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Accession number A2003.008
Collection William Doan
Title The William Doan Collection
Catalog Number A2003.008
Object Name Documents
Credit line Collection of the AAMI - Courtesy of Doan Family Foundation
Physical characteristics Boxed documents span 5 linear inches.
Dates of Creation 1931-2003
Access Conditions Open for research.
Copyrights no known restrictions
Scope & Content The Doan records date from 1931 to 2003 as well as undated; and measure 5 linear inches. The records are arranged in 1 series: Collection

The William Doan, Collection series (1931-2003) documents Doan's collection of information on African Americans. This series includes information on the 1988 Jesse Jackson Campaign, a press packet for a 1987 anti-apartheid demonstration, material from the 2003 Helen Miller legislative campaign, a 1931 "We Serve Colored" sign, an undated African American photographic images including one of a Civil War soldier.
Biographical History William Sayles Doan was born on June 26, 1940 in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He was born to Lyle C. Doan and his wife, Katharine. Doan, a Caucasian interested in African American culture, cites "knowing people of color" as one of his significant life events. After living in Fort Dodge he later moved throughout Illinois, living in Evanston from 1958-1962 and Chicago from 1962-1966. Doan also spent the summers of 1965 and 1966 in Galena, Illinois.

In 1957 Doan attended classes at the University of Colorado. In 1958 he went on to attend Northwestern University, which he graduated from in 1962. In 1959 Doan also had the opportunity to take classes at Yale.

Doan was, and is still involved in a number of organizations. In 1971 he was a delegate to the NAACP National Convention. In 1982 he became the secretary/treasurer of the Doan Family Foundation, a position he still holds today. Doan also became an associate member of ONYX in 1997, which he is still currently involved with.

Doan is deeply invested in the arts. He has published a number of books, including Parisian Interlude (1960), Photoflexion (1984), A Book of Days (1990), and Al Urban (2002). In 1960 he earned the A.I.G.A. 50 Books award. In addition to publishing books, Doan is also interested in film production. In 1962 he won a Gold Lion for documentary film production at the Venice Film Festival.. In addition to working on films, Doan is also an artist, and his work is displayed in a dozen museums.

African Americans in the arts influenced Doan significantly. Some of his influences are Hugh Edwards, Hoyt Fuller, and Mahalia Jackson. (For complete list see original information).

In addition to the arts, politics are important to Doan, and he is proud of his Democratic affiliation.

Finding Aids Box no.___Description____________
Box 1
William Doan, Collection
"American Identities: Cabret Cards from the Doan Family Collection," 1985
Civil Rights Commission
Presidential Candidates, Press Packet
Cedar Rapids African American History Month, City Council Resolution, 2003
Jesse Jackson Campaign Material, 1988-2002
Helen Miller Campaign Material, 2002
John Roberts, African American Civil War Soldier, undated
Political Stickers, undated
Racist Postcard, undated
"We Serve Colored-Take Out Only," restaurant sign, 1931
"What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black," undated
African American Images
General, undated
Armed Forces
Body Building
Performing Arts
19th Century
Oversized Collection:
African American Photography "We'll Never Turn Back", Brown Bag Lecture
Dance Theater of Harlem, undated
American Fitness Gym II, 1975
Campaign Posters
Jesse Jackson 1988
Helen Miller Iowa House, undated
Buchanan/Foster, undated
Gore/ Lieberman, 2000
Shirley Chisholm, 1972
Webster County Public Schools to Irene Russell for perfect attendance, March 31, 1923, February 16, 1924, May 10, 1924, and November 11, 1929
Irene Russel 8th grade, Webster County, Iowa, June 10, 1924
Irene Russel, District 7, Clay Twp., certificate for five perfect spelling certificates, March 26, 1924
Twist and Shout, June 2002, "Jane Burleson 2002 Citizen of the Year"
Subjects Political activity
Political campaigns
Presidential elections
Civil wars
Search Terms Fort Dodge
Campaigns - Jackson
Presidential campaigns
Presidential campaigns - Jackson
Iowa House of Representatives
Iowa Legislature
Soldiers - Civil War
Civil War - African American soldiers
Civil War
Caucuses - Iowa
Iowa Caucuses
People Doan, William
Jackson, Rev. Jesse
Miller, Helen
Baldwin, James
Russell, Irene
Classification Government & Politics
Creator William Doan