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



RECORDS, 1960-2006 and ongoing
bulk 1971-2000

10 linear feet
artifacts and audiovisual material


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:
Women's Resource and Action Center Records, Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.


Collection Overview

The records (donor no. 222) were donated by the Women’s Resource and Action Center.
The records are open for research.
Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.
Eighteen audiocassettes (AC270; AC904-AC920) shelved in the audiocassette collection. Nine videocassettes (V362-V370) shelved in the videocassette collection.
  Artifacts: In Box 27  
In Boxes 7, 11, 22 and 23.
Processed by:
Marnie Schroer, 1995; Robert Jett, 1998; Kate Stewart, 2007; Karissa Haugeberg, 2007. [WRAC.doc]  


According to its constitution, the Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC) was founded to serve as "a cultural, social and organizational center for U. of Iowa women--students, staff, and faculty, and for all women of the Iowa City community."  As the organization has grown and prospered, this mission has been extended to the entire state of Iowa.

WRAC evolved during the second wave of the feminist movement.  In 1970 some Iowa City women formed a group called the Women's Liberation Front (WLF).  This group challenged the University of Iowa to recognize and combat sexism within the institution.  One result of this challenge was the creation of the Women's Center.  The Student Development Center (now the Office of Student Activities) provided funding and direction but the Center operated as a collective, making group policy decisions.

In the summer of 1974, a group of people revised the organizational structure of the Women's Center.  They established an advisory board to act as a governing body and changed the center's name to the "Women's Resource and Action Center" as a reflection of its expanded goals. It encompassed an on-site coordinator who worked in conjunction with the advisory board to implement WRAC policies. 

In 1976, WRAC moved to the former alumni records building on the corner of Madison and Market Streets.  Over time the University has expanded its support of WRAC.  For instance, in 1975 the WRAC coordinator’s position was changed from half-time to full-time.  WRAC's funding is somewhat complex.  According to a 1977 informational statement on WRAC's finances, WRAC was classified as a university department, a student organization, and a community organization.  It developed one budget as a department under Student Services and submitted another to the student senate for funding as a student organization.  It also received community support, primarily in the form of individual donations and volunteer time.

Over the years, WRAC has grown to be a multi-service agency which seeks both to improve the status of women as a group and to meet the needs of individual women.  In order to accomplish these goals, WRAC acts as a referral center for community and state services for women, supports a small library of feminist materials, publishes a newsletter, maintains resource information on counseling about such issues as rape, sexuality, and careers, and sponsors workshops, speakers and conferences addressing women's concerns.  Additionally, WRAC supports a variety of cultural activities.  The center has held brown bag lunch series which provide a forum for discussing a wide range of feminist issues.  It has also promoted plays, concerts, films, sports events and art exhibits.  WRAC provides office space for organizations serving the needs of women.  In the past, the Lesbian Alliance (LA), Women Against Racism (WAR), the Johnson County-Iowa City National Organization of Women and the Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP), among others, were housed at WRAC.

Scope and Content Note

The Women's Resource and Action Center's records date from 1960 to 2006 and measure 10 linear feet.  The records are arranged in ten series:  Administration, Programming and services, Publicity, Subsidiary organizations, Resources, At the Center research files, WRAC Oral History Project, Photographs, Newsletters, and Artifacts. The WRAC records document the growth and development of a local feminist organization.

The Administration series (1971-1997) includes WRAC's constitution and mission statements as well as advisory board records, financial information, reports, correspondence, evidence of WRAC's political action, logs and minutes, and other documents related to the organization's administrative and bureaucratic functions.  Materials document activities and changes on multiple levels. For instance, desk logs provide a micro-level view of daily activities while the correspondence between the WRAC coordinator and Philip Jones, of the Office of the Vice President of Student Services and Dean of Academic Affairs, includes slightly broader, weekly updates; annual reports summarize the events of an entire year.

