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War Brides of World War II papers

Identifier: IWA0215

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Scope and Contents

The War Brides of World War II: Iowa Experiences Records date from 1946 to 1996 and measure 1 linear inch. The records consist of a University of Iowa history student's undergraduate honors thesis on World War II war brides in Iowa and supporting materials used to write the thesis. Documents with addresses and phone numbers have been redacted and photocopied for the collection.

The Thesis folder contains Rachel Casteel's undergradate honors thesis, titled "War Brides of World War II: Iowa Experiences," which consists of fifty-five pages of text and appendices. The appendices include transcribed information from interviews, questionnaires and notes, as well as photocopies of souvenir newsletters from war bride transport ships.

The Correspondence folder contains letters and other material sent to Casteel, most of it from John Kelly who answered her VFW advertisement. John Kelly worked on the war bride transport ships alongside his wife, Barbara Sheriden. The folder contains the photocopied photographs of transport ships used to relocate the war brides and their children to America, photocopies of souvenir newsletters from 1946 and 1947 crossings, and correspondence from John Kelly.

The Questionnaires folder contains eight completed questionnaires. The Notes folder includes Casteel's handwritten notes from her interviews with five women. One taped interview completes the collection.


  • Creation: 1946-1996


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

Rachel Casteel, a history student at the University of Iowa, wrote her undergraduate honors thesis on the experiences of World War II war brides in Iowa. Casteel placed an advertisement in a Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) newsletter in December 1994 inquiring about war brides in Iowa who would be willing to discuss their experiences. From this advertisement and from church and community contacts, Casteel identified twelve women to include in her thesis. The women she interviewed were originally from France, Germany, Great Britain, Australia, and Japan.


1.00 linear inch

1 Cassettes (1 audiocassette [AC495])

Language of Materials



1995 honors thesis of University of Iowa undergraduate student, Rachel Casteel.

Method of Acquisition

The records (donor no. 299) were donated by Rachel Casteel in 1995 and subsequent years.

Jamie Nelson, 1999; Sharon M. Lake, 2008.
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)