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Irwin, Constance, 1913-1995



  • Existence: 1913 - 1995


Author, librarian and university professor, Constance Henrietta Frick was born in Evansville, Indiana, in 1913 to Herman and Wilhelmina (Minnie) Lauenstein Frick. She grew up in a large household and enjoyed life as a young child playing with her brother and cousins or accompanying her grandmother on errands in a horse drawn carriage.

In 1930 Frick earned a scholarship to attend Indiana University (IU). Because of financial hardship she missed one semester, but by finishing three semesters work in two she graduated with her class in 1934. During the economic depression Frick had difficulty finding a job until she was hired as bookstore clerk in Evansville. Frick obtained a position as a librarian and journalism instructor in an Indianapolis suburb high school. She eventually landed the same position in her hometown of Evansville. In 1942 after taking summer classes she earned her M.A. in English literature and began writing. Frick's first book was her master's thesis The Dramatic Criticism of George Jean Nathan published by both the Cornell University Press and Oxford University Press in 1943 (Box 13: Writings, For adults, Books, Published). Frick volunteered for the Women's Naval Reserve on the day its organization was announced in 1942. Lieutenant Frick served on active duty until December 1945. She spent a year earning a library science degree from Columbia University in New York before returning to her previous employment in Evansville in 1947.

In 1954 Constance Frick Irwin married William R. Irwin, a State University of Iowa (later University of Iowa) English professor. In Iowa City Irwin continued her writing and also taught for four years at the Library School from 1963 to 1967. Irwin died in 1995 at the age of 82.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Constance Frick Irwin papers

Identifier: IWA0208

Author, librarian, and professor of library science who was a WAVE during World War II.

Dates: 1918-1995