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Lulu Merle Johnson papers

Identifier: IWA0550

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Scope and Contents

The Lulu Merle Johnson papers date from 1930 to 1995 and measure 1 linear inch. The papers consist of Johnson's diplomas from the State University of Iowa, newspaper clippings, and photocopies of the title pages and tables of contents of her master's thesis and dissertation.


  • Creation: 1930-1995


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

Lulu Merle Johnson was born in 1907 in Gravity, Iowa, and graduated from Clinton High School in 1925. She earned both a BA and an MA in 1930 from the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa). In 1941, Johnson received a PhD in American History from the State University of Iowa, becoming the first African American woman in the state to earn a doctorate. The title of Johnson's dissertation is "The Problem of Slavery in the Old Northwest, 1787-1858." Lulu Johnson taught history at Talladega College (Alabama), Tougaloo College (Mississippi), Florida A and M University, and West Virginia State College before joining Cheyney State University (Pennsylvania) in 1952 as a history professor and dean of women. Johnson was a lifelong member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She retired in 1971 and died in 1995.


1.00 linear inch

Language of Materials



An African American woman from Gravity, Iowa, who earned an MA in 1930 and a PhD in 1941 in American history from the State University of Iowa.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 975) were donated by Richard Culbertson in 2001.

Related Materials

Johnson's master's thesis and doctoral dissertation are shelved with both the University of Iowa Libraries theses and Special Collections Department: "The Negro in Canada, Slave and Free," 1930 (T1930 .J671); "The Problem of Slavery in the Old Northwest, 1787-1858," 1941 (T1941 .J672).

Elizabeth Engel, 2006; Sharon M. Lake, 2007.
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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)