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Helen B. Ryan papers

Identifier: IWA1175

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Scope and Contents

The Helen B. Ryan papers date from 1976 to 1984. The collection comprises 2.5 linear inches relating mainly to Ryan’s book, Endless Rapture, which she wrote under the name Helen Hazen. The collection is arranged in two series: Correspondence and Professional.

The Correspondence series contains numerous letters from Ryan’s editor, Jacques Barzun of Scribner’s Sons. His letters include critiques of her writing and ideas for research. The series also contains some correspondence from readers of her book.

The Professional series contains newspaper clippings that Helen B. Ryan found relevant for her research, as well as clippings of book reviews and reactions. Included is a partial manuscript of her book, with extensive edits by Barzun. The manuscript, which most likely contains multiple drafts, is in numerical order, though there is no continuous narrative.


  • Creation: 1976-2013


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. The Barzun writings cannot be quoted beyond copyright limitations without permissions from the Barzun family, which holds all right to his productions.

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

Helen B. Ryan, librarian, author, and scholar, was born in Matanuska Valley, Alaska, to parents Charles Schaefer and Ruth Stebbins Schaefer. She attended college in Colorado, then came to the University of Iowa, where she worked as head of the Main Library’s serials department and later as a reference librarian. She took the name Helen Clark and had one son. In 1981, she married Christopher Ryan (1945-2016) in Iowa City, Iowa.

In 1983, Ryan published her book Endless Rapture: Rape, Romance, and the Female Imagination under the name Helen Hazen. In 2002, Helen and Christopher Ryan moved to Arequipa, Peru, where they both worked at the Convento de la Recoleta. Helen Ryan worked as Librarian and Director of Catalog Processing, as special collections bibliographer for the historical libraries of Arequipa, and as curator of Early Printed Books. Christopher Ryan died on March 3, 2016.


2.50 linear inches

Language of Materials



Correspondence of University of Iowa librarian and author Helen B. Ryan, an incomplete manuscript of her book “Endless Rapture,” and other papers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1396) were donated by Helen B. Ryan in 2015.

Related Materials

Ruth Stebbins Schaefer

Amanda Axley
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)