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Birdie Sears papers

Identifier: IWA0903

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Scope and Contents

The Birdie Sears papers date from 1875 to 2013 and measure 2.5 linear inches. The focal point of the collection is Sears' childhood autograph book from 1875. Sears' friends and family autographed its pages, and in subsequent years, Sears annotated the book with quick "updates" on her friends' marriages and whereabouts. She also included newspaper clippings, business cards, event invitations, dried flowers, and short diary entries inside the book.


  • Creation: 1875-2013


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

Bertha "Birdie" Sears Murphy was born to Isaac and Nancy Sears in Davenport, Iowa, in 1861, the sixth of seven children. She married George Holmes Murphy, a civil engineer, in 1893; they had one daughter, Adah, in 1896. Birdie Sears died in 1938.


2.50 linear inches

Language of Materials



Autograph book and genealogy of 19th century Iowa woman.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 219) were donated by Karen Mason in 2013.

Catherine Babikian
Language of description
Script of description

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)