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National League of American Pen Women, Iowa City Branch records

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: IWA0655

Scope and Contents

The National League of American Pen Women, Iowa City branch records date from 1963 to 2011 and measure 1 linear foot. The records consist of administrative records, programs, photographs, and files regarding individual members. The Lawsuit series contains correspondence, audit reports, and other materials related to a 2003 lawsuit which resulted from allegations of financial malfeasance made against the national NLAPW leadership.


  • Creation: 1963-2011


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

The National League of American Pen Women was formed in Washington, D.C. in 1897 as a professional association for women writers; the National Press Club would not admit women at the time. The Iowa City branch was organized in 1963 and chartered in February of 1964. Edith Pierce played a key role in its founding. The initial membership consisted of four local Iowa City women and five women for whom the new chapter was closer to their homes than Des Moines. The early years saw meetings held in homes. Many writers garnered awards. In 1965 the celebrated Chicago Black Renaissance poet Margaret Walker Alexander, who was then a PhD student at the University of Iowa, spoke to the group.

Writers, as well as artists and composers, were eligible for NLAPW membership if they met the requirements of professionalism prescribed by the organization, such as having been paid for work or asked to exhibit in juried shows. Meeting programs generally comprised poetry workshops, speakers, and a luncheon. The Iowa City chapter awarded prizes for student work, and NLAPW members competed for prizes at their state convention.


1 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Local branch, formed in 1963, of group for women writers and artists.

Method of Acquisition

2.5 linear inches of records were donated by Nancy Pfeiffer Towner (donor no. 540) in 2000. The remaining records were donated by Mary Humston (donor no. 901) in 2023.

Related Materials

Iowa Press Women records (IWA): Contains information on the National League of American Pen Women, Des Moines branch.

National League of American Pen Women, Quad Cities branch records (IWA).

National League of American Pen Women, Waterloo-Cedar Rapids records (IWA).

Constance Frick Irwin papers (IWA): Irwin was a member of the organization.

Lois Muehl papers (IWA): Muehl was a member of the organization.

Mary Rouse papers (IWA): Rouse was a member of the organization.

Nancy Pfeiffer Towner, 2000; revised Kate Orazem, 2023.
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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)