Skip to main content

Virginia Tanner Simonsen papers

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: IWA0433

Scope and Contents

The Virginia Tanner Simonsen papers consist of photocopies of letters written by Virginia Tanner to her parents from 1941 to 1943 and measure one linear inch. They recount the daily studies and activities of this Iowa State College coed in a lively, engaging style. Written every three or four days throughout her freshman year, the letters reveal many experiences typical of student life as well as the impact of World War Two on this generation of students.

The photocopies were made and organized by Merle Simonsen, who also wrote a brief introduction, added page numbers, and compiled an index.


  • Creation: 1941-1943


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

Virginia Tanner was born January 2, 1923 in Cherokee, Iowa to Anna Johns Tanner and Dr. A. J. Tanner. Her father was a dentist in Cherokee, where Virginia Tanner graduated from high school in 1941. That fall she enrolled at Iowa State College, now Iowa State University, in home economics and lived in Welch Hall. In the summer of 1942, Merle Simonsen, a fellow student and former dental patient of Dr. A. J. Tanner, arranged a "blind date" with Virginia Tanner. They dated for two years and married on June 10, 1944. June continued in college, graduating in1946. Afterward her graduation, they moved to Quimby, Iowa and raised three sons and two daughters. In 1977, they moved to Cherokee where Virginia Simonsen entered a care facility in 1997.


1.00 linear inch

Language of Materials



Cherokee, Iowa-born woman who enrolled at Iowa State College in home economics and later moved to Quimby, Iowa.


One folder, shelved in SCVF.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 553) were donated by Merle Simonsen in 1999.

Doris Malkmus, 1999.
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)