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Eva Erickson papers

Identifier: IWA0922

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Scope and Contents

The Eva Erickson papers date from 1925 to 2003 and measure 5 linear feet. The papers are arranged in eight series: Biographical, Autobiographical Writings, Correspondence, Education and Employment, Organizations, Rosa Lemberg, Scrapbooks, and Artifacts.

The Biographical series includes memorials and tributes to Erickson at her death, a medical history report, and an astrological reading from 1974. Also included is a genealogy of her father's Finnish background dating back to the 1700s.

The Autobiographical Writing series consists of several short stories written by Erickson between 1938 and 2002 which reflect on her childhood memories, family history, and retirement. In her 1938 short story, “As a Kid in Wisconsin,” Erickson describes life on the Wisconsin farm of her Aunt Hilkku and Uncle Jack. This story was published in The Finnish American Reporter in 1987. Her autobiography, "First a Finn Kid," was written in 1994 and published by Finnish Americana and is included in the collection.

The Correspondence series includes letters in Finnish (and their corresponding translations) between Erickson and her mother throughout their lifetime and over 50 years of Eva's annual Christmas letter.

The Education AND Employment series includes school reports from high school and university, an English notebook, a copy of her dissertation, a curriculum vitae, and correspondence from places of employment.

The Organizations series holds administrative material from the Finnish American Translator Association in which Eva served as secretary for a time. Newsletters from University of Iowa Nursing Service Administration program are also in this series.

The Rosa Lemberg series contains the biography Eva wrote on the Finnish immigrant entertainer who she knew as a child in 1993. Also included is correspondence with Rosa Lemberg family members and with the publishing company.

The Scrapbooks series contains pictures from ranging from Eva Erickson's early adulthood to her retirement, greeting cards and newspaper clippings. Also included are photos of Eva's well-known angel collection. There are many pictures portraying Eva throughout her nursing career and wonderful photos of Eva as a high school student participating in sports and with friends.

The Artifacts series houses a nurse's cap worn by Eva early in her nursing career.


  • Creation: 1925-2003


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

Eva Erickson, nurse administrator and professor, was born on April 27, 1912 in Ishpeming, Michigan, the daughter of Finnish immigrants, Ilmari “Elmer” and Hilma Erickson. She had two brothers, Ero and Tauno. She graduated from Waukegan Township High School in Illinois and then attended the Michael Reese Hospital of Nursing in Chicago. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education from Columbia University in 1930 and continued her graduate education at Northwestern University in Chicago, where she earned a Master of Science in Hospital Administration.

Throughout her career Erickson held a variety of administrative and teaching positions in hospitals in New York, Illinois, Washington, and Nebraska. After receiving her doctorate from Columbia University in 1962, she joined the faculty at the University of Iowa’s College of Nursing, where she remained until her retirement in 1977. As a professor emerita, Erickson maintained her professional and personal interests through travel, correspondence, and writing. She remained interested in her Finnish background and completed biographies about Finnish immigrants and researched her family’s genealogy.

She died in 2003 at the age of 90 following a brief illness.


5.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Nurse adminstrator and professor, the daughter of Finnish immigrants.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 885) were donated by James P. Erickson in 2003.

Britt Nelson, 2005.
Language of description
Script of description
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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)