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Identifier: 1

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Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The Catherine Gayle Williams papers date from 1942 to 1991, including some undated items from approximately the 1910s, and measure 12.3 linear inches. The papers are arranged in seven series: Biographical information, Education, Racial concerns, Retirement, Writings, Photographs, and Delta Sigma Theta.

The Biographical information series (1942-1991) includes a taped interview with Williams by David A. Smith. A copy of his master's thesis based on these interviews is filed with printed works in the Iowa Womens Archives Materials relating to awards Williams received and a scrapbook (disbound) of events in her life, which includes photographs, complete the series.

Williams's 1965 master's thesis, "Attitudes toward Adoptions in the Negro Community of Des Moines"; papers she wrote as a student; and some class notes comprise the Education series (1960-1965,1982).

The Racial concerns series(1968-1970 and undated) encompasses varied topics, including seminar and workshop materials, bibliographies, and the "Racial Ethnic Census Report" of the Iowa Public Schools, 1968-l969.

In 1981 Williams was honored for her thirty-two years of service at the Iowa Department of Social Services. The Retirement series (1981) includes letters and articles of tribute to Williams.

The Writings series (1968-1982 and undated) comprises reports Williams wrote and lectures she delivered.

The Photographs series ([1910s], 1940s-1980s and undated) contains photographs of Williams, her family, and friends.

Williams was a member of the Phi chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, a prominent national black sorority, founded in 1913 at Howard University. The Delta Sigma Theta series (1947-1989, scattered) includes materials about the national organization and the Phi chapter in Des Moines which was organized in 1923. Copies of The Delta newsletter and journal complete the series.


  • Creation: 1910-1991


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.


From the Collection: 12.30 linear inches

From the Collection: 6 audiocassettes [AC334-AC339], Photographs in boxes 1-2 boxes

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)