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Entre Nous records (Iowa City, Iowa)

Identifier: IWA0081

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Scope and Contents

The Entre Nous records measure 12.25 linear inches and date from 1914 to 2002. They are arranged in three series: Administrative and legal files, Program files, and Photographs. This collection would be of particular interest to researchers interested in the leisure activities of upper-class women in twentieth century Iowa.

The administrative and legal files (1914-2002) include the constitution and bylaws, correspondence, financial records, and histories. The histories sub-series chronicles the early and developing history of Entre Nous for the years 1914 through 1984. Also included in this series are the club's minutes. Perhaps the nucleus of the collection, the minutes provide a synthesis of club activities, anecdotal narratives about club members, and financial information. A highlight of each meeting was the luncheon prepared and served by the club member hosting the meeting; these meals and homes are described in lavish detail in the minutes.

The Program files (1915-1992) contain the printed annual programs (1915/16-1991/92) which recount club activities for the past year. Among these activities were the annual opening luncheons, the guest teas, and the twentieth-fifth, fiftieth, and seventy-fifth commemorative anniversary programs. Also included in this series are a list of plays read or reviewed for the years 1972 to 1983, newspaper clippings, and a scrapbook.

The Photographs document the fiftieth and seventieth anniversary party in 1964 and 1984.


  • Creation: 1914-2002


Conditions Governing Access

The records 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

On February 26, 1914, a group of Iowa City women formed a literary and drama club mainly for their own entertainment and edification. The club, named Entre Nous, 'between us', began when Iowa City was a mere fraction of its present size. Student enrollment at the University of Iowa was approximately 2700. A favorite leisure activity for residents was the city's Pastime Theatre. It seated 400 and charged five cents for admissions.

Membership in Entre Nous was by invitation only. The number of members was initially limited to eighteen, but in 1957 was raised to a minimum of twenty-five. According to the club's constitution, those eligible for membership were to be young married women who sympathized with the club's objectives. Most of these women were neighbors whose spouses were employees of the University of Iowa. One such member was Eleanor Jessup, the wife of Walter A. Jessup, who was president of the University of Iowa from 1916 to 1934.

Early club activities focused on home economics. Eventually, the club expanded its activities to include poetic and dramatic readings. Though not often, members sometimes read from works that they wrote. Members also acted in plays produced by local drama companies. The club met twice a month, each time at a different member's home.

In addition to its literary and drama programs, the Entre Nous club actively participated in a variety of public service activities. Club members made surgical dressings for the American Red Cross during World War I and held book drives to collect books for American soldiers during World War II. During both wars, members voted to suspend the production of engraved annual club programs and instead donated the money to the American Red Cross. Peacetime activities included child welfare and prison reform work as well as a scholarship and loan fund for students attending the University of Iowa. Entre Nous affiliated with the Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs in 1915 and remained a member until 1947.


12.25 linear inches

Photographs in Box 2 boxes

Language of Materials



Women's drama study club founded in 1914 in Iowa City.

Method of Acquisition

The records (donor no. 138) were donated by Entre Nous in 1993 and subsequent years.

Derryn E. Moten and Robert J. Jett, 1993. Nickol Himschoot, 2004; Janet Weaver 2005.
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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)