Skip to main content


Identifier: 2

  • Staff Only
  • Please navigate to collection organization to place requests.

Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The Aldeen Davis papers date from 1954 to 1995 and measure 18 linear inches. The papers are arranged in 8 series:

Personal (undated) includes biographical sketch of Davis and biographical notes by Davis.

Community organizations (1954-1992) includes involvement in church, club, and civic activities. The earliest entry in this series, the Bethel A.M.E. Sunday School record, details the revitalization of the school, one of Davis's first community service activities. The series also includes records from the Semper Fidelis Federated Women's Club; by-laws, correspondence, reports, and minutes of the Muscatine Federated Women's Club; and scattered records from various civic activities, including the Equity Committee, the Muscatine Human Rights Committee, and the Muscatine Public Library Board.

Interviews (undated) contains two videotaped interviews of Davis. The "Touchstone" interview was broadcast on Iowa Public Television.

Awards and presentations (1989-1992) includes the Governor's Volunteer Award and other honors Davis received, primarily from 1989 to 1992. It also contains photographs of Davis's art (c. 1989).

Educational activities (1977-1993) includes classes given and participated in by Davis.  Davis participated in an intergenerational writing project which paired senior citizens with elementary school children. The series also includes two Writers on the Avenue publications.

Newspaper clippings and manuscripts (1975-1992) contains Davis's written work unrelated to "Soul Food for Thought." These articles were published in the Iowa Bystander, the Muscatine Journal, and Prime Time.

Soul Food for Thought (book) (1984) includes a copy of Soul Food for Thought, published in 1984, and correspondence and public response to it. [Soul Food for Thought is shelved in the printed works collection in the Iowa Women's Archives; an additional copy can be found in the Iowa Authors Collection in Special Collections].

"Soul Food and Thought" (column) (1978-1991) contains clippings and manuscripts of Davis's long-running column. In one of her scrapbooks, Davis notes, "Soul-Food and Thought" first appeared in August of 1978 in the Muscatine Journal. It was picked up soon after by the Common Bond-Davenport and the Iowa Bystander-Des Moines[,] both Black Publications.  The Common Bond is no longer in existence, and the Iowa Bystander could no longer afford to pay for the column." The scrapbook in box 5 is dated from 1982 to 1988 but contains only material from 1982 to 1985.


  • Creation: 1954-1995


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.


From the Collection: 18.00 linear inches

From the Collection: 1 Cassettes (1 audiocassette [AC357])

From the Collection: 2 videocassettes (2 videocassettes [V101-V102])

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

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)