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Mary Baker Skinner papers

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: IWA0867

Scope and Contents

The Mary Baker Skinner papers comprise of Skinner's poetry, and a 2012 article from the Des Moines Register about Skinner and other former inmates from the state reform school. The collection also includes another article from Iowa Heritage Illustrated about an 1899 riot at the Mitchellville Girls School.

Shelved separately, the Iowa Training School for Girls newsletters, including The Tattler, contain articles and poems by women inmates at the school from 1960 to 1973.


  • Creation: 1998 - 2012


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been retained by the donor.

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

Mary Baker was born c. 1951. In 1965, when she was fourteen, she was sent to the Iowa Training School for Girls in Mitchellville after being convicted of assault and battery for fighting at school. She is one of many women who recall the abuse they suffered at the Mitchellville facility; this abuse became the subject of a legislative inquiry in the 1960s by State Representative and juvenile justice advocate Minnette Doderer.


0.50 linear inches

Language of Materials



Writings by a former inmate of the Iowa Training School for Girls in Mitchellville.


Two folders, shelved in SCVF.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1325) were donated by Mary Baker Skinner in 2012.

Related Materials

Minnette Doderer papers (IWA)

Campus Newsy, Tattler, Mitchellville, Iowa: Iowa Training School for Girls, 1960-1973 (IWA)

Mary Baker Skinner papers
Margaret Halterman, 2013; Annie Tunnicliff, 2016
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)