Skip to main content

University of Iowa Dental Hygiene Program records

Identifier: IWA0211

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

Scope and Contents

The University of Iowa Dental Hygiene Program records date from 1913 to 2005 and measure 20.25 linear feet. The records are arranged in nine series: History, Administrative files, Curriculum, Students, Alumni, Dental hygiene profession, Photographs, Theses, and Artifacts.

The History series (1953-1971), which is quite small, consists of memos, correspondence, reports, and proposals from the early years of both the undergraduate and graduate programs. A 1934 textbook for dental hygienists completes the series; this textbook includes an appendix entitled "The Dental Hygienist Movement" which explains the origin of, and rationale for, the profession of dental hygiene.

The Administrative files series (1953-1994), one of the largest series in the collections, includes correspondence, planning documents, reports, and meeting minutes of both the Dental Hygiene Program and the College of Dentistry. The series includes information on the research and grants of dental hygiene faculty members, and the personnel files that were in the possession of the dental hygiene program at the time of closure. This series includes the records of the controversial Experimental Expanded Function Study, a pioneering study coordinated by a member of the dental hygiene faculty on the feasibility of training hygienists to perform a wider array of dental procedures. The records show the resistance from members of the dental profession to the concept of expanding the scope of dental hygienists' duties.

The Curriculum series (1956-1995) consists of undergraduate and gradate curriculum materials such as reading lists, syllabi, assignments, manuals, and handouts used in coursework. Most of the materials relate to the undergraduate program and date from the 1970s and 1980s.

The Students series (1958-1994) includes information about admissions, enrollment, student life, and financial aid. The series includes a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about the students in the dental hygiene program during the 1950s, and photographs of all the students in the first dental hygiene class.

The Alumni series (1956-2005) includes surveys, newsletters, and correspondence between faculty members and alumni.

The Dental Hygiene Profession series (1913-1996) includes scholarly articles about the profession, and records related to the professional activities of the American Dental Hygiene Association, the Iowa Dental Hygienists Association, and the American Dental Association. Records relating to licensing and the national and state regulatory agencies are also included in this series.

The Photographs series (1950s-1995) includes photographs of dental hygiene students in class, working with patients, and posed in groups. The photographs from the 1950s through 1980 are mainly 5x7 or 8x10 black and whites; photographs from later years are color snapshots. The series includes color slides depicting dental hygiene students in the classroom, displays or booths set up and staffed by dental hygiene students, and presentations made by dental hygiene faculty members. Most of the slides and photographs are identified. Class photographs complete the series.

The Theses series (1966-1977) includes six master's theses written by University of Iowa dental hygiene students and two doctoral dissertations written by students at other institutions.

The Artifacts series (1984 and undated), including carved wax teeth, a trophy, and an instructional skull, completes the collection.


  • Creation: 1913-2005


Conditions Governing Access

The records 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 Dental Hygiene program at the University of Iowa (then the State University of Iowa) was begun in 1949, when the Board of Regents approved the development of a dental hygiene program at the State University of Iowa. The first class of twenty-four students launched the program in 1953. Students spent two years in this early program and received a certificate in dental hygiene from the College of Dentistry. Students who wanted a bachelor's degree in addition to their certificate could earn a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree with a general science major from the College of Liberal Arts. After 1967 all students received a bachelor's degree.

In 1964, a Master of Science degree program was started for dental hygiene students. In 1969 the Board of Regents approved a dental hygiene major, allowing students to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene from the College of Liberal Arts. In 1986, budget cuts in the College of Dentistry resulted in the loss of some full-time faculty. In the fall of 1991, an ad hoc committee was appointed by University and College of Dentistry administrators to review the Dental Hygiene program. This committee made a unanimous decision to recommend closure of the program. In 1992 the Board of Regents voted to close the program even though faculty from the Department of Dental Hygiene and dental hygiene students protested. Later three dental hygiene faculty members filed a lawsuit alleging sexual discrimination, retaliation, and lack of due process. The last class of dental hygiene students graduated from the University of Iowa in May 1995.


20.25 Linear Feet

Artifacts in boxes 50 and 51, 11 audiocassettes [AC1080-1090], 9 videocassettes [V325-333], Photographs in boxes 44-46, 48-49, Slides in boxes 45-47 boxes

Language of Materials



Started in 1949 and was one of the earliest such programs in the United States.



History in Box 1. Administrative Files in Boxes 1-18. Curriculum in Boxes 18-26. Students in Boxes 26-31. Alumni in Boxes 31-32. Dental Hygiene Profession in Boxes 32-43. Photographs in Boxes 44-49. Theses in Box 48. Artifacts in Boxes 50 and 51.


Jerome Lysaught, "Implications of need for Change in Baccalaureate Dental Hygiene Education: Characteristics of Growth or Deterioration of a Profession," May 10, 1976 [AC 1080]

Larry Hornsby, "Role of Behavioral and Social Sciences in Health Care Provision, May 10, 1976, side one; David Chambers, "Objectives of the Second Conference Explanation of Conference Agenda," May 10, 1976, side two [AC 1081]

J. Larry Hornsby and Nancy Sisty, "Presentation of Behavioral Science: Curriculum Model," May 11, 1976 [AC 1082]

James Clark, "How Could the Behavioral and Social Sciences Significantly Influence Future of Baccalaureate Dental hygiene," May 10, 1976 [AC 1083]

David Chambers, "Analyses of Educational Challenges and Decisions- Planning for Positive Change," May 11, 1976, side one; James Clark and Martha Fales, "Presentation of Public Health Curriculum Model," May 11, 1976, side two [AC 1084]

David Chambers, "Methods of Implementation: Basic Factors to Consider in Curriculum Development," May 12, 1976 [AC 1085]

Margaret Ryan, "Implications of Accreditation Policy and of ADA Expanded Function Workshop On Implementation of Curriculum Models: Council on Education," May 12, 1976 [AC 1086]

Martha Fales, "Presentation of Position Paper and Summary of Actions Proceedings of Conference Deliberations to Date," May 13, 1976 Final Discussion [AC 1087]

Community Term Application Session- Head Start [AC 1088]

Keynote Speaker, Second National Dental Hygiene Research Conference (side B, start at 20mm) [AC 1089-1090]


Dental Hygiene Class of 1989 [V 325]

Dental Hygiene Class of 1995, 15 min. [V 326]

Dental Hygiene at the University of Iowa: A Career on the Move, 1987 [V 327]

ADHA District VII Students, "Your Voice Counts," 1993 [V 328]

Health Beat with Dean Borg Beth Pelton, Rinses and Oral Hygiene, 1988 [V 329]

Beth Pelton, Choosing a Toothbrush and Nancy Lepeau, Food for Healthy Teeth [V 330]

UI Dental Hygiene Credit- Video spot announcements by Dental Hygiene seniors [V 331]

Non-traditional Hygiene Practice: Vigil of Jenny Fay waiting for dental care [homebound chronically ill patients [V 332]

88:105, Fall 1990 Student Presentations: Conflict Management Assignment [V 333]

Method of Acquisition

The records (donor no. 293) were donated by Pauline Brine, Beth Pelton and Nancy Thompson in 1995 and in succeeding years.

Related Materials

Brine, Pelton, and Thompson v. The University of Iowa records (IWA): University of Iowa Dental Hygiene Program's lawsuit to prevent closure.

Pauline Brine, Beth Pelton, Nancy Thompson, 1996-98; and Kate Jones, 1998; Jun-Nicole Matsushita; Sharon M. Lake, 2007.
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)