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Arlene Morris papers

Identifier: IWA0276

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Scope and Contents

The Arlene Morris papers date from 1946 to 1996 and measure 1 linear inch. The collection consists primarily of materials related to the Know Your Neighbor panel, including a scrapbook of newspaper clippings and two magazine articles. A handwritten list of biographical information and a copy of the first issue of Eyes magazine are also included in the collection.


  • Creation: 1946-1996


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

Arlene J. Roberts Morris was born on April 7, 1926 and grew up in Moline, Illinois. While a college student, Morris appeared on the cover of the first issue of Eyes magazine, an early publication relating to African-American life and culture, in 1946. She also served on its staff.

Morris graduated from the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa) in 1946. Arlene Roberts married attorney James B. Morris, Jr., in 1948. James Morris was the son of James Morris, Sr., a long-time publisher of the Iowa State Bystander, an African-American newspaper. Arlene Morris and her husband settled in Des Moines and had three sons, James III (Brad), William, and Robert.

From 1960 to 1967 Morris participated on the Know Your Neighbor Panel. The panel traveled around Iowa, as well as to several other states and Washington D.C., speaking about tolerance among races and religions. It consisted of women from different racial backgrounds, African-American, Japanese-American, and Caucasian as well as women of different religious backgrounds, Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish.

In 1967, Arlene Morris earned an M.A. in psychology from Drake University in Des Moines. She worked as a clinical psychologist at Broadlawns Medical Center from 1967 to 1991. She was the first African-American woman psychologist to be licensed by the Iowa State Board of Psychology. During the 1980s, Morris served on the Iowa Advisory Committee of the United States Civil Rights Commission for more than three years. Arlene Morris passed away in 2016.


1.00 linear inch

Language of Materials



Clinical psychologist and University of Iowa alumna who was a member of the Des Moines Know Your Neighbor panel.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 379) were donated by Arlene Morris in 1996.

Existence and Location of Originals

African American Women in Iowa Digital Collection:

Related Materials

In the University Archives, University of Iowa: A small volume of subsequent issues of Eyes, 1946-1947, may be found.

June Goldman papers (IWA): Goldman was also a member of the Know Your Neighbor panel.

Lillian Moore Scales papers (IWA): Scales was Morris's cousin.

Kristen Rassbach, 1997.
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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)