Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC) records
Scope and Contents
The Administration series (1971-1997) includes WRAC's constitution and mission statements as well as advisory board records, financial information, reports, correspondence, evidence of WRAC's political action, logs and minutes, and other documents related to the organization's administrative and bureaucratic functions. Materials document activities and changes on multiple levels. For instance, desk logs provide a micro-level view of daily activities while the correspondence between the WRAC coordinator and Philip Jones, of the Office of the Vice President of Student Services and Dean of Academic Affairs, includes slightly broader, weekly updates; annual reports summarize the events of an entire year.
The Programming and services series (1960-1997) documents WRAC's outreach to the local community. It contains information on workshops, events, and on-going services provided by WRAC. These activities touch on issues such as divorce, career planning, racism, health, class, pornography, sexuality, and equal rights. Eight videos from WRAC's anniversaries document celebrations that include speeches, musical performances, and discussion sessions from the 20th anniversary conference.
The Publicity series (1976-2000) consists of three parts. The General folder contains WRAC brochures and flyers. The three Programs folders include flyers, calendars, and other materials promoting specific events. Much of this material refers to WRAC's brown bag lunches, a series of noon hour talks sponsored by WRAC. Larger posters of events conclude the series.
The Subsidiary organizations series (1975-1993) includes the records of organizations directly connected to WRAC. The largest portion of these records relate to the Women's Coffeehouse (also known as the Studio Project) and the Association of Student Women (ASW). The Women's Coffeehouse opened in 1979 as a local women-only space available "for almost any kind of event." Its location was kept confidential and advertising was posted only at women-oriented spaces such as WRAC and the Plains Woman Bookstore. This series includes organizational and financial records of the Coffeehouse.
The Association of Student Women (ASW) operated as a collective organization interested in changing "subtle and not so subtle oppressive, restrictive, and sexist attitudes regarding women." The WRAC coordinator acted as an advisor to the group. ASW sponsored speakers and activities, and was also involved in the Street Lighting and Safety Project. Photographs documenting Iowa City's lighting problem are included in this series. The series includes records of six other local groups sponsored by WRAC that addressed issues such as lesbian and gay identity, sexual assault, domestic violence, and the history of women's oppression.
The Resources series (1972-1989) begins with information about groups not formally related to WRAC but nevertheless of interest to its constituency. In some instances, WRAC networked with these groups. For example, WRAC and the Johnson County/Iowa City chapter of the National Organization of Women (NOW) cosponsored a Women's Equality Day event. The series contains files with information for women on local services in Iowa, some especially for women new to the area. Thirty-five topical files contain pamphlets and publications from national organizations on women's issues; a cross-reference guide is included at the beginning of the topical files. The series concludes with newspaper clippings, bibliographies on women's studies topics, theses, dissertations, and self-published books.
The At the Center research files series (2002) contains information related to the creation of a history of WRAC, At the Center: Thirty Years of Activism and Communities published in 2002 for WRAC's thirtieth anniversary. The series includes correspondence, history, publication details, and a copy of the book itself. Oral history interviews were conducted in conjunction with the publication of At the Center and the thirtieth anniversary. The WRAC Oral History Project series (2001-2003) contains transcriptions and audiocassettes of the interviews. A few women sent memoirs, also included in the series.
The Oversize materials series contains photograph albums from WRAC, business cards of women owned businesses located in Iowa City, oversized posters, and a paste-up for WRAC's 10th anniversary t-shirt.
The Photographs series (undated) consists of unlabeled loose photographs of the WRAC building and others of unidentified people, slides, and a photo album.
The Newsletters series (1975-2012) contains scattered issues of WRAC's newsletter, including current issues as well as clip art and cartoons related to feminism and women's issues used for mock-ups.
The Artifacts series (1996-2002) consists of ten t-shirts of Iowa events sponsored by or related to WRAC. The series includes shirts from Iowa City lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) events, Iowa women's music festivals, and Take Back the Night marches.
The audiovisual series contains several recordings of programs held at the Women's Resource and Action Center.
- University of Iowa. Women's Resource and Action Center (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
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 https://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc/services/rights/
Biographical / Historical
Over time the University has expanded its support of WRAC. For instance, in 1975 the WRAC coordinator's position was changed from half-time to full-time. WRAC's funding is somewhat complex. According to a 1977 informational statement on WRAC's finances, WRAC was classified as a university department, a student organization, and a community organization. It developed one budget as a department under Student Services and submitted another to the student senate for funding as a student organization. It also received community support, primarily in the form of individual donations and volunteer time.
Over the years, WRAC has grown to be a multi-service agency which seeks both to improve the status of women as a group and to meet the needs of individual women. In order to accomplish these goals, WRAC acts as a referral center for community and state services for women, supports a small library of feminist materials, publishes a newsletter, maintains resource information on counseling about such issues as rape, sexuality, and careers, and sponsors workshops, speakers and conferences addressing women's concerns. Additionally, WRAC supports a variety of cultural activities. The center has held brown bag lunch series which provide a forum for discussing a wide range of feminist issues. It has also promoted plays, concerts, films, sports events and art exhibits. WRAC provides office space for organizations serving the needs of women. In the past, the Lesbian Alliance (LA), Women Against Racism (WAR), the Johnson County-Iowa City National Organization of Women and the Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP), among others, were housed at WRAC.
16.00 linear feet
Artifacts in Box 27: 18 audiocassettes [AC270, 904-920, 1583], 23 videocassettes [V362-370], [960 - 963] Photographs in boxes 7, 11, 22-23, 44 boxes
Language of Materials
Method of Acquisition
- 20th century
- Administrative records
- Archives (groupings)
- Career development
- Child abuse
- Child care
- College students
- College teachers
- Cultural artifacts
- Family violence
- Iowa City (Iowa)
- Oral histories
- Sex crimes
- Sex discrimination against women
- Sex discrimination in higher education
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual minorities
- Social service
- Sound recordings
- Spousal abuse
- Transgender people
- University of Iowa. Women's Resource and Action Center
- Video recordings
- Vocational guidance
- Women -- Societies and clubs
- Women's rights
- Working class women
- University of Iowa. Women's Resource and Action Center (Organization)
- Marnie Schroer, 1995; Robert Jett, 1998; Kate Stewart, 2007; Karissa Haugeberg, 2007; Heidi Stofer, 2018.
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note