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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Aldeen Davis papers

Repository: University of Iowa Libraries. Iowa Women's Archives

Collection Description (CRHP): The Aldeen Davis papers contain one undated audiocassette titled "Muscatine Black Families and the A.M.E. Church," and two undated videotaped interviews--one 29-minute video broadcast as an episode of "Touchstone" (WOC Midday), and one 27-minute interview conducted by the Iowa Commission on Aging.

Collection Description (Extant): The Aldeen Davis papers are arranged in 8 series:

Personal (undated) includes biographical sketch of Davis and biographical notes by Davis.

Community organizations (1954-1992) includes involvement in church, club, and civic activities. The earliest entry in this series, the Bethel A.M.E. Sunday School record, details the revitalization of the school, one of Davis's first community service activities. The series also includes records from the Semper Fidelis Federated Women's Club; by-laws, correspondence, reports, and minutes of the Muscatine Federated Women's Club; and scattered records from various civic activities, including the Equity Committee, the Muscatine Human Rights Committee, and the Muscatine Public Library Board.

Interviews (undated) contains two videotaped interviews of Davis. The "Touchstone" interview was broadcast on Iowa Public Television.

Awards and presentations (1989-1992) includes the Governor's Volunteer Award and other honors Davis received, primarily from 1989 to 1992. It also contains photographs of Davis's art (c. 1989).

Educational activities (1977-1993) includes classes given and participated in by Davis. Davis participated in an intergenerational writing project which paired senior citizens with elementary school children. The series also includes two Writers on the Avenue publications.

Newspaper clippings and manuscripts (1975-1992) contains Davis's written work unrelated to "Soul Food for Thought." These articles were published in the Iowa Bystander, the Muscatine Journal, and Prime Time.

Soul Food for Thought (book) (1984) includes a copy of Soul Food for Thought, published in 1984, and correspondence and public response to it.

"Soul Food and Thought" (column) (1978-1991) contains clippings and manuscripts of Davis's long-running column. In one of her scrapbooks, Davis notes, "'Soul Food and Thought' first appeared in August of 1978 in the Muscatine Journal. It was picked up soon after by the Common Bond-Davenport and the Iowa Bystander-Des Moines[,] both Black Publications. The Common Bond is no longer in existence, and the Iowa Bystander could no longer afford to pay for the column." The scrapbook in box 5 is dated from 1982 to 1988 but contains only material from 1982 to 1985.

Access Copy Note: The papers are open for research.

Date(s): 1954-1995

Digital Status: No

Existing IDs: AC357, V101, V102

Extent: 1.5 linear feet and audiovisual material (1 sound cassette, 2 videocassettes)

Finding Aid URL: External Link

Language: English

Physical Location: Iowa City, Iowa

Related Archival Items: At the University of Iowa, see:
Billie Lloyd papers (daughter of Aldeen Davis)
Muscatine Artists in Action (Davis wrote with its subgroup, Writers on the Avenue)
Seasoned Citizens (Davis's writings are included in several issues)

Interviewees: Aldeen Davis

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights

Rights (Extant): Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.


African American journalists
African American nurses
African American women civil rights workers--Iowa
African Americans--Iowa
African Americans--Societies, etc.
African Methodist Episcopal Church
Women--Societies and clubs


Sound recordings


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   May 15, 2015
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