Skip to main content

Janet Shipton papers

Identifier: IWA0264

  • Staff Only
  • Please navigate to collection organization to place requests.

Scope and Contents

The Janet Attlee Shipton papers date from 1936 to 1991 and measure 3 linear feet. The papers are arranged in three series: Biographical, Political, and Business.

The Biographical series contains many letters to Shipton at boarding school and college, and while a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) during World War II. Upon her move to the United States Shipton maintained an active correspondence with many people in England, both family and friends. Shipton corresponded extensively with her long-time friend, Joan O'Donovan, a British poet and novelist. Included are two letters from her father, Clement Attlee, Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1945 to 1951. There is correspondence and other material regarding Shipton's daughters, Ann Shipton and Susan Collins, as they matriculated through public school and college and then into marriage and family.

The Political series concerns Shipton's activity in the political arena, beginning with her volunteer work with the Hoover Health Council and the Johnson County Health Council and her elected position on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. The collection contains complete minutes and assorted correspondence of the Board of Supervisors for 1979-1980, papers and programs from the League of Women Voters, the Iowa 2000 Project, the Missouri Women's Network, and the Older Women's League.

The Business series reveals Shipton's business involvement. She built a fourplex in West Branch, Iowa, which she rented only to low-income people. In Missouri she invested in and managed the ABC Condominiums.

The Artifacts are two handbags dating from the early 1940s.


  • Creation: 1936-1991


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

Janet Attlee, politician, was born in 1923 in England to Clement and Violet Attlee. She married Harold Shipton in 1947 and moved with him and their two daughters to the United States in 1958, settling in Iowa City. They relocated to St. Louis, Missouri in 1980.

Her life's work has involved advocacy for community well-being wherever she has lived. As an articulate speaker and concise writer, she was an early organizer of the Hoover Health Council, was active in the Johnson County Health Council, and was Johnson County coordinator of Iowa 2000.

In 1976 she ran for the position of Johnson County Supervisor and lost, but won the position in 1978. She announced her candidacy for the 1980 election but withdrew when the move to St. Louis presented itself. Other organizations in which Shipton provided leadership include the League of Women Voters in both Iowa and Missouri, the Missouri Women's Network where she established a Voter's Registration Project and a state-wide mammography conference, and the Missouri Older Women's League. Janet Shipton passed away in 2019.


3.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Political activist and Johnson County, Iowa, supervisor who was the daughter of British Prime Minister Clement Attlee.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 368) were donated by Janet Attlee Shipton in 1996.

Margaret Richardson, 1998.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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)