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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Elmer T. Peterson Papers
RG 99.0231
Collection Dates: 1929-1959
1.25 ft.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

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Acquisition and Processing Information: These materials were transferred to the University Archives prior to 1970.  Finding aid created in May 2009.

Photographs: None

Elmer T. Peterson

Elmer T. Peterson

Scope and Contents

The Elmer T. Peterson papers consist of correspondence during his career as professor and administrator in the College of Education, 1926-1964.  Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by the correspondent's last name.

Biographical Note

Elmer Theodore Peterson was born August 8, 1896, in Essex, Iowa.  Peterson received his A.B. degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, in 1917 before serving in the U.S. Navy as a radio electrician from 1918 to 1919.  He received his A.M. degree from Columbia University, New York, in 1922.  Dr. Peterson was employed at the State University of Iowa as a research assistant from 1924 to 1927 while earning his Ph.D.  He was named assistant professor at SUI in 1926 and full professor in 1935.  From 1946 to 1961, Peterson was Dean of the College of Education, after serving two years as acting dean.  He succeeded Dr. Paul C. Packer in that position.   Peterson was professor of Education from 1961 until his retirement in 1964 to return to teaching.

Peterson published two studies in collaboration with Dr. Everet F. Lindquist, Malcolm P. Price and Henry A. Jeep: "A Census of the Public School Teaching Personnel of Iowa for the School Year 1928-29," published by the state of Iowa in 1932, and "Teacher Supply and Demand in Iowa," published by the University of Iowa in the same year.

According to historian Stow Persons in Books at Iowa 49 (November 1988), Peterson inspired State University of Iowa Library Director Ralph Ellsworth to establish an "educational library to nurture library services and meet instructional needs."

Dr. Peterson married Anne Wiggins in September 1925.  The couple moved to Florida after his retirement.  Dr. Elmer T. Peterson died February 19, 1977.

[D. Anderson; 05/2009]

Related Materials

Folder, "Peterson, Elmer Theodore," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG 01.15.03)

Records of the Office of the Dean, College of Education (RG 09.01)

Papers of E.F. Lindquist (RG 99.0227)

Box Contents List

Box 1


Box 2


Box 3


Biographical materials, including SUI correspondence