1947-1950 and undated
Employment papers, 1947-1951
Farewell sketches and artwork, 1951
Schenck, Colonel Hubert G.
        “Conservation for Peace” by Hubert G. Schenck, 1951
Farewell booklet, 1951
      Social and cultural events, 1947-1951      
Box 8                          
      Social and cultural events, 1947-1951
Souvenirs, undated
Tourist brochures, undated
Travel materials, 1946
        Atami, 1947
Kyoto, 1947
Kyoto, 1948
      Articles and clippings, 1949-1950 and undated      
Box 9                          
    Application, 1953
Article about HumRRO, 1980
Board of Trustees, 1973-1975
Consultant/job contacts, 1976-1985
Correspondence, 1953-1975
Feedback, 1976-1989
Fiscal records, 1976-1980
Freelance work
      Courseware, Inc., 1984
CRC Systems, Inc., 1980-1987
Editorial Experts, Inc. (EEI)
        Correspondence, 1976-1982
Projects, 1976-1990 (3 folders)
The EE Eye newsletter, 1979-1985
Security Clearance, 1983
Army regulations, 1987-1990
Employment contracts, undated
      Institute for International Research, 1985
Kenton, Inc., 1979-1981
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), 1983
Science Applications, Inc. (SAI), 1983
USDA Graduate School, 1983-1984
Box 10                          
      General, 1985-1996 and undated (2 folders)
Administrative manual, 1985-1995
Career Force, 1990-1995
Contract for Manpower and Personnel Research and Studies (COMPRS), 1994-1996
CONWAL, 1993-1994
HumRRO International, 1988-1990
Low-aptitude Men in the Military, edited by Lola Zook, 1991
PRD, 1990
U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavior and Social Sciences (ARI), 1996
    Zook’s retirement, 1976                
Box 11                          
    Associate fellow plaque, 1981 [see Artifacts, Box 14]
      Associate fellow nominating committee, 1983-1986
Scholarship committee, 1984-1998 (4 folders)
      International Professional Communication Conference (IPCC), 1992
International Technical Communication Conference/Society for Technical Communication (ITCC/STC)
        13 th-27 th annual conferences, 1966-1980 (8 folders)        
Box 12                          
        30 th-44 th annual conferences, 1983-1997 (14 folders)        
Box 13                          
        45 th-46 th annual conferences, 1998-1999 (2 folders)        
      Research Institute Publishing Executives (RIPE), 1989-1990        
    Correspondence, 1968-1999 (4 folders)
Fellow plaque, 1984 [see Artifacts, Box 25]
      Technical Communications judging, 1984-1985
Technical Publications competition judging, 1985-1990
    Writing and editing            
      Articles by Zook, 1967-1990 (1 folders)            
Box 14                          
      Articles by Zook, 1967-1990 (2 folders)
Book projects
        Zook and Mary Fran Buehler, 1967-1968
Zook and Helen Lindberg, 1992
      Book review by Zook (Helping Researchers Write…So Managers Can Understand by Preena Sageev), 1998
Profile on Mary Fran Buehler by Zook, 1980
Technical Communications journal
        Article on relationships by Zook, 1985
Articles by Zook, 1990
Reviews by Zook, 1969-1985 (3 folders)
Box 15                          
      Teaching Technical Editing by Carolyn Rude, with a chapter by Zook, 1984-1985
Technical Editing: Basic Theory and Practice edited by Charles Klemnitz with an introduction by Zook, 1994 (2 folders)
Technical Editing: Principles and Practices edited by Zook, 1975 (2 folders)
Box 16                          
    Workshops, panels and presentations          
      Assorted workshops, 1967-1973
Los Alamos chapter, 1989
Presentation at University of Colorado, Denver, 1984
“The Role of Rules in Technical Communication,” panel/workshop, 1984-1986 (4 folders)
      Articles where Zook is cited, 1982-1988
Society for Technical Communication (STC) award brochures, 1975 and 1977
Society of Technical Writers and Editors (STWE) newsletter, 1960
Washington, D.C. chapter, 1975-1995 (2 folders)
  WOMEN’S CLUBS                  
    Arizona Federation of Women’s Clubs            
      General, 1937-1942
Awards, 1940 and undated
    Delta Zeta sorority            
      General, 1939, 1943 and undated
The Lamp of Delta Zeta, 1930
Box 17                          
      The Lamp of Delta Zeta,1931 and 1939 (2 folders)        
    Girls’ clubs                
      Girl Scouts membership card, 1945
        “Girl Reserve ideals of friendship and service,” undated
“The Quality of Light,” undated
    Madison ( Nebraska) Business and Professional Women’s Club, 1945 and undated
National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, undated
Nebraska Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, 1943-1945
P.E.O., 1944-1947
Women’s clubs, undated
    Newspaper columns            
      By Lola Moeller and Maurice Zook, undated
By Maurice Zook (Gallup Gazette and Grant Review, New Mexico), undated
“Lookin’ Around” by Lola Zook (Madison Star-Times, Nebraska), undated
    Wedding, 1932              
Box 18                          
    Spencer High School, 1922-1926          
Box 19                          
    Grinnell College, 1926-1927          
Box 20                          
    State University of Iowa, 1927-1930          
Box 21                          
    General, 1931-1936          
Box 22                          
        Wedding, 1932
Lola and Leslie Moeller, 1925 and undated (2 albums)
Box 23                          
        Lola and Maurice Zook, undated (2 albums)        
Box 24                          
      Lola M. Zook, 1909-1999 and undated (3 folders)
Lola and Maurice Zook, 1938-1999 and undated
Occupied Japan, 1947-1950 (3 folders)
Society of Technical Communication, 1988, 1990 and undated
Tinted photograph of Lola Zook, undated [oversized, see map case]
1920s Camp Fire Girl dress, 2006
Box 25                          
      Baptismal gown and cap, ca. 1910      
Box 26                          
      Charm bracelet, undated
Club and sorority pins, 1930 and undated
        Associate fellow, Society for Technical Communication, 1981
Fellow, Society for Technical Communication, 1984
      Spencer High School class ring, 1926
Wedding ring, 1932
Box 27                          
      Wedding dress, 1932            
Box 28                  
      Patches from Camp Fire Girl dress, [1920s]
Camp fire Girl beads, [1020s]
Box 29                  
      Wooden paddle with birthday greetings from Daily Iowan staff, 1929            


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