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Joan Blundall papers

Identifier: IWA0486

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Scope and Contents

The Joan Blundall papers date from 1986 to 1998 and measure 3 linear inches. They consist primarily of newspaper and journal articals concerning the farm crisis in Iowa in the 1980s and Blundall's work with emotionally and economically distressed farmers. The papers include articles about Blundall's work, articles published by Blundall in journals and newspapers, and professional papers Blundall presented at conferences for professional organizations such as The National Institute of Social Work and Human Services in Rural Areas and the National Association of Social Workers. Two videotapes from NBC and CBS news programs in the mid-1980s depict Blundall working with farmers who were suffering severe emotional trauma as they faced the loss of their farms and other economic crises.


  • Creation: 1986-1998


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Joan Whitwer Blundall was born in 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She attended Temple University and graduated in 1966. She married the same year and moved to Providence, Rhode Island, where she worked at a social welfare agency and entered the University of Rhode Island master's degree program in child development/family relations. Her son Jonathan was born in 1970, and she completed her degree in 1976. In the late 1970s, Blundall divorced her husband and moved to Fort Dodge, Iowa to work for the Iowa State University Extension Service.

In 1984 as the farm crisis emerged, Blundall began work at the Northwest Iowa Mental Health Center (later renamed Seasons Center). She designed an outreach program that provided farmers in dire straits with twenty-eight professionals to contact. Furthermore, she trained nearly 400 community volunteers to visit the homes of distressed families and developed a number of support groups where farm families could meet to discuss their worries.

Once the farm crisis stabilized, Blundall re-immersed herself in education. She completed her master's degree in Health Care Administration at the University of Osteopathic Medicine in Des Moines in 1999. In the late 1990s, she served on committees including the Iowa Department of Health's Rural Health and Primary Care Advisory Committee and the Iowa Department of Justice's Consumer Advocate Panel.


3.00 linear inches

Language of Materials



Social worker who developed support services for rural families during the 1980s farm crisis in Iowa.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 825) were donated by Joan Blundall in 2001.

Related Materials

'Voices from the Land' oral history project, Iowa Women's Archives.

Heather Stecklein, 2002
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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)