Collection Details

The Archives of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) includes personal and professional papers of women in all areas of the sciences and engineering, except that of the medical sciences, as well as records of women’s organizations in these fields. WISE collections document a number of areas of the professional lives of individual women scientists and engineers, including their education, mentoring relationships, research, teaching, and professional careers in work settings primarily in universities and governmental agencies. The collections include both the papers of Iowa State alumni and faculty and women not affiliated with the university. 

The Rare Books Collection holds related books written by women scientists, including works by Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Marie Curie, Mary Somerville, as well as works intended for the education of women in the sciences.

Find collections in the Archives of Women in Science and Engineering by searching CARDinal.

Search for books by and about women in the sciences in the library catalog

Highlights of the collection include:

  • Collections that document gender discrimination in the workplace include the papers of Rosalind Marimont and those of Fann Harding. Both women worked for the National Institutes for Health (NIH) and were founding members of the NIH women’s organization Self-Help for Equal Rights (SHER) and both filed cases of sex discrimination against NIH.
  • Inter-generational mentorship: Nellie Naylor was a faculty member in the Chemistry Department at Iowa State. One of her students, Darleane C. Hoffman, went on to work as a nuclear chemist at national laboratories and to hold faculty appointments at the University of California Berkeley. The papers of both women are part of the WISE Archives and document their professional lives and their relationship.
  • Research files and manuscripts of publications in the history of women in the sciences: The Beverly E. Golemba papers contain the manuscript for her book, Human Computers: The Women in Aeronautical Research (1994). Rochonne Weintraub Abrams wrote Good Earthkeeping (1994), a book devoted to women involved in ecology, and her papers contain her manuscript drafts as well as research notes, correspondence, and printed materials. The Autumn Stanley papers document her research and writing in women’s history and women in science and technology for her publications Mothers and Daughters of Invention: Notes for a Revised History of Technology (1993) and Raising More Hell and Fewer Dahlias: The Public Life of Charlotte Smith, 1840-1917 (2009).
  • Oral history collections: WISE Oral History Collection, and Women in Chemistry Oral History Project.