From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Collins, Iona Wood

(born: 1914  -  died: 2003) 

Iona Wood Collins, born in Paris, KY, moved with  her family to Maryland when she was a child. Collins was one of the first African American librarians with the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD, working there from the late 1930s to the early 1940s.

Following the birth of her daughter in 1945, Collins reopened the previously closed Little School, a private preschool in Baltimore for African American children. She owned and managed the school for 35 years, later opening the Park Hill Nursery.

Collins was a graduate of Howard University and attended the Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] library science school before transferring to Columbia University, where she earned her library degree.

She was the daughter of Nellie Virgie Hughes Wood and Francis Marion Wood, former president of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and Baltimore's first superintendent of Colored schools.

For more see J. D. Rockoff, "Iona Wood Collins, 89, one of the first black librarians at Enoch Pratt," The Sun (Baltimore, MD), 12/28/2003, LOCAL section, p. 3B.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Bourbon County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Paris, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Wood, Francis M.
NKAA Source: The Sun (or Baltimore Sun) (newspaper)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Collins, Iona Wood,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 28, 2021,

Last modified: 2021-07-26 16:08:28