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Anabeth Koob Voigts papers

Identifier: IWA0694

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Scope and Contents

The Anabeth Koob Voigts papers date from 1976 to 1999 and measure 2.5 linear feet. The papers are arranged in four series: Campaigns, Iran Working Group, Scrapbooks and Videocassettes. The Campaigns series consists of the correspondence between Voigts and various congresspersons leading up to the passage of the Hostage Relief Act. There are also correspondence, pamphlets and articles representing the Family Liaison Action Group (FLAG), the Free the American Hostages Rally, the Free the Hostages pin project, the Hostage cross project, Stand Up for America, the Yellow Ribbon Campaign, church and prayer services (including the memorial service for the eight servicemen who died in the failed rescue attempt), and Voigts' personal drive for prayers to be said for the hostages nationwide. Voigts' handwritten speech notes are also included in this series.

The Iran Working Group series consists of background information on the organization, along with articles about Iran. The bulk of the series consists of weekly news packets the group collected regarding the Iran Hostage Crisis. Voigts received these informational packets from June 30, 1980 through January 11, 1981.

The Scrapbooks series consists of four scrapbooks Voigts maintained throughout her sister's captivity. The scrapbooks are filled with newspaper articles, correspondence, pamphlets and photographs documenting local, national and personal reactions to the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The Collected Materials sub-series contains articles, correspondence, and photographs that were not formally integrated into the existing scrapbooks. Included is a 1976 article on Kathryn Koob, and a page from Voigts' "countdown" calendar, along with press releases and copies of press photographs.

The Videocassettes series consists of seven video tapes that record both Tampa, Florida and national news coverage of the Iran Hostage Crisis and the eventual release of the hostages. Included in the footage are several interviews with Anabeth Voigts and other family members. There are also interviews with Kathryn Koob following her release.


  • Creation: 1976-1999


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

Anabeth Koob is the child of Elsie and Harold Koob. She was the fourth of six Koob daughters: Kathryn, Mildred (Zeller), Vivian (Homeyer), Anabeth (Voigts), Mary Jane (Engquist), and Emogene (Zuck). The Koob girls were the fifth generation of their family to be raised on a farm near Jesup, Iowa. As each girl turned ten, "chores and farm life turned synonymous. The girls rotated: feed the chickens Monday, help with the pigs next day, milk the cows Wednesday. Cook one night, clean-up the next. And on and on...Given her druthers, Anabeth favored indoor jobs...The unwritten schedule that called for chores at ten sent the Koob girls packing for college at eighteen." [The Tampa [Florida] Times, November 3, 1980].

Anabeth Koob married David Voigts. The couple settled in Tampa, Florida where David Voigts worked for the Florida Power Corporation and Anabeth Voigts worked as a teacher's aide for the second grade class of Citrus Park Elementary School and taught piano lessons out of their home. The Voigts had two children: Mark and Emma Lou.

On November 5, 1979 Voigts' oldest sister, Kathryn Koob, was taken hostage in Iran as part of the student-taking of the American Embassy the day before. Koob became one of the fifty-two American hostages kept for 444 days before being released on January 20, 1981. During her sister's captivity, Voigts worked endlessly to keep the hostages in the public's mind and prayers, while simultaneously pressing the government to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. Voigts wrote many congresspersons, pushing for passage of the Hostage Relief Act. She also participated in the Family Liaison Action Group (FLAG), the Free the Hostages pin project, the Hostage cross project, Stand Up for America, and the Yellow Ribbon Campaign. She joined the Iran Working Group, an organization Kathryn Koob had worked with prior to her assignment in Tehran. Voigts encouraged a nationwide prayer campaign. Through interviews and speaking engagements, Voigts articulated the country's hopes and fears through the lens of her family's experiences.


2.50 Linear Feet

7 videocassettes [V291-V297]; Photographs in boxes 2-3 boxes

Language of Materials



Materials relate to the efforts of Voigts to obtain the release of her sister, Kathryn Koob, who was held hostage in Iran between 1979 and 1981.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 821) were donated by Anabeth Voigts in 2001.

Related Materials

Mildred "Micki" Zeller papers (IWA): Micki Zeller was Anabeth Voigts' older sister.

The Kathryn Koob papers are held by Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.

Lisa Mott, 2004.
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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)