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Mary Berg papers

Identifier: IWA0541

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Scope and Contents

The Mary Berg papers date from 1911 to 2004 and measure 4.75 linear feet. The papers are arranged in eight series: Biographical, Anna Berg, Publications, Presentations, Professional Development, Research Files, Photographs, and Artifacts.

The Biographical series (1950-2004) includes information on Berg's childhood, hobbies, and friends, including National Philharmonic Director Stan Engebretson. Also included is Berg's personal correspondence and materials related to Berg's induction into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame. Berg's CVs, professional biographies, and newspaper clippings that feature Berg's work are also part of this series.

The Anna Berg series (1911-2001) consists of materials related to Mary Berg's mother Anna Margaret Skramstad Berg, a native of North Dakota. A significant portion of the series contains information on the Skramstad family including several brief memoirs on the family's history. Two scrapbooks contain memorabilia from Anna Skramstad Berg's school years and newspaper clippings about North Dakota and the Skramstad family. Other materials include photocopied photographs and Anna Berg's mother's nursing diploma, dated 1911. The series also includes several books, some of which are written in Norwegian, and Anna Berg's travel journals from the family's trips to Europe. Correspondence in the series mostly consists of weekly letters from Anna Berg to her daughter, Mary Berg. In addition, the series includes substantial information about Anna Berg's illness and death.

The Publications series (1982-2001) is comprised of Berg's published work and conference papers on gender-related health issues. The four books Berg co-edited complete the series.

The Presentations series (1987-2001) includes materials used in, or related to, Berg's presentations at pharmaceutical and women's health conferences around the world. These materials are organized chronologically and include abstracts, lecture notes, presentation slides, as well as brochures and booklets from the conferences.

The Professional Development series (1985-2004) includes materials on conferences Berg helped organize as well as several committees on which she served. It also includes scholarly papers written by Neil Cummings, a colleague of Berg's, which Mary Berg edited. This series contains information on Berg's activities at the University of Iowa including her efforts to become the first women full professor in the College of Pharmacy.

The Research Files series (1987-2002) includes publications and newspaper articles related to Berg's research. It also includes newspaper articles related to gender inequity in academia and the field of pharmacy.

The Photographs series (1911-2002) is comprised of family and professional photographs. Included are Anna Skramstad Berg's photograph albums from her childhood and teenage years. The Artifacts series (1974-1978) includes two mortar and pestles given to Berg upon receipt of her MA and PhD, and a small fabric banner from Berg's lecture series at China Pharmaceutical University.


  • Creation: 1911-2004


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

Mary J. Berg, pharmacist and scholar, was born in 1950 in Fargo, North Dakota, to Ordean and Anna Margaret (Skramstad) Berg. Berg earned a BS in pharmacy from North Dakota State University in 1974 and a doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Kentucky in 1978. In 1980, Berg became an assistant professor at the University of Iowa and in 1995, she was the first woman promoted to full professor in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Iowa. Berg retired in 2004.

Berg achieved international prominence for her work on gender-related differences in medication response and her efforts to foster the role of women in pharmacy. Berg co-edited four books, published over fifty articles, and gave numerous presentations around the world on women in pharmacy and gender-related health issues. She was an active member of numerous professional organizations including Kappa Epsilon, the Advisory Committee to the Office of Research on Women's Health for the National Institutes of Health, and the Society for the Advancement of Women's Health Research, which she served as a member of its board of directors from 1998 to 2002. In 1999, Berg was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame. Berg passed away in 2004.


4.75 Linear Feet

Photographs in boxes 10-11; 2 videocassettes [V383-V384] boxes

Language of Materials



Pharmacist and professor at The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 974) were donated by Maureen Donovan in 2004.

Sarah M. Dorpinghaus, 2008.
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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)