This guide describes materials available in the University of Iowa Archives,
Department of Special Collections, that pertain to African American students who attended the University of Iowa. RG numbers within some of the entries below refer to the described collection’s record group number.
If you have questions about our holdings, please feel free to contact us.
Please note: As a first step in your research, we recommend that you confirm the dates of attendance and graduation of the individual you are researching. This information can, in turn, guide you in the use of the resources described below. To confirm date of graduation, submit your inquiry using the online form at http://www.iowalum.com/find. To confirm dates of attendance at the University, contact the Office of the Registrar.
African American Women Students at the University of Iowa, 1910-1960. This Iowa Digital Library online collection brings together newspaper articles, photographs, correspondence, oral histories, and other primary sources. Materials are drawn from the Iowa Women’s Archives, the University of Iowa Archives, the African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa, and the State Historical Society of Iowa.
Alumni and Former Students Vertical Files. Over 500 alumni and former students are represented in this collection. Files contain newspaper clippings, academic vitae, obituaries and other material. Among the files are those of African American alumni and former students. RG 01.15.01.
Alumni Association. The University of Iowa Alumni Association (UIAA) is a clearinghouse of information for current and future alumni. Clubs and groups, career services, and publications are among the services offered.
Alumni magazines, including The Iowa Alumnus (1903-1925), The Iowa Alumni Review (1947-1993), The Iowa Alumni Quarterly (1993-2000), and The Iowa Alumni Magazine (2000- ). Back issues of all alumni publications, with the exception of the most recent five years, are available online as part of the Iowa Digital Library. RG 01.09.02.
Alumni registers and directories. The UIAA periodically releases registers which include directory information about graduates. The earliest-known edition was issued in 1877 (RG 28.02). In addition, some colleges and departments have prepared their own alumni directories, notably the College of Law (RG 14.02) and the College of Dentistry (RG 08.01). See also: African American Students and the University of Iowa Law School, 17-U582CL 2:Af8.
Commencement programs and official graduate lists. Issued by the Office of the Registrar, the Archives maintains a full set of programs and lists from 1857 to the present. Lists include the student’s name, home town, area of study, rank of degree and, where applicable, the title of their thesis or dissertation. RG 24.01.07.
Degrees Granted, Summary of. A statistical summary of all degrees conferred by the University of Iowa since 1847, listed by type of degree and including discontinued curricula. The list is updated annually by the Office of the Registrar on its University of Iowa Statistics web page, which is linked here.
Directory of Living Graduates. Alumni are listed in two editions, 1919 and 1924. Includes degree and year of graduation, as well as the last known residence. These directories are part of the Archives Serials and Journals Collection, which may be used in the Special Collections reading room. RG 01.09.02.
Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. A list of all recipients of the award since its inception in 1963, compiled by the University of Iowa Alumni Association.
Event programs. Former students’ names may also appear in such event programs as music recitals (RG 06.24) or football games (RG 28.03). Media guides produced by the Department of Athletics also include information about student athletes (RG 28.03).
Faculty, staff and student directories. The directories, also known as the “herd book,” date from 1913 to the present and include published directory information (RG 01.07). The YMCA student handbook, published between 1889 and 1935, often included directory information as well, as did other student-produced directories (RG 02.13).
General catalogs. Published since 1855, the first year of classes at the University, the catalogs list all students alphabetically by name until the 1934-35 edition, and those awarded degrees until the 1940-41 edition. RG 01.08.
Hawkeye annual. The University of Iowa’s yearbook chronicled campus life from 1892 until 1992, and includes photographs of many students, including junior or senior-year portraits. There is an online index to photographs of individuals for the 1893 to 1942 editions. RG 02.10.
Internal Allocations. Also known as the “budget book,” this set of volumes lists the salaries and positions or rank of all University staff – academic, professional, scientific, and merit – from October 1925 to the present. In many instances, student employees are also listed. RG 25.01.
Official birth, marriage and death records. The Bureau of Health Statistics of the Iowa Department of Public Health in Des Moines maintains the state’s vital records. To submit a record request, go to the Bureau’s web site.
Official degree and directory information. The Office of Alumni Records maintains official degree and directory information pertaining to all graduates, including month and year conferred, type of degree, and major area of study. To submit an inquiry, provide the name to be searched by postal mail to: Office of Alumni Records, University of Iowa, 100 LCUA, Iowa City, IA 52242, or use the online form at http://www.iowalum.com/find.
Official student records, including transcripts. The Office of the Registrar maintains the official records of all students who attended the University, regardless of whether they completed a degree. Disclosure of such information to third parties is subject to Federal, State of Iowa and University regulations.
Papers of faculty, administrators, alumni and former students. Over 300 collections are housed at the Archives (RG 99 and RG 02 series). In addition, the Presidential Correspondence Papers (1916-1976) include indexed references to individuals who corresponded with the University administration (RG 05 series). See also specific collections noted below.
Photographs. Photographs of some former students, particularly from prior to 1970, are available in the Frederick W. Kent Collection of Photographs (RG 30.01). More recent images are maintained by the University’s Center for Media Production.
A Profile of Students Enrolled. Prepared twice yearly by the Office of the Registrar since 1965, the Profile includes enrollment statistics based on college, geographic origin, gender, and, beginning in 1978, ethnicity. Current and most previous editions of the Profile are also available online. RG 24.01.
Publications. University-produced publications often include references to alumni and former students. Titles of over 200 such publications may be searched in the University Serials and Journals Collection. RG 01.09.02.
