The Alice Kelley papers date from 1888 to 2005 and measure 3.25 linear feet. The papers are arranged in five series: Biographical, Diaries, Memorabilia, Monthly Investment Group, and Photographs. The bulk of the papers consist of diaries Alice Kelley kept from 1926 through 2003-- the record of an Iowa woman from her childhood through old age-- and diaries her sister Mary Louise Kelley kept from 1958 to 1997.
The Biographical series (2002-2005) includes the transcript of a 2002 oral history interview with Kelley conducted by Ilene Hammond of the History Committee of the First United Methodist Church. Kelley reminisces about her early years, attending school, living on the Iowa River, going to Girl Scouts and joining the Church. She also recounts working at both the University of Iowa and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. The series also includes Kelley's obituary.
The Diaries series (1926-2003) includes daily diaries written by both Alice Kelley and her sister Mary Louise Kelley. The diaries include short entries on the weather, social activities, appointments and both local and national events, such as President Nixon's resignation and the attacks on the World Trade Center. Travel diaries written by Alice Kelley and her sister of their many trips throughout Europe and the U.S. complete the series.
The Memorabilia series (1888-2001) includes the oldest item in the collection, an autograph book belonging to Alice Kelley's mother, Hortense Westcott Kelley. Two autograph books from Alice Kelley's teenage years are included, as well as a notebook of the lyrics to love songs that she titled "Songs I Like." Alice Kelley and Mary Louise Kelley's reading diaries ("Books Read") consist of lists of books the Kelleys read along with a short description. Alice Kelley's scrapbook contains programs, invitations, and other ephemera from school and social events from her junior high days through college, roughly 1923 to 1938.
The Monthly Investment Group series (1991-2001) includes newspaper clippings, notes, the group's constitution and its membership records. Alice Kelley's secretary book with meeting minutes and attendance records is in the original binder. The Monthly Investment Group was modeled after the famous Beardstown Ladies Investment Club.
The Photographs series (1933-1997) includes photographs of Alice Kelley, her sister Mary Louise, her brother Emory, University of Iowa personalities (including Helene Scriabine, whose papers are preserved at the Iowa Women's Archives), and friends, taken after Kelley's retirement. Two albums in their original condition include one with undated photographs that appear to be taken early in the twentieth century. A second album contains photographs from the 1930s. Most of the photographs in these albums are of family and friends.