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Nancy V. "Rusty" Barceló Papers

Identifier: RG99.0351

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Scope and Contents

The Nancy V. "Rusty" Barceló papers date from 1946 to 2005 and measure 5 linear feet. The collection is organized into five series: Personal, Professional Career, Photographs, Family History and Artifacts.

The Personal series focuses on Barceló's youth, education and participation in sports, and includes correspondence with her family.

The Professional Career series is separated into several sub-series. The University of Oregon sub-series focuses on the years 1973-1975 during which Barceló held the position of Educational Opportunity Services Coordinator. The series includes reports prepared by that office, files documenting challenges faced by minority students and conflicts between groups on campus.

The sub-series University of Iowa represents the bulk of the collection and is arranged chronologically. This series reflects Barceló's career advances and her professional interests as well as her involvement with students on and off campus and with the larger community. The series illustrates the ways in which Barceló's work as student, administrator, community member and activist often intersected. Barceló's work for Opportunity at Iowa recruiting minority students to the University brought her into contact with Latino communities throughout the Midwest. As a result, the University of Iowa series is a rich source of information on Latinos and other minorities, not only in Iowa but in the Midwest. Materials documenting the history of Latinos in Iowa include a 1963 economic survey of Cook's Point, a Mexican-American community in the railroad yards of Davenport.

The University of Minnesota and University of Washington sub-series include correspondence, speeches and newspaper articles from 1996-2002.

The Northern New Mexico College sub-series includes articles, brochures, and inauguration ceremony ephemera relating to Barcelo's appointment as president of the college in 2010.

The majority of the Photographs are unidentified and undated. They include a wide range of social, academic and political activities.

The Family History series contains photocopies of legal documents and correspondence pertaining to Barceló's ancestors and their military service in Mexico. Due to their fragility, the original documents are closed.

The Artifacts series consists of materials pertaining to Barceló's activism, including a banner and a medal.


  • Creation: 1946-2005


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research with the exception of: personal correspondence and personnel files in Box 17 and Box 18.

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

Born in Merced, California on June 5, 1946, activist and administrator Nancy "Rusty" Barceló earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Welfare and Corrections from Chico State University in 1969. Barceló arrived at the University of Iowa as a graduate student in 1970. In 1971 she and fellow students Antonio Zavalla and Ruth Pushetonequa founded the Chicano Indian-American Student Union (CIASU). Barceló earned her Master of Arts in Recreational Education in 1972. She left the University of Iowa to assume the position of Coordinator of Educational Opportunity Services at the University of Oregon from 1973 to 1975. After her time in Oregon, Barceló returned to the University of Iowa where, in 1980, she became the first Mexican-American to earn a doctoral degree from the university.

Following her graduation, Barceló was hired by the University of Iowa, where she served as Acting Director of Affirmative Action (1982-1983), Director of Summer Session (1981-1987), Associate Director, Opportunity at Iowa, (1987-1994), Assistant Dean (1981-1995) and Assistant Provost, Opportunity at Iowa (1995-1996). From 1996 to 2001, Barceló was Associate Vice President for Multicultural Affairs and the Chair of the Chicana Studies Department at the University of Minnesota. She left that position in 2001 to become the Vice President for Minority Affairs and Diversity at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Barceló is credited as the moving force behind the National Initiative for Women in Higher Education (NIWHE). Since moving to Washington, she has chaired Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS) and the Washington State Native American Advisory Board (NAAB). Her honors include establishment of the Rusty Barceló Award at the University of Minnesota that honors faculty, staff and students who, through their own work on campus, foster multicultural community building. In 2004, Barceló received the Ohtli award, a special recognition presented by the Mexican government to Mexicans or Latinos whose work has benefited Mexicans living abroad.


5.00 Linear Feet

8 audiocassettes [AC860-AC867, AC1580 - AC1582] shelved with audiocassette collection, 11 videocassettes [V511 - V521] shelved in videocassette collection, Photographs in boxes 13-14 items

Language of Materials



Activist and administrator at the University of Iowa whose papers provide insight into Latino life and culture in Iowa and across the Midwest.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 267) were donated by Rusty Barceló in 1999 and ensuing years.

Sandi Solis, 2002 and Lisa Mott, 2005.
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242