The Programming and services series (1960-1997) documents WRAC's outreach to the local community.  It contains information on workshops, events, and on-going services provided by WRAC. These activities touch on issues such as divorce, career planning, racism, health, class, pornography, sexuality, and equal rights. Eight videos from WRAC’s anniversaries document celebrations that include speeches, musical performances, and discussion sessions from the 20th anniversary conference.

The Publicity series (1976-2000) consists of three parts.  The General folder contains WRAC brochures and flyers.  The three Programs folders include flyers, calendars, and other materials promoting specific events.  Much of this material refers to WRAC's brown bag lunches, a series of noon hour talks sponsored by WRAC. Larger posters of events conclude the series.

The Subsidiary organizations series (1975-1993) includes the records of organizations directly connected to WRAC. The largest portion of these records relate to the Women's Coffeehouse (also known as the Studio Project) and the Association of Student Women (ASW).  The Women's Coffeehouse opened in 1979 as a local women-only space available "for almost any kind of event."  Its location was kept confidential and advertising was posted only at women-oriented spaces such as WRAC and the Plains Woman Bookstore.  This series includes organizational and financial records of the Coffeehouse.

The Association of Student Women (ASW) operated as a collective organization interested in changing "subtle and not so subtle oppressive, restrictive, and sexist attitudes regarding women."  The WRAC coordinator acted as an advisor to the group.  ASW sponsored speakers and activities, and was also involved in the Street Lighting and Safety Project. Photographs documenting Iowa City’s lighting problem are included in this series. The series includes records of six other local groups sponsored by WRAC that addressed issues such as lesbian and gay identity, sexual assault, domestic violence, and the history of women’s oppression.

The Resources series (1972-1989) begins with information about groups not formally related to WRAC but nevertheless of interest to its constituency. In some instances, WRAC networked with these groups.  For example, WRAC and the Johnson County/Iowa City chapter of the National Organization of Women (NOW) cosponsored a Women's Equality Day event. The series contains files with information for women on local services in Iowa, some especially for women new to the area. Thirty-five topical files contain pamphlets and publications from national organizations on women’s issues; a cross-reference guide is included at the beginning of the topical files. The series concludes with newspaper clippings, bibliographies on women’s studies topics, theses, dissertations, and self-published books.

The At the Center research files series (2002) contains information related to the creation of a history of WRAC, At the Center: Thirty Years of Activism and Communities published in 2002 for WRAC’s thirtieth anniversary. The series includes correspondence, history, publication details, and a copy of the book itself. Oral history interviews were conducted in conjunction with the publication of At the Center and the thirtieth anniversary. The WRAC Oral History Project series (2001-2003) contains transcriptions and audiocassettes of the interviews. A few women sent memoirs, also included in the series.

The Photographs series (undated) consists of one folder containing a few unlabeled photographs--one of the WRAC building and others of unidentified people.  The Newsletters series (1975- ) contains scattered issues of WRAC’s newsletter, including current issues as well as clip art and cartoons related to feminism and women’s issues used for mock-ups.

The Artifacts series (1996-2002) consists of ten t-shirts of Iowa events sponsored by or related to WRAC.  The series includes shirts from Iowa City lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) events, Iowa women’s music festivals, and Take Back the Night marches.

Related Collections

Iowa Women's Political Caucus Records
The WRAC collection includes a few letters of correspondence regarding workshops that WRAC held in conjunction with the 1975 IWPC convention.  It also contains copies of IWPC by-laws and priorities.  (See Box 11, Resource files on women's interest groups, Iowa Women's Political Caucus, 1975-1978.)

Jo Rabenold Papers

Jill Jack Papers

Johnson County-Iowa City National Organization of Women Records
The WRAC records contain a few references to the Johnson County-Iowa City chapter of NOW.  WRAC offered the chapter office space and co-sponsored a Women's Equality Day event with it.  The records also contain an agenda from a NOW-sponsored fundraising workshop.  (See Box 11, Resource files on women's interest groups, NOW, 1978, 1981 and undated.)

