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Naomi Novick papers

Identifier: IWA0667

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Scope and Contents

The Naomi Novick papers date from 1922 to 2016 and measure 3.75 linear feet.

The Biographical series (1957-2009) includes Novick's wedding invitation and a handbook for home economics students at the University of Illinois in the 1950s. Art history papers Novick wrote at the University of Iowa in the 1970s are also in the Biographical series. The Resource files folder contains a publication from Iowa's Centennial entitled "100 Years of Progress", dated 1946.

The Personal Correspondence series (1983-2009) is mostly compromised of greeting cards from family and friends.

The Professional Correspondence series (1989-1997) relates to topical issues in Iowa City government. The series also includes letters regarding the shooting of Eric Shaw by an Iowa City police officer and the subsequent formation of a Police Citizens Review Board. The Iowa City Mayor and City council series includes donor lists and financial receipts from Novick's 1989 and 1993 campaigns for city council.

The Community Involvement series (1922-2016) consists of correspondence and brochures detailing Novick's involvement with groups such as Hancher Auditorium, the University of Iowa Foundation. Located here is the League of Women Voters subseries which details Novick's time spent volunteering with the organization, from meeting minutes to informational binders and publications on voting issues. The Community Involvement series provides insight into issues impacting the greater Iowa City community, including the Stepping Up Project to regulate liquor price specials and the fountain dedication for the twentieth anniversary of the pedestrian mall.

The Photographs (1957-2014) in Box 4 include professional shots of Novick serving in city government, as well as photographs of her at various community events kept with their corresponding letters. Photographs of Novick's trip to Yamanashi, Japan are also included.

The Artifacts series (1983-1996) consists of campaign buttons, calendars, a League of Women Voters tote bag, and name badges from various events. The "Betty" paper doll cutouts have a 1932 copyright.


  • Creation: 1922-2016


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

Naomi Spark Novick, mayor of Iowa City from 1996 to 1997, was born in Chicago in 1932 to Kay and Samuel Spark. Her mother was a homemaker and her father worked in commercial printing as a machinery operator. Naomi Spark earned a BS from the University of Illinois in 1955 and married Melvin Novick in 1957. From 1955 to 1959, Novick worked for Formfit Company, helping with their bra and girdle size standardization efforts.

The Novicks and their children lived in North Carolina, New Jersey and Wales before moving to Iowa City in 1970. She was involved in local and state organizations such as the League of Women Voters of Johnson County and the University of Iowa Art Museum, where she worked as a docent for several years. Following Melvin Novick´s death in 1986, she helped establish the Melvin R. Novick Award in Education Measurement and Statistics and the University of Iowa. Novick served on the Iowa City City Council from 1990 to 1997. She was chosen twice by her fellow council members to serve as mayor.


3.75 Linear Feet

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Iowa City city councilor from 1990 to 1997. Chosen twice to serve as mayor.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 640) were donated by Naomi Novick in 2001 and 2009.

Related Materials

League of Women Voters, Johnson County records (IWA): Novick was a member this organization.

Raphael Club, Iowa City, Iowa records (IWA): Novick was a member this organization.

Andrea Sheehan, 2003; Sharon M. Lake, 2008; Christine Mastalio, 2010; Abbie Steuhm, 2021.
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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)