Skip to main content

Cornelia Shrauger Day papers

Identifier: IWA0328

  • Staff Only
  • Please navigate to collection organization to place requests.

Scope and Contents

The Cornelia Day papers date from 1890 to 2004 and measure 9 linear feet. The papers are arranged in seven series: Biographical, Correspondence, Foreign visitors, Foreign travel, Community activities, Photographs, and Scrapbooks. The papers consist of correspondence, memorabilia, and photographs of the Shrauger and Day families as well as materials highlighting Day's commitment to the local, national, and international community.

The Biographical series includes information about Cornelia Shrauger Day, her husband Robert Day, and their sons; high school and college and memorabilia; and Shrauger family history.

The bulk of the Correspondence series is devoted to letters written by Cornelia Day to her parents from 1936 to 1984. Letters from her husband, Robert Day, before their marriage in 1940 and many written during World War II from the Pacific, where he served as an officer in the United States Navy, are part of this series. Also included are letters to Cornelia Day's father-in-law Wilbur Day, from her children Dennis and Ed, and from her sister Virginia Shrauger Jones. The entire set of the Christmas letters from Cornelia and Robert Day to their friends and family (1945-1994) completes the series.

The Days' involvement with the international community is revealed in the Foreign visitors series which documents, mostly in the form of correspondence, their participation in the Experiment in International Living and the Governmental Affairs Institute, a private cultural exchange organization in Washington, D. C. Folders for each of the more than sixty foreign visitors the Days hosted are arranged alphabetically. Photos and correspondence with some of these visitors can be found in the foreign visitors scrapbook and in the Visitor Service Program folders.

The Foreign travel series includes itineraries, correspondence, brochures and diaries of the Days many trips abroad, arranged chronologically by trip.

Cornelia Day's civic involvement is documented in the Community activities series comprising information primarily about her involvement in the YWCA and Planned Parenthood of Southeast Iowa. Materials from other organizations to which Day belonged, and histories she wrote of the Presbyterian church in Washington, Iowa, and the YWCA in that community complete the series. There is also considerable information about these activities in the Scrapbooks series.

The Photographs series contains an album kept by Cornelia Shrauger Day in the 193os and 1940s as well as photographs of the Day family and a sketch of Cornelia Shrauger Day drawn by her aunt Lilian Prentiss Schwartz.

The Scrapbooks contain a mix of family material and information about Cornelia Day's civic activities, as well as writings and letters.


  • Creation: 1890-2004


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

Cornelia Shrauger Day was born on May 7, 1919, the daughter of Cornelia Prentiss Shrauger and Harold Shrauger, Sr. of Atlantic, Iowa. Her grandfather was Dr. H. J. Prentiss (1867-1931), head of the anatomy department at the University of Iowa; her grandmother, Lue Bradley Prentiss (1868-1922). Day's brother was Harold Shrauger, Jr. (1916-2004) and her sister, Virginia S. Jones (1921- ).

Cornelia Shrauger attended Atlantic High School and graduated from the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa) in 1940 with a degree in journalism. In 1940 she and (John) Robert Day, a law student at the university, were married. Cornelia Day attended law school at the University of Georgia and Iowa. Following her husband's service in World War II, the Days moved to Washington, Iowa, where she lives now. Their two children, Dennis and Edward, were adopted in 1954 and 1957, respectively.

Cornelia Day worked as a journalist for the Washington Evening Journal from 1948 until 1951, when she began her illustrious career as a devoted community activist. She was active, locally and nationally, in the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Planned Parenthood, and UNICEF. She was deeply committed to numerous programs for social reform and was officially recognized for her outstanding contributions. She was recognized as the YWCA Friend of the Child (1990) and was elected to the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame (1990).

In 1995 the Days received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from the University of Iowa. The Days hosted more than one hundred foreign visitors through the Experiment in International Living, a national program with headquarters in Vermont; the Foreign Leader Exchange Program of the U.S. State Department; the Rotary Club Foreign Student Exchange Program and the American Field Service Student Program. Cornelia Day and her husband were inveterate travelers, having visited all fifty states and more than fifty countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.


9.00 Linear Feet

Photographs in boxes 10 and 17. boxes

Language of Materials



Educated in journalism and law. Washington, Iowa, resident active in YWCA, Planned Parenthood and UNICEF.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 218) were donated by Cornelia Day in 1994 and succeeding years and Dianne Day in 2001 and suceeding years, as well as (donor no. 1290) donated an addition in 2013.

Related Materials

Bradley Family papers. Iowa Women's Archives. The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Virginia Jones papers. Iowa Women's Archives. The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Prentiss Family Papers. Iowa Women's Archives. The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Shrauger Family Papers. Iowa Women's Archives. The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Natalie S. Brody, 1995; Robert Jett, 1999; Christine Mastalio, 2010; Megan Blaue, 2012; Margaret Halterman, 2013; Heidi Stofer, 2018.
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)