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Margaret Davis Collison papers

Identifier: IWA0083

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Scope and Contents

The Margaret Davis Collison papers measure 3.5 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1990. The papers are divided into three series: Personal, Board of Regents, and Political. The bulk of the papers document the issues occurring during Collison's tenure on the Iowa Board of Regents.

The Personal series (1937-1989) contains incoming and outgoing correspondence, newspaper clippings relating Collison's family and personal life, and several photographs. Also included are subject files detailing a large portion of Collison's non-regential activities, including conferences she was involved in and boards on which she served.

The Board of Regents series (1970-1981) consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence and of subject files which outline topics addressed by the Board. Papers concerning important issues dealt with during Collison's tenure including collective bargaining, credit by examination, dormitory and dining services, equal employment opportunity, and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School can be found in this series.

The Political series (1966-1982) is made up of materials concerning Collison's political activity, the bulk consisting of items from the Roxanne Conlin gubernatorial campaign. These provide an interesting contrast to the Roxanne Conlin papers (also held by the Iowa Women's Archives), in that they present detailed activities of the people who performed the laborious work of the campaign, as opposed to the more formal materials of the candidate herself.


  • Creation: 1937-1990


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

Margaret Davis Collison, a Democratic party activist and member of the Iowa Board of Regents in the 1970s, was born in Missouri, the daughter of F.W. Davis. Collison received an Associate of Arts degree from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri in 1940, and a B.S. in Nursing from Saint Louis University in 1943. It was here she met Robert M. Collison, and the two were married in 1943. They raised eleven children, in Oskaloosa Iowa, where the Collisons continue to reside.

Margaret Collison was chosen to sit on the Iowa Board of Regents in 1971. This body governs the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, the Iowa School for the Deaf, and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School. During her tenure on the Board, Collison dealt with many issues concerning each of these institutions, from dormitory and dining provision to hiring administrators to collective bargaining for faculty. Her term ended in 1977.

Collison was active politically and socially as well. She was a member of the League of Women Voters of Iowa; the Board of Directors of the Oskaloosa Retirement Homes, Inc.; the Festival Guild of Ames, Iowa; and the Board of Curators of Stephens College. She was actively involved in Roxanne Conlin's unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign of 1982 as a coordinator of polling volunteers. She worked on an oral history project, "Conversations with Three Women of the Heartland", a documentary of the lives of Mary Louise Smith, Dora Wilson, and Bernadine Pieper. Collison also attended and participated in numerous conferences, including "Iowa in the World Economy", "The Way Up" #I and II, "Racism: A Women's Issue", and "Building Math Confidence".


3.50 Linear Feet

2 audiocassettes [AC119-AC120]; Photographs in Box 7 boxes

Language of Materials



Member of the Iowa Board of Regents who was also active in Roxanne Conlin's gubernatorial campaign of 1982.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 140) were donated byMargaret Davis Collison in 1993.

Stuart Hinds, 1993 and Kirsten Clark, 1994.
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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)