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Mary Louise Petersen Papers

Identifier: IWA0309

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Scope and Contents

The Mary Louise Petersen papers date from 1947 to 1996 and measure 10 linear inches. The papers are arranged in nine series: Awards and diplomas, Board activities, Correspondence, Egyptian workshop, Magazines and programs, National Governors Association, Newspaper clippings, Speeches, Photographs and Artifacts.

The Board activities series (1971-1988) consists of a few miscellaneous papers from several boards on which Petersen served, including the Iowa State Board of Regents, Board of Directors and for the Carnegie Corporation.

The Correspondence series pertains mostly to her service to the Board of Regents. Letters are primarily from educators or legislators in the state of Iowa. There are, however, a few letters from friends.

The Egyptian workshop series (1981) consists of itineraries and programs from the workshop on "The Role of Regional Universities in the Rural Areas, which Petersen attended in Cairo, Egypt in May 1981.

The Magazines and programs series (1970-1986) includes articles about Petersen and programs from events Petersen attended for different organizations.

The National Governors Association series (1981) pertains to the associations 1981 meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey. There, Petersen was one of eleven private citizens honored for distinguished service to state government.

The Speeches series (1970-1987) includes speeches given for the State Board of Regents and at conferences discussing education and trusteeship.

The Photographs series (1969-1980) shows Petersen receiving her award at the National Governors conference, speaking at a University of Northern Iowa commencement ceremony in 1983, and attending the rededication of the Old Capitol Building in Iowa City in 1976. Other photographs include Petersen speaking at Iowa State University during the rededication of the football stadium in 1975 and attending a campaign speech by Gerald Ford in 1976. Petersen is also shown in Guam and Taiwan, and with family and colleagues.


  • Creation: 1947-1996


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

Mary Louise Anneberg was born on February 18, 1929, in Carroll, Iowa to Dr. and Mrs. Walter Anneberg. The valedictorian of Carroll High School class of 1947, Anneberg continued her academic career at the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa). In 1951, Anneberg graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor degree in Liberal Arts. She married H. Rand Petersen in February 1951. They had four children: Lynn, Allen, Katherine and Steven.

Mary Louise Petersen was appointed to the Iowa State Board of Regents in 1969 and served as president from 1973 to 1981. She belonged to a number of other organizations, including the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities. She served on the board of trustees for the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Petersen was also active in Girl Scouts, the United Methodist Church and the Republican party. Petersen was honored with the Harlan Community Leadership Award in 1969. In 1983, she won both the State of Iowa Distinguished Service Award and the University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni Service Award.


10.00 linear inches

Photographs in Box 2 and map case, 1 audiocassette [AC474], Artifacts in Box 2 boxes

Language of Materials



Member and president of Iowa State Board of Regents.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 423) were donated by Mary Louise Petersen in 1997.

Related Materials

Jonathan Dolliver papers. (State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City): Dolliver was Petersen's grandfather. His papers include a talk Petersen gave at a Board of Regents meeting during the student unrest of the 1970s as well as some material pertaining to her mother.

Jenny Meyer, 1998.
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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)