Student newspapers. The Archives houses a nearly-complete set of student-produced newspapers, including The Daily Iowan and its predecessor publications, from 1868 to the present. It is arranged by date but is not indexed (RG 02.11). In addition, a microfilmed set of The Daily Iowan is maintained by Media Services, Main Library.
Back issues of the Daily Iowan and its predecessor publications are available online as part of the Iowa Digital Library. This digital collection, when completed, will span 1868 to 2005.
Theses and dissertations. The Archives maintains a set of all master’s theses approved by the Graduate College from 1886 to the present, and doctoral dissertations from 1900 to 1955. These titles may be located by the author’s name or by title in InfoHawk, the University of Iowa Libraries’ online public access catalog. A circulating copy may be charged out locally or, for off-campus users, borrowed through interlibrary loan, depending upon availability.
For a compilation of theses and dissertations prepared at the University of Iowa during the first half of the twentieth century, see: Edwards, Sarah Scott, comp. Theses and Dissertations Presented in the Graduate College of the State University of Iowa, 1900-1950. Iowa City: University of Iowa, 1952.
- Books and monographs. A Bibliography of the History of the University of Iowa. Originally prepared by Earl M. Rogers as a printed guide (University of Iowa Libraries, 1997), the online resource includes additions through the current year. The bibliography lists histories and selected contemporary accounts of the University and many of its faculty, colleges, departments, and other programs, and it often suggests effective ways to begin research. Both published and unpublished works are included. Relevant articles, books and other monographs are listed under the category ‘Students — Minorities.’
Records of the African American Studies Department (RG06.04)
Papers of Archie Alphonse Alexander. Alexander was the first African American at the University of Iowa to receive a degree in the College of Engineering. In 1912 he received a degree in civil engineering. MsC 304.
Buildings and Grounds Vertical File. Folders in this vertical file specifically relating to African American students include the Afro-American Cultural Center. Folder titles only are listed, not contents. Folders typically contain newspaper clippings, printed postings, and documents of the organization. However, our vertical files vary in amount of content, with some folders holding a single item. View the finding aid to this collection at RG 01.15.02.
Records of the Committee on Student Life. The folders in boxes 2, 3, and 4 address housing discrimination, 1958-1965. View the finding aid to this collection at RG 05.03.19.
Amos Currier Scrapbooks Collection. Pasted to the pages of nine scrapbooks are various programs, including commencement and convocations, 1872-1908; Alumni Association reunion banquet programs, 1877-1907; student handbooks which include student names and addresses, 1889-1895; course lectures and lecture syllabi, 1892-1900; literary societies, 1864-1905; music and theatre programs, 1871-1903; contests and debates, 1871-1903; assemblies and Class Day exercises, including lyrics and sheet music to Old Gold, 1874-1908. RG 99.0326.
Papers of Philip G. Hubbard. Engineering professor, civil rights advocate, Dean of Academic Affairs, and Vice President of Student Services, at the University of Iowa. The papers cover 1932-1997, the bulk relates to his tenure as professor and dean. His speeches calling for fair housing are included. RG 99.0248.
Patrobas Cassius Robinson Papers. Mr. Robinson, of St. Louis, Missouri, was a University of Iowa student during the 1920s and earned his B. A. on February 2, 1927. This collection includes one photo album of about 120 photographs, primarily of his fellow students. Also included is some correspondence, biographical information, his convocation program, and one group photograph from the Alpha Phi Alpha reunion on December 4, 1982. Mr. Robinson visited Tuskegee in April 1928 regarding the establishment of a chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. Robinson taught science at Vashon High School in St. Louis from 1929 to 1963. He became the first African American allowed to join the Metropolitan Real Estate Board in St. Louis. He was one of the founders of the African American organization, the National Society of Real Estate Appraisers. He married Kathryn Crawford. Robinson was born November 3, 1905 and died February 27, 1984. Collection covers 1925-1982; bulk 1925-1927. RG02.09.23.
Manuscript File Collection on Early University History. Box 24: June 9, 1902- Original typed letter conferring the degree of Doctor of Laws upon three men, one of whom is Booker T. Washington, LL.D., President of Tuskegee Institute. RG 01.01.01.
Records of the New Wave Party. African American Issues are housed in box 5. RG 02.06.03.
Records of the Office of Student Life. Includes entries pertaining to African American students. RG 24.12
Organizations Vertical File. Some folders in this vertical file specifically relate to African American students. View the finding aid to this collection at RG 01.15.04, where folder titles only are listed, not folder contents. Folders typically contain newspaper clippings, printed postings, and documents of the organization. However, our vertical files vary in amount of contents, with some folders holding a single item. To learn about the contents of this or other vertical file folders, contact staff.
Among files of note in this collection are: Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi.
Records of the University News Service. Boxes 40, 58, and 97 include such subjects as African American World Studies Program, 1972-2002; Afro-American Cultural Center; African Studies Program; and African Student Association, 1968-2001. RG 23.05.01.
Papers of Patrobus Cassius Robinson. Album consisting of about 120 photographs and other items depicting student life, 1925-1927. RG 02.09.23.
Subject Vertical File. The Subject Vertical File contains five headings specifically related to African American students: African Studies; Afro-American World Studies; Athletics; Black Students, Faculty and Staff; and Miscellaneous. The heading of Black Students, Faculty and Staff contains numerous subjects on black housing, black history, and black alumni, to name a few. To view the complete list of folder titles, view the finding aid of the Subject Vertical File Collection. RG 01.15.05.
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