Women Against Racism Records

Summary Content List

Administration, 1971-1997
At the Center
Research Files, 2002  
Newsletters, 1975-
Photographs, undated 
Programming and Services, 1960-1997
Publicity, 1976-1996      
Resources, 1972-1989  
Subsidiary Organizations, 1975-1993 
WRAC Oral History Project, 2001-2003        
Boxes 1-6
Box 27 
Boxes 21-22
Boxes 23, 26    
Boxes 7, 11, 22, 23
Boxes 6-8, 24-25, videocassettes V362-V370
Boxes 8, 25-26
Boxes 11-20
Boxes 9-11
Boxes 22-23, audiocassettes AC270, AC904-AC920

Box List

Box 1                  
    Proposals, 1971
Operating principles and organizational charts, 1974, 1977, 1984-1985
Advisory board
      Correspondence, 1975-1986 and undated
Minutes and agendas, 1974-1985 (2 folders)
Annual budgets and finances
        1977-1985 (8 folders)
Box 2                  
        1985-1988 (3 folders)
University of Iowa Foundation account records, 1987-1989
        General, 1976-1987 and undated
Postcards, 1981-1997 and undated
Hubbard, Philip, Vice President of Student Services, 1976-1984
Box 3                  
        Jones, Philip, Office of the Vice President of Student Services and Dean of Academic Affairs, 1978-1984
Office of Student Activities, 1977-1979
Student Services, 1976-1980
      Facilities and equipment
        Alumni house, 1975-1982 and undated
Audio visual equipment, 1982-1988 and undated
Space requests and usage, 1976, 1980-1981, 1983, 1985 and undated
      Forms and fee schedules, 1984 and undated
In-house policies and procedures, 1983 and undated
Annual reports
        1976-1982 (5 folders)  
Box 4                  
        1982-1993 (9 folders)      
      Monthly reports, 1976-1979 (2 folders)
Box 5                  
      Monthly reports, 1982-1988 (4 folders)
    Weekly reports, 1981
Resource materials
      General, 1979-1981 and undated
Legal policies, 1974, 1976-1978

Desk logs and minutes

February 1984-July 1985
March 1985-October 1986 (log only)
November 1986-August 1987 (log only)
Box 6                  
        1985-1988 (minutes only)
Library subcommittee minutes, December 13, 1979
      Phone lists, 1977-1988 and undated
Phone logs, 1976-1982
    University of Iowa      
      Affirmative action, 1977-1983 and undated
Committees, 1976 and undated
Council on the Status of Women, 1976-1978, 1990 (3 folders)
Toledo meetings (women's role in the University), 1974-1976
  Programming and services      
    Anniversaries [shelved in the videocassette collection]
      10th anniversary slide show, 1981 (VHS, 16 minutes) [V362]
15th anniversary, 1986 (VHS, 140 minutes) [V363]
20th anniversary conference, 1991
        Brown bag welcome (VHS, 121 minutes) [V364]
Patricia Tyson speech (VHS, 81 minutes) [V365]
Second day session (VHS, 88 minutes) [V366]
Child care session 1 (VHS, 102 minutes) [V367]
Child care session 2 (VHS, 101 minutes) [V368]
Coffeehouse performance (VHS, 15 minutes) [V369]

