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Steven Allen Carlson Papers

Identifier: RG02.0009.051

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Scope and Contents

The Papers of Steven Allen Carlson consist primarily of journals he began to write while a high school student and continued until 2015. The papers also include his high school yearbooks, photographs and slides, sales books from his record business, a draft of a novel “Full House Empty Seats,” house message books, exhibit information, and a textile high school project. Many photographs and other material, such as brochures and event keepsakes, are intermingled within the journals.

The journals provide a unique and intimate perspective on the emergence and growth of Iowa City’s gay community during the 1960s-2000s.

Please note the collection includes nudity and homoerotic images.


  • Creation: 1960 - 2020

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for use with the exception of the journals series. The journals series is closed to researchers for 20 years following date of creation.

This material is stored at an off-site location, please allow two-three business days for retrieval.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is subject to all copyright laws. The University of Iowa has been granted a non-exclusive license to reproduce the collection for educational and publicity purposes. Other digitized content is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright, beyond that allowed by fair use, requires the researcher to obtain permission of copyright holders.

Biographical / Historical

Steven Allen Carlson was born August 2, 1946 in Hamburg, Iowa, the son of Oscar Allen Carlson and Doris (Munsinger) Carlson. He was a 1964 graduate of Fremont Mills High School. Steven received his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Iowa in 1969.

Steven was employed by Hy-Vee for 42 years, first at Clarinda, and later at several Iowa City stores. He managed the Hy-Vee Waterfront store's dairy department for many years.

He was an avid vinyl record collector and managed a used record store in downtown Iowa City for several years.

Steven volunteered for ICARE (Iowa Center for AIDS Resources and Education) and was active in the LGBT community. His passions included photography, writing, and was a talented pianist. His photographic exhibits included venues in Des Moines, Iowa City, and Cedar Rapids.

His journals, which he maintained throughout much of his adult life, form the core of his collection of papers.

Steven Allen Carlson died December 27, 2020, at age 74, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.


40 Linear Feet

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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242