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Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

Six-on-Six Girls Basketball in Iowa collection dates from 1920 to 2018 and measures 5 linear inches.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the end of 6-on-6 girls’ basketball in Iowa, the Iowa Women’s Archives produced a travelling exhibition entitled 6-on-6 Basketball and the Legacy of Girls’ and Women’s Sport in Iowa. The exhibit focused on this unique sport that was a central feature of community life in Iowa communities from 1920 to 1995. Using materials from the Iowa Women’s Archives (IWA) supplemented by additional research conducted by undergraduate American Studies students at the University of Iowa, IWA produced an exhibit that consists of seven banners measuring just under four feet by seven feet. These banners summarize different moments in the history of 6-on-6 basketball as they related to girls’ and women’s sport in Iowa and the United States. They highlight important themes: Traditions (1900-1929), Expansion (1930-1959), Challenges (1960-1979), Transitions (1980-1995), and Legacies. A corresponding digital map of girls’ basketball tournament data illustrates the impact of 6-on-6 and 5-on-5 basketball in rural and urban Iowa communities.

The exhibit travelled around the state in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street national touring exhibition Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America and Main Street Iowa’s local exhibitions. Between March 2018 and January 2019, the IWA visited six Iowa towns spread across the state (Mount Vernon, Ottumwa, Guthrie Center, Jefferson, Ames, and Conrad). Curator Kären Mason and lecturer Jennifer Sterling gave gallery talks or presentations at each site; at five sites they collected materials for the IWA from the attendees and recorded interviews. After the national Hometown Teams project was completed, Mason and Sterling were invited to bring their exhibit to two towns not on the original list (Grinnell and New Hampton) and to give gallery talks there.

The collection consists of one series made up of individual experiences with six-on-six basketball in Iowa. Notable names within the collection include 1968 State Championship star Janet Scharnberg and 1995 University of Iowa women’s basketball coach Angie Lee. Among the six-on-six ephemera are newspaper clippings and pamphlets documenting the excitement and passion rural Iowan’s had for the game. One such newspaper article highlights the longevity of the game in Iowa, comparing the State Champion teams of Newhall Van Horne from 1927 and 1962. While most of the collection comes from the mid-century, it is important to note the ability for 6 on 6 girls’ basketball to continue across the generations. The collection is arranged alphabetically by donor’s last name.


  • Creation: 1920 - 2018

Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.


From the Collection: 5 linear inches

From the Collection: 1 DVD (d:0558) : Shelved in the digital collections

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

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)