An Evening of Virginia Woolf, 1977

Box 7                  
      International Women’s Convocation Program, 1997 (VHS, 100 minutes)
[shelved in videocassette collection: V370]
International Women's Year, 1974-1977
Louise Nevelson week, 1980
Sarah Hoagland concert, 1980-1981
Wilma Rudolph mini-marathon, 1960-1961, 1978-1979
Women's Art Celebration, 1980
    Grant proposals, 1977, 1985 and undated
      General, 1975-1976 and undated
Tampon Safety, 1980 and undated
    Political action
      Letters to editors, 1977-1979 and undated
Lobbying and legislation, 1976-1977, 1979
Bijou complaint, 1981 and undated [includes photographs]
Student Health complaints, 1977
Title IX, 1976, 1979 and undated
    Porn slide show transcript, Women Against Violence Against Women, undated
Pro Se marriage dissolution, 1978, 1982-1985
Box 8                  
    Program ideas, 1978-1981 and undated
Speaker’s bureau, 1986-1988
Unemployment survey, 1983
      Anti-racism, 1984
Career planning, 1976-1979 and undated
Handouts, undated
Science career perspectives, 1982 and undated
Women in transition, 1976, 1978 and undated
Women's survival kit, 1975, 1977, 1979 and undated
Miscellaneous, 1977-1978, 1981 and undated
    Youth programming, 1975-1976, 1978 and undated
    General, 1976-1978, 1980 and undated
Programs, 1978-1981 and undated (2 folders)
Posters, 1980s and undated [shelved in map case]
Box 9                  
  Subsidiary organizations      
    Women's Coffeehouse/Studio Project
      Records and policies, 1975, 1981-1982 and undated
Financial records
        Accounts payable, 1981-1983
Bank statements, 1979-1983 (3 folders)
Equipment, 1980-1982
Receipts, 1982-1983 and undated
Utilities, 1980-1983
      Pledge committee, 1981-1982
Box 10                  
      Publicity, 1982-1983
        D.J. Adler promotional tape [shelved in the audiocassette collection: AC270]
Poster, undated [shelved in map case]
    Association of Student Women (ASW)
      Policies and membership, 1978-1979 and undated
Budgets and vouchers, 1977-1980
Minutes, 1978, 1980 and undated
Street Lighting and Safety Project, 1976-1980 and undated
    Action Studies, 1975-1980 and undated
Aid and Alternatives for Victims of Spouse Abuse (AAVSA), 1977-1978, 1980,
1983 and undated
Counseling, 1983 and undated
Lesbian Alliance (LA), 1978, 1983 and undated
Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP), 1979-1983 and undated
Box 11                  
    University of Iowa Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Staff & Faculty Association

Phone log, undated
Michele J. Eliason, “Understanding Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Issues: An Introductory Workshop,” 1993 [includes slides]
Referral notebook, 1990


Emma Goldman Clinic Newsletters, 1978-1979 and undated
Gray Panthers, 1978 and undated
Iowa Men's Center, 1977-1978
Iowa Women's Political Caucus, 1975-1978
NOW, 1978, 1981 and undated
Women's centers, 1976-1979, 1982 and undated
Women's groups, 1974-1975, 1978 and undated
Women's networks, 1979-1982 and undated
University of Iowa Women's Studies program, 1977-1983 and undated

Box 12                  
    Using social services and legal systems, 1980s (5 folders)
Box 13                  
    Using social services and legal systems
New to Iowa City, 1980s (2 folders)
A Woman’s Directory, 1984-1985 
Subject heading and cross reference guide
Abortion (3 folders)
¡Basta Ya! booklet
Box 14                  
Chicanas/Latinas newsletters
Child abuse
Domestic abuse
Educational discrimination
Fat politics
Box 15                  
    Feminist theory (4 folders)
Food stamps
Box 16                  
International women (2 folders)
International Women’s Day
Iowa (2 folders)
Labor (2 folders) 
Box 17                  
Poetry (2 folders)
Political action
Pornography, 1979
Sexual abuse
Box 18                  
Substance abuse
Box 19                  
    Women’s lives
Women's survival kit for the work world
University of Iowa
Des Moines Register clippings, 1977 (3 folders)
Daily Iowan and Iowa City Press Citizen clippings, 1981 (2 folders)
Box 20                  
    Bibliographies (2 folders)
Thitiya Phaobtong, “Torture and Trauma Among Southeast Asian Refugees: The Response of Social Workers,” 1989
Jane Mary Vanderbosch, “The Education of Adrienne Rich: From Revision to Revelation,” 1980
Valerie Ann Walker and Janice Wood Wetzel, “The Self Help Movement,” 1988
Denise Kusel, “Dog Kisses,” 1978; Lynn Watson, “Eclipse,” 1976
Suzann Gage, “When Birth Control Fails: How to Abort Ourselves Safely,”1979
“A Women’s Poetry Reading,” 1972
“The Short Stories of Maureen Dallas Watkins, Published in Hearst’s International-Cosmopolitan, 1927-1929, introduced and discussed by John Elliot,” 1986
Box 21                  
  At the Center research files      
    At the Center: Celebrating Thirty Years of Activism and Communities, 2002
ISBN# permission form/copyright
Essential documents
Print services
WRAC book party
Archival research
Box 22                  
    Correspondence with women
Correspondence with committee
Interview guide
  WRAC Oral History Project      

