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West Liberty Latino History collection

Identifier: IWA1173

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Scope and Contents

The West Liberty Latino History records date from 1938 to 2011 and measure 5 linear inches. The records are divided into two series: the West Liberty series (1938-2011), and the Latinos/as in Iowa series (2000-2011). The West Liberty series consists of newspapers, newspaper clippings, and pamphlets, containing information on immigration issues, celebration of Latinx heritage, obituaries, a list of Latinos/as buried at Oakridge cemetery, Ruben Galvan’s correspondence, and a memoir by Maria Cano Martinez. The Latinos/as in Iowa series include newspapers and newspaper clippings on the Marshalltown Swift raids of 2006 and Postville raids of 2008, two of the largest immigration raids in U.S. history leading to more than 1600 arrests. The series concludes with newspaper clippings from Columbus Junction, and clippings on broader Latinx issues. This series includes both English and Spanish materials.


  • Creation: 1938-2010

Language of Materials

This collection contains materials in English and Spanish.

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

Many Mexican families arrived in West Liberty during or shortly after the Mexican revolution (1910-1917), looking for opportunities that would provide safety and financial stability. Some of these families stayed and built a growing Latino/a community in West Liberty, which is now known as: “Iowa’s first majority Latino/a town”. Today, West Liberty has many Mexican-American owned businesses as well as a bilingual school district. Other Latino/a communities have formed in Marshalltown, Postville, and Columbus Junction.


5.00 linear inches


History of Latinx people in Iowa from 1938-2011.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated by Ruben Galvan (donor no. 1202) in 2010.

Related Materials

Maria Cano Martinez papers

Muscatine Migrant Committee Records

LULAC Council 10 (Davenport, Iowa) Records

West Liberty Latino History Collection
Shirley Ratliff
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)