Skip to main content

Marilyn Sippy papers

Identifier: IWA0680

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

Scope and Contents

The Marilyn Sippy papers date from 1955 to 2016 and measure 10 linear inches. The papers are arranged in seven series: Biographical information, Peace movement, United Nations (UN), Elizabeth Young, Campfire Girls, Correspondence, and Artifacts.

The Biographical Information series (1995-2004) contains a biographical information sheet written by Sippy, two brochures on organizations assisting children with mental and intellectual disabilities, and a chapter about Sippy's volunteering from America's Small Town Heroes, by Harold William Thorpe, 2003.

Sippy's involvement in grassroots peace work is reflected in the Peace Movement series (1955-1965). The series consists of Sippy's printed material and correspondence with publishers both requesting and applauding the publication of articles that dealt with peace and nuclear test bans.

The United Nations series (1968-2004) consists of United Nations Association of Iowa (UNA) newsletters and correspondence, and UNICEF financial reports, printed material, and game sheets used for Trick or Treat collections. Newspaper clippings include articles concerning the UNICEF organization, collection announcements, and letters to the editor. Sippy's recollections of her work as the Marion Area Chairman complete the series.

The Elizabeth Young series (1979-1996) contains papers relating to fellow peace activist and volunteer Elizabeth Young. Young (1910-1999), a resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa since 1948, was born and raised in San Francisco, California. Married to James Young in 1938, the couple raised two children, David and Eve. Elizabeth Young, a journalist, editor and short story writer, held bachelor's and master's degrees in English Literature from Stanford University and later pursued a bachelor's degree in music from Coe College in 1962. She then turned her attention to a career in acting during the 1970s. An active member of the peace movement, Young was a member of the United Nations Association and volunteer on the UNICEF Card and Gift Committee. The series contains a holiday letter written by Young to her friends and family after the death of her husband, and Elizabeth Young's memorial service program. Included are newspaper clippings pertaining to Young's theatre career and articles she wrote for the Cedar Rapids Gazette's "Outlooks" column.

The Campfire Girls series (1958-1978) contains a background note written by Sippy about her involvement with the organization. The national organization was formed in 1910, and aimed to teach girls good health, self-reliance, and independence. The Iowana Council was formed in 1912; the organization has since disbanded. In 1973, the administration updated the program to discourage passivity, docility, and dependence. The series consists of printed materials and includes numerous songs, crafts, and games, as well as a menu for the Marion Cookout. The materials provide a glimpse of girlhood during a time of social change.

The Correspondence series (1979-2007) contains letters to Sippy from Marion Carson, and postcards from Carson to Joyce Maxey Conley. The series also includes information about Carson and a newspaper clipping about Joyce Maxey (later Conley). Carson and Sippy were acquainted through various peace efforts, and were both involved with the People’s Church of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Though the two lived less than a mile apart, they maintained a robust correspondence for years. Marilyn Sippy would hand-deliver her notes to Marion Carson’s mail drop, a process that Carson fondly called “Elf Mail.” Their correspondence is notable for numerous frank conversations about aging and death. Postcards from Carson have been filed with her other correspondence, as many of the letters and postcards refer to each other. Joyce Thayer Maxey Conley (nee Kinsman) traveled internationally presenting her research about twins. Working with Dr. Warner Kloepfer, Tulane University, she developed a handprint/footprint instruction kit to be used in his studies of twins.

The Artifacts series is comprised of UNICEF school supplies which were given to children as prizes, and a Trick or Treat Collection Box.


  • Creation: 1955-2004


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

Peace activist and volunteer Marilyn Sippy was born August 22, 1935 in Newark, New Jersey to H.J. and Ruth Clarke. She was ten when her family moved from Maplewood, New Jersey to Hinsdale, Illinois, which is where she completed high school. In 1957 Sippy received her bachelor's degree in education with a minor in religion and philosophy from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.

Upon graduating she settled in Cedar Rapids, Iowa until her marriage to Dayton K. Sippy in 1960. The couple moved to Marion, Iowa where they raised two children, Karen, born in 1962 and Keith, born in 1963. Sippy taught in the Cedar Rapids Community Schools for three years until her resignation due to health problems; however, she continued to teach as a volunteer.

Sippy dedicated her time to volunteer activities such as the Peace Inquiry and Action Group and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). The Peace Inquiry and Action Group was formed in 1961 by women in the Cedar Rapids area who were concerned about nuclear testing and governments approaching international problems through military action. Members presented proposals regarding action and wrote letters to publishers requesting articles that dealt with peace work. UNICEF, an agency of the United Nations, provides support to equip and staff long-term programs such as health centers, schools, daycare and community centers for the benefit of infants and children.

As the acting UNICEF Marion Area Chairman from the mid-1960s through the mid-1990s, Marilyn Sippy helped organize the neighborhood house-to-house UNICEF Trick or Treat Collection. The annual event involved children and youth recruited through local schools, churches, and organizations. Sippy visited schools, organized check-in places and collection parties, and coordinated sub-chairmen acting on behalf of churches and organizations. Sippy was awarded the Honorary Chair of United Nations Day in 1994 for her volunteer work.


10.00 linear inches

Language of Materials



Peace activist and volunteer from Marion, Iowa, who was active in UNICEF for over thirty years.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 774 ) were donated by Marilyn Sippy in 2004 and 2016.

Related Materials

Marion Carson papers

Camp Fire Iowana-Camp Hitaga Records

Georgana Falb Foster papers

Welch and Angrick Collection

Dorothy Paul papers

Marilyn Sippy papers
Jun-Nicole Matsushita, 2004; Amanda Axley, 2018
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)