Barcelo, Rusty, transcript of interview, 2003
Buckley, Sue, transcript of interview, 2002 [AC905]
Chisholm, Kate, memoir, undated [includes photograph]
DiCarlo, Monique, transcript of interview and correspondence, 2002 [AC914]
Fliehler, Lesanne, correspondence and biographical information, 2001-2002
Gibson, Sue, transcript of interview, 2002 [AC908]
Gilbert, Gracia, correspondence, 2002
Greiner, Molly, memoir and correspondence, 2002
Haag, Laurie, transcript of iInterview, 2002 [AC906]
Hoosman, Morgan, memoir and correspondence, 2002
Jack, Jill, memoir and correspondence, 2001-2002
Jones, Phillip, transcript of interview, 2002
Kostick, Susan, cCorrespondence, 2002
Kroon, Linda, transcript of interview, 2002 [AC916]
Lellig, Angela, correspondence, 2002
Love, Jasmine, transcript of interview and correspondence, 2002 [AC907]
Martin, Jean, transcript of iInterview, 2002 [AC915]
McGuire, Linda, transcript of interview, 2002 [ AC909-AC910]
Molina, Papusa, transcript of interview, 2002 [AC917]
Muhanji, Cherry, transcript of interview and correspondence, 2002 [AC920]
Mujica, Mari,correspondence and biographical information, 2002
Murray, Kit, correspondence, 2001-2002
Nelson, Kimela, correspondence and memoir, 2002
Sand, Gayle, transcript of interview and correspondence, 2002 [ AC913]

Box 23                  

Sierra, Teresa, transcript of interview and correspondence, 2002 [AC911-AC912]
Silander, Aaron (Anne), transcript of interview and correspondence, 2002 [AC904]
Smith, Sondra, transcript of interview and correspondence, 2002 [AC918-AC919]
Transcript of interview and correspondence, 2002
Williams, Melissa, memoir and correspondence, 2002

  Photographs, undated      
    1975-2000 (5 folders)

Box 24

      Aharoni, Ada
Brown bag luncheons
Caldicott, Helen
Domestic violence
Film festivals, 1979-1980
International Women’s Day, 1982
Jackson/New Wave
Laura X marital rape
Pornography, 1984
Third World Women’s Conference, 1985
Women at Iowa Conference, 1982
    Friends and lovers support group
Peeping Tom action
Health, 1983
Mark IV
Program data
Program evaluations, 1981-1982
Program evaluations, Fall 1982
Program ideas
Box 25                  
Programming volunteers
Project Hard Times, Simcha Plisner
Career planning
Gaut, Jan
Introduction to self hypnosis
Reentering women
Sex roles awareness, 1979
Women and money
Working women
    Releases for art show, 1980
Video project
Women in research and resource list
Women’s art caucus, 1981
Women artists series
    1980-1984 and undated
1982-1989 and undated
Fall 1983
September 1984
October 1984
December 1984
March 1985
May and June 1985
Box 26                  
    1990-1996 and undated (2 folders)
1990-2000 and undated
Press releases and public service announcements
We Be Wimmin, 1989
Box 27                  





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