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Iowa City Women's Press records

Identifier: IWA0220

  • Staff Only
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Scope and Contents

The Iowa City Women's Press records date from 1973 to 1985 and measure 2.25 linear feet. The records are arranged in five series: Administration (1977-1985), Photographs (1981-1984 and undated), Printed works published by Iowa City Women's Press (1972-1985 and undated), Printed works published by other women's presses (1978-1981), and Artifacts.

The Administration series (1977-1985) contains minutes from the staff meetings of November 1984 to July 1985 including discussions leading up to the decision to close the Press. The financial records from 1977 to 1984 reveal the challenges facing the operation of the Press. Advertisements and publicity, correspondence, and various works of art and cartoons complete the series. Also included are posters printed for the Women's Coffee House, which was administered by the Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC) of Iowa City. (See Box 9 of the WRAC records for further information.) In the minutes of the ICWP references are made to the Lesbian Alliance, which was housed by WRAC. ( See Box 10 of the WRAC records for further information).

The Photographs series (1981-1984 and undated), includes photographs of women working at ICWP (ca. 1981) and at a Midwest conference for women printers in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1984 and the photographs for Black Lesbians: an annotated bibliography (1981).

The bulk of the collection is devoted to printed works in Printed works published by the Iowa City Women's Press (1972-1985 and undated) and Printed works published by other women's presses (1978-1981). In addition to bound volumes, The ICWP series also includes collections of women's poetry in Brainchild 4 (1977) and Womanspirit (1984); Maize, A Lesbian Country Magazine (1983-1985); two calendars depicting women's interests and the cycles of the moon; and layouts, photographs, and text for a book, The Greasy Thumb Auto Mechanics Manual for Women, by Barb Wyatt and Julie Zolot (1976). A smaller number of bound volumes comprises the series.  Printed works published by other women's presses.

Artifacts consist of two ICWP signs.


  • Creation: 1973-1985


Conditions Governing Access

The records are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been retained by the donor.

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

From 1973 to 1985 the Iowa City Women's Press (ICWP) published and printed material pertinent to women's lives. Beginning with $2000 and only a few part-time volunteers, the Press expanded to six owner/workers and a much larger facility. By 1984 annual sales totaled $130,000. However, the Press was faced with economic competition from well-capitalized print shops using laser and computer technologies and producing books more cheaply than ICWP. The ICWP was forced to cease publication in 1985.


2.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Iowa City publisher and printer of lesbian and feminist books that existed from 1973 to 1985.

Method of Acquisition

The records (donor no. 305) were donated by Sandy Pickup in 1995 and succeeding years.

Related Materials

Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC) records (IWA)

Erin E. Barber, 1996; Natalie Brody, 1998; Robert Jett, 1999.
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Script of description
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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)