The University of Iowa Libraries

The University of Iowa Libraries


Mary Dickens papers Edit




  • 1991-1993 and undated (Creation)


  • 7.00 items (Whole)

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  • Abstract

    Community activist, volunteer, and poet in Waterloo.

  • Arrangement

    One folder, shelved in SCVF.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    The papers are open for research.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

  • Method of Acquisition

    The papers (donor no. 430) were donated by Mary Dickens in 1997.

  • Preferred Citation

    Mary Dickens papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

  • Related Materials

    United Sisters of Black Hawk County records (IWA): Dickens is a member of this organization.

  • Scope and Contents

    The papers date from 1991 to 1993 and consist of seven items. The materials are comprised of newspaper clippings and poems. The newspaper clippings are photocopies of newspaper articles about National Night Out in Waterloo, dating from 1992, and an article, circa 1991, about Dickens's baking for shut-ins. The collection also includes photocopies of Dickens's poems. The first, "Just Say 'No' to Drugs," is photocopied from Great Poems of Our Time (Maryland, National Library of Poetry, 1993).

  • Biographical / Historical

    Mary Dickens was a Waterloo community activist and poet. Born August 20, 1925, Dickens grew up in Greenwood, Mississippi and spent 23 years in Chicago before moving to Waterloo in 1974. Her community involvement began in Chicago when she organized community residents and worked with mayor Richard Daley to get a swimming pool for their neighborhood. In Waterloo, she volunteered at four nursing homes and was active in Habitat for Humanity, Operation Threshold, Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA,) Waterloo Women's Civic Club, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the United Methodist Church, among other organizations. She headed Waterloo's National Night Out celebration for several years. Dickens's service to her community also included baking her famous pies and other treats for area shut-ins, school children, and the Salvation Army.