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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Papers of Norman Foerster
RG 99.0060
Collection Dates: 1930-1971; bulk, 1930-1944
0.75 ft.

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Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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: These papers were transferred to the University of Iowa Libraries from Professor Foerster in 1965 and 1967. Processed by Earl M. Rogers in January 1997; guide posted to the Internet 2000; updated January 2008.

Photographs: None









Scope and Contents

The Norman Foerster Papers concern the administration of the University of Iowa School of Letters, Foerster’s role in College of Liberal Arts curriculum revision, and his resignation. Correspondents include W.R. Boyd (Finance Committee, State Board of Education), Roy C. Flickinger (classics), George K. Kay (liberal arts dean), and other Iowa faculty.

Biographical Note

Norman Foerster was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 14, 1887, and died in Palo Alto, California, on August 1, 1972. The last name is pronounced “Firster.” His degrees were A.B., Harvard University, 1910; M.A., University of Wisconsin, 1912; Litt.D., University of the South, 1931; D.H.L., Grinnell College, 1946; and Litt.D., University of North Carolina, 1948. Foerster taught English at Wisconsin, North Carolina, Iowa, Duke, and other schools. At Iowa he was director of the School of Letters, 1930-1944, resigning in a dispute about curriculum revision. He was also a prominent member of the New Humanist movement of the early twentieth century. Foerster wrote or edited many books on American literature and higher education.

Related Materials

Cartier, Jacqueline Marie. “Wilbur Schramm and the Beginnings of American Communication Theory: A History of Ideas,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa, 1988.

Falk, Robert and Robert E. Lee, “In Memoriam: Norman Foerster 1887-1972,” American Literature 44 (January 1973): 679 -- 680.

Flanagan, Frances Mary. “The Educational Role of Norman Foerster,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa, 1971.

Glander, Timothy Richard Glander. “Education and the Mass Media: The Origins of Mass Communications Research in the United States, 1939-1955,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, 1990.

Graff, Gerald. Professing Literature: An Institutional History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987).

Hoeveler, J. David Hoeveler, Jr. The New Humanism: A Critique of Modern America, 1900-1940 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1977).

Kelly, Gilbert Bruce. “Norman Foerster and American New Humanist Criticism,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Nebraska, 1982.

Lambert, John Stephen. “The Humanist Movement in American Criticism,” Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1967.

Schuster, Richard. “Norman Foerster as a Critic of American Literature,” M.A. thesis, Columbia University, 1948.

Other Foerster papers are at Stanford University.

Box Contents List

Box 1

1930 -- 1935

1936 -- 1939

1940 -- 1943

1944 -- 1945

1965 -- 1971

not dated