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Ruby's Pearl (Iowa City, Iowa) records

Identifier: IWA0549

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Scope and Contents

The Ruby's Pearl records date from 2001 to 2005 and measure 10 linear inches. The records consist of advertisements, business records, newspaper clippings, personal letters, and photographs. These records also include "Ask Ruby," a sex advice column that ran in a local newspaper, Little Village, in 2004. This collection contains pamphlets, posters, and articles that are critical of the safety of tampons. Additionally, this collection includes rental lease agreements, store signs, props, and flyers for feminist and GLBT events.


  • Creation: 2001-2005


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research. See donor file for photocopying restrictions.

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

Ruby's Pearl was a feminist sex store in Iowa City, Iowa, from 2001 to 2005. The store was co-founded by Laura Crossley and Kymbyrly Koester. Other co-owners included Heather Daggett and Gypsy Dolgos. According to Daggett, "The idea behind the store was to have a positive, clean, fun environment to buy sex toys. To have an alternative place for women to buy fun stuff in a shop that's not creepy." In addition to selling sex toys, videos, alternative feminine hygiene products, clothing, zines, and feminist literature, the store served as a venue for art shows and workshops. The owners claimed it was one of only seven feminist sex shops in the United States.

Ruby's Pearl was a hub for feminist and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) activism. The store held workshops on topics ranging from body image and tampon safety to hate crimes and safe sex education. Ruby's Pearl frequently co-sponsored events with local non-profit and service organizations, such as the Rape Victim Advocacy Program, Emma Goldman Clinic, Women's Resource and Action Center, I-CARE AIDS Coalition, and the UI GLBT Union. Ruby's Pearl closed on March 26, 2005, due to financial troubles. Crossley explained that the relocation of the store, the weak economy, and consumers' preference for purchasing sex toys on-line contributed to the store´s demise.


10.00 linear inches

Photographs in Box 2. boxes

Language of Materials



Ruby's Pearl, a feminist sex store, was a hub for feminist and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) activism.

Method of Acquisition

The records (donor no. 974) were donated by Laura Crossley in 2005.

Related Materials

Emma Goldman Clinic records (IWA).

Karissa Haugeberg , 2007.
Language of description
Script of description
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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)