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Mary Henrietta Peters papers

Identifier: IWA0908

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Scope and Contents

The Mary Henrietta Peters papers comprise seventeen diaries and associated loose pages written by Peters over the course of her life.The diaries consist of tablets, most spanning one calendar year. In the pages of these tablets, Peters recorded her daily activities and household tasks, such as cooking, laundry, and childcare. The entries also describe social events and get-togethers with siblings and family friends as well as noteworthy community events including births and funerals.

Digital materials supplement the physical diaries. These include photographs of family members, as well as digital images of the physical diaries taken by Peters' grand-nephew, Ed Jacobson. In 2014, Dr. Lisa Guinn, a visiting assistant professor at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, and Rio Farren, an undergraduate history major at Upper Iowa University, transcribed the diaries. All of these materials, including the diary transcripts, are preserved in the Iowa Digital Library.


  • Creation: 1891-1934


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

The third of eight children, Mary Henrietta "Nett" Peters was born in Brainard, Fayette County, Iowa, in 1858. Her father, Alexander Wade Peters, had driven a stagecoach in West Virginia before heading to Iowa in 1852. Her mother had also grown up outside the Midwest and moved to Iowa at approximately the same time. Peters lived most of her life in Illyria Township, not far from Wadena, until her death in 1931.


10.00 linear inches

Language of Materials



Resident of Illyria Township near Wadena, Iowa, who recorded her daily activities from 1891 until her death in 1931.


The Iowa Women's Archives gratefully acknowledges the transcription of the diaries by Dr. Lisa Guinn, a visiting assistant professor at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, and Rio Farren, an undergraduate history major at Upper Iowa University. They completed the transcription in 2014.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1320) were donated by Ed Jacobson in 2014.

Catherine Babikian, 2014
Language of description
Script of description

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)