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Iowa Federation of Colored Women's Clubs Records

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: IWA0430

Scope and Contents

This small collection includes two editions of a short history of the Iowa Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, authored by Lenola Allen-Sommerville; proceedings from annual meetings in 1979 and 2005; promotional material; and a few photographs. The collection also contains material related to the Iowa Federation Home, such as newspaper clippings; a copy of Richard Breaux’s 2002 Journal of African American History article about the Home; and a list of the names of African American women who lived at the Home and/or were students at the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa) 1907-1947. Also included is a 1929 booklet with information about the history and operation of the Iowa Federation Home, as well as costs and regulations for prospective residents.


  • Creation: 1929-2020

Conditions Governing Access

The records 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

The Iowa Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs was founded in 1902 and became affiliated with the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs in 1910, joining a nationwide network of over 10,000 Black clubwomen. One of the stated objectives of the early Iowa State Federation was “To secure harmony of action and co-operation among all women in raising to the highest plane home, moral and civil life.” The Iowa Federation held annual meetings in cities across the state, bringing together officers, delegates, and club members to hear reports about club business, listen to speeches and papers, and pass resolutions that signaled their commitment to particular projects.

In 1919, the Iowa Federation purchased a home in Iowa City to provide room and board to African American women attending the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa). Between 1919 and 1951, the Iowa Federation Home at 942 Iowa Avenue served young women who faced exclusion from university dormitories and limited housing options in a racially segregated city. The Iowa Federation Home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2020, along with Tate Arms, which provided housing for African American students at the University of Iowa 1940-1961. Tate Arms was a private property owned and operated by Elizabeth “Bettye” Tate and Junious “Bud” Tate.


3 folders

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The records (donor no. 629) were donated by Richard Breaux in 1999.

Iowa Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs records
Heather Cooper, 2021; Emma Barton-Norris, 2023.
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)