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Identifier: 1

Scope and Contents

From the Collection: The Bertha Korn Tucker papers date from 1920 to 1999 and measure 2 linear feet. The papers are arranged in five series: Personal life, Creative writing, Academic papers, Writings and translations in Yiddish, and Jewish-theme writings.

The Personal life series (1971-1991) primarily contains correspondence from family and friends. Most of the letters and postcards come from her daughter, Janey Tucker, from college and while abroad in Europe and Israel. The series contains photographs from all stages of Bertha Tucker's life (1913-1999). Personal mementos of important life events, such as her college graduation and son Yale's bar mitzvah are included. Tow issues of the Olwein High School yearbook (1927-28) are also included in this series.

Tucker's interest in writing began in elementary school. The Creative writing series (1924-1970 and undated) contains short stories written in English. A few poems and plays are included. She has written short stories throughout varies stages of her life: elementary and high school, college, career, parenthood, and retirement. Always a perfectionist, Tucker completed several drafts of each of her stories, many of which are included. As a result, it is difficult to assess the precise year in which she wrote each piece. With the help of her niece, Ethel Pollack (neé Jacobson), Tucker adopted the pen name of "Byrt" because it was more creative than "Bertha."

Education was always a priority for Tucker and she was a gifted student. She received her Certificate in Education from Drake University in 1928 and returned to Drake in 1960. After completing her bachelor's degree in 1969, she continued to take courses until approximately 1982. The Academic papers series (1960-1974 and undated) contains primarily papers for her English literature classes.

Tucker has been active in her Yiddish class at the Beth El Jacob synagogue in Des Moines from approximately 1951-1999. The Writings and translations in Yiddish series contains translations from English to Yiddish done by Tucker for her class. An original short story (undated) written in Yiddish is included.

Jewish culture and history have always been important to Tucker. The Jewish-themed writings series reflects her passion for her heritage. This series contains short stories written in English (1926 and undated) and academic papers (1972 and undated.)


  • 1920-1999

Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.


From the Collection: 2.00 linear feet

From the Collection: 3 reel-to-reel audiotapes<br>Photographs in Box 1 other_unmapped


Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)