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Marlene Booth Papers

Identifier: IWA0447

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Scope and Contents

The Marlene Booth papers measure five linear inches and are split into 3 series: Personal, Film Making, and Audio/Visual.

The Personal series consists of a family photo of the women in Booth's family taken on Passover in 1955, and a Hebrew workbook for children entitled Shalom Yeladim (1951), a Hebrew pimer Boker Tov and a book entitles Mother Goose Rhymes for Jewish Children.

The Film Making series covers the film making career of Marlene Booth with particular emphasis on the late 1990s. The series includes contracts, film festival entries, publicity, and newspaper clippings having to do with Booth’s films.

The Audio/Visual series contains DVD copies of several of Booth’s films from the 1980s-2009 including Yidl in the Middle, which focuses on growing up Jewish in Iowa, and Pidgin: The Voice of Hwai’I, which won the Audience Award at the Hawaii International Film Festival.


  • Creation: 1951- 2009


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

Marlene Booth was born in 1948 in Des Moines, Iowa, attending public school there and graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1966. During her childhood Booth's family lived in the old Jewish neighborhood near the former Jewish Community Center. When she was ten years old her family moved to the neighborhood near Roosevelt High School. She attended Beloit College in Wisconsin, graduating in 1970, and earned her M.F.A. in film at Yale. During her junior year in college she married Avi Soifer, with whom she has two children. Booth is an independent filmmaker who owns her own company, Raphael Films. Her 1998 film 'Yidl in the Middle' explores her memory of growing up Jewish in Middle America, which in her case is Des Moines, Iowa. This film was funded by a grant from the Iowa Humanities Board.


5.00 linear inches

1 videocassette [VR7537]; 6 DVD [d0305 - d0310] boxes

Language of Materials



Jewish independent filmmaker raised in Des Moines, Iowa.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 740) were donated by Marlene Booth in 2000.

Margaret Richardson, 2001; Anna Tunnicliff, 2016
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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)