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Lark Birdsong papers

Identifier: IWA1048

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Scope and Contents

The Lark Birdsong papers contain materials related to Lark Birdsong's time as the first head coach of the University of Iowa women's basketball program. They were donated by Birdsong in 2017 and measure 5 linear inches.

They are organized into four series: Publications, Events, Personal, and Newspaper clippings.

The Publications series (1977-2015) includes copies of the Iowa Alumni Review, the Department of Women's Athletics Winter Sports Guides, a student athlete information booklet, women's basketball media guides, and a women's basketball game program.

The Events series (1993) includes programs and related materials from the 20th anniversary banquet for the women's athletics department.

The Personal series (1976-1987) includes letters Birdsong wrote to her parents while coaching at Iowa, as well as a program for a kidnergarten holiday event one of her children participated in.

The Newspaper clippings series (1961-1979) includes excerpts from magazines and newspapers that covered Birdsong and the Iowa women's basketball teams during her time as head coach, as well as two full issues of the Daily Iowan, the University of Iowa's student newspaper.


  • Creation: 1961-2015


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.

Biographical / Historical

A four-year letter winner in volleyball, basketball, and tennis, Lark Birdsong also was a member of the track and field and field hockey programs at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) from 1968-1972. After graduating from UNC with a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education, she was hired by University of Iowa women's athletics director Christine Grant to implement and coach a women's basketball program at the University of Iowa.

Although the women's basketball team's finished 5-16 in its first season, Birdsong achieved the program's first victory over the University of Minnesota. By her last season at Iowa, she led the team to an 18-11 record, the program's first winning season and laid a recruiting foundation that led to the success of subsequent coaches Judy McMullen (1979-1983) and C. Vivian Stringer (1983-1995).

After her time coaching at Iowa, Birdsong went on to earn an Masters of Business Administration degree in finance and accounting from Regis University, a Masters of Education degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Masters of Library and Information Science degree in the Science of Information at the University of Washington.

She worked as an accountant for the Bird Oil Corporation from 1979-1981 and Premier Resources, Ltd., from 1981-1984. She was the assistant treasurer for Gary-Williams Companies from 1984-1987 and was the president for Business Lines, Ltd., from 1987-1985. After working in business development for Fiserv from 1992-1996, she became the general manager for the American Basketball League's Colorado Xplosion from 1996-1998. She joined the University of Denver as Director of Operations and Budget from 1998-2000, and was Director of Market Strategy for Wiley from 2011-2014 before becoming an independent higher education consultant (2014-present).


5 linear inches

Language of Materials



The Lark Birdsong papers contain materials related to Lark Birdsong's time as the first head coach of the University of Iowa women's basketball program.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1536) were donated by Lark Birdsong in 2017.

Katherine Walden
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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)