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Vina Thorpe papers

Identifier: IWA0253

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Scope and Contents

The Vina Thorpe papers date from 1893 to 1995 and measure 12.25 linear inches. The papers are arranged in four series: Personal, Professional, Travel columns, and Photographs.

The Personal series (1893, 1900, 1907-1995) contains many of Thorpe's writings about herself, her family's history, and other interests including the Questers, a group devoted to promoting the study and appreciation of antiques and their historical backgrounds. There is also biographical information on her husband Ray Thorpe, and some correspondence. Vina Thorpe's journals(1979-1995) concern her daily activities, thoughts, and concerns.

The Professional series (1953-1975 and undated) contains information on Thorpe Publications and many of the "Linotype Chatter" columns she wrote for the Thorpe newspapers.

The Travel columns series (1948-1967) contains the travelogue columns Thorpe wrote while on vacation plus photographs which she took on her trips.

The Photographs series (1893-1986 and undated) contains many photographs of Thorpe and her family, several of which pre-date her birth. Other photographs are of her travels and of the people employed by Thorpe Publications.


  • Creation: 1893-1995


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

Vina Roberts was born on March 25, 1906 in Centerville, Iowa, to Clyde L. and Dora Belle Roberts. Roberts married Ray Thorpe in 1933. She worked at Western Union for twenty years before quitting to join her husband in the newspaper business in 1947. Together they ran Thorpe Publications in Des Moines, Iowa, which published and distributed nine weekly newspapers in central Iowa, among them the Grimes Citizen and the Waukee Citizen. Even after her husband died in 1961, Thorpe continued to write for and edit the weekly newspapers her husband had established.


12.25 linear inches

Photographs in boxes 1-4 boxes

Language of Materials



Des Moines newspaper columnist and editor who ran Thorpe Publications with her husband.

Method of Acquisition

The papers were donated by Vina Thorpe (donor no. 355) and Deborah Conger (donor no. 358) in 1996.

Related Materials

Wilma Belden Collins papers (IWA): Collins was a newspaper correspondent for Thorpe Publications Weekly from 1946 to 1947.

Kristen Rassbach, 1996.
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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)