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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Frederick W. Kent Film Collection
RG 30.05.03
Collection Dates: 1928-1934

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright: Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Acquisition and Processing Information: The films were donated to the University Archives by the family of Frederick W. Kent.

Photographs: Entire collection consists of motion picture films.









Scope and Contents

The films depict various activities on the State University of Iowa campus during the late 1920's and early 1930's as recorded by Frederick W. Kent, photographer of university events for over 50 years. Each entry listed below in the Box Contents List describes the contents of each individual DVD by the same title. The DVDs are digital representations of the original films, which did not contain sound tracks. The DVD copies of these films are individually cataloged (described in InfoHawk) and are housed in the University Archives' cataloged section. The entire collection is also available for viewing online as part of the Iowa Digital Library. Each film may also be accessed online by clicking on the linked title shown below in the Box Contents List.

Biographical Note

Frederick Wallace Kent (February 3, 1894-July 17, 1984) was a lecturer and instructor in photography at the University from 1923 until 1925. He was the curator of photographic apparatus, and the consulting photographer, from 1936 until 1947. Mr. Kent founded University Photo Service, and was manager from 1947 until 1963. He served as a part-time photographer of special projects with Photo Service for the next twelve years, retiring in 1975.

The importance of Fred Kent’s work goes beyond his many years of producing student’s graduation photos and recording sporting events. His detailed photographs of the 1922 restoration of Old Capitol on the University of Iowa campus aided in subsequent restorations of the building.

Mr. Kent photographed everyday scenes and the extraordinary. The Daily Iowan newspaper reported on November 23, 1934, that Mr. Kent designed a new camera to quickly and inexpensively photograph material for screen projection, improving upon the Recordak machine. He pioneered the use of stereographs in medicine, producing three-dimensional pictures for doctors. In 1947, Eastman Kodak commissioned him to write the first manual for medical photography. Mr. Kent also holds the honor of first recipient of the Iowa City Historic Preservation Commission Award in 1984 for documenting the growth of the area through his photographs.

Of the tens of thousands of images he created, Mr. Kent considered his most famous to be the now ubiquitous pose of Nile Kinnick ready to pass the football, which Mr. Kent recorded in 1939, the year Kinnick was named All-American.

A portion of Mr. Kent’s collection was transferred to University Archives from the Center for Media Production, where many of Mr. Kent’s sports photos and negatives remain. Additional Kent images of Iowa and Iowa City are located at the State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City. The motion picture films that comprise this collection were originally part of the collection of photographs that comprise RG 30.01.01 noted below under 'Related Materials.'

Related Materials

The collection may be viewed online. These titles in digital form are part of the Iowa City Town and Campus Scenes Collection of the Iowa Digital Library.

Faculty and Staff Vertical File Collection (RG 01.15.03), Frederick W. Kent folder

Frederick W. Kent Collection of Photographs (RG 30.01.01)

Box Contents List

Commencements 1928-1934 [online titles: Commencements, The University of Iowa, 1927-1934 and Commencement, The University of Iowa, 1933-1934]

1930 Commencement reel includes footage of Herbert Hoover, 1928; County Fair [?]; horse racing

Campus Scenes and Buildings [online title: Campus scenes, The University of Iowa, 1928-1933]

Between classes; Hoover visits Old Capitol; Field House including indoor track; Homecoming celebration including bonfire; Hospital tower; Registration 1933

Induction Ceremonies [online title: Induction ceremonies, The University of Iowa, 1928]

Corner stone ceremony [building unidentified]; Hoover campaign train; Hoover 1928; Induction 1928; new fraternity buildings

Military [online title: Military ceremonies, The University of Iowa, 1930s]

Military; Scottish Highlanders

Miscellaneous [online title: Kent family birthday party, Iowa City, Iowa, 1930s and Aerial views, The University of Iowa, 1938]

Kent home movies; Trichina micros; Whetstone House; Horses; Indian Lookout [reel labeled 'Whetstone House' but cannot confirm contents film]; Miss. Camp, canoeing June 1932; Aerials; Clouds and physics building 1947; Homecoming corn monument

Prof. Benjamin Shambaugh [online title: Professor Benjamin Shambaugh, The University of Iowa, 1930s-1940s]

Prof. Shambaugh and Old Capitol; in garden; exiting house; speaking; interiors of house, perhaps Whetstone House. [The following is from Bertha Shambaugh's house journal, Sept. 4, 1939 entry, in Shambaugh Family Papers, RG 99.0152: "Frederick Kent arrived at 1 o'clock to expose a few feet of film in the garden with glimpses of Benjamin and his clippers. This is the fourth installment of the moving picture film of Benjamin Mr. Kent is making for me. 2 in black and white and 2 in color; (1) As Master of Ceremonies Commencement time, (2) the reenactment of his part as Speaker of the Prologue for the Iowa City Centennial Pageant, (3) in the garden hollyhock time which was also Iowa City Centennial time - with Benjamin in hickory hat and red bandana, (4) the early Autumn garden with Crimson Cockscomb, Zinnias, Blue Mist (Ageratum), and yellow cosmos at their peak of bloom."]]

Sports [online titles: Sports, The University of Iowa, 1929 and Baseball players, The University of Iowa, 1930s?]

Swimming [female synchronized, diving]; Baseball [practice], 1931-1932; Golf; Football in new stadium / Marching band; Track [hurdles, cross country], 1931-1932