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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Thomas H. Roberts Papers
RG 99.0233
Collection Dates: 1948-1957
0.25 linear 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.

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Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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 materials were transferred to the University Archives prior to 1970.  Finding aid created in August 2008.

Photographs: None

Thomas H. Roberts, April 1953

Thomas H. Roberts, April 1953

Scope and Contents

The Thomas H. Roberts papers include University of Iowa College of Education lecture material, as well as the papers he authored about Australia, where he was born.  At Iowa, Roberts worked with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the related self-study report is included.

Biographical Note

Thomas Hewitson Roberts was born March 19, 1906, at Albany in Western Australia.  He received his M.A. degree at the University of Western Australia in 1933.  He received his B.A. degree in 1937 and M.A. in 1940 at Merton College in Oxford.  While studying at Oxford, Roberts became acquainted with Paul Engle, a poet who became lecturer at the State University of Iowa in 1937 and director of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, 1941-1967.


Roberts joined the faculty of the S.U.I. College of Education in September 1940 as assistant professor.  He became associate professor in 1948 and full professor in 1953.  His areas of teaching were adult education and later, the expansion of high school education in Western Australia.  He was interested in the German educational system during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  At S.U.I. he was a member of a group which established the Iowa Center for Continuation Study.


During the winter of 1942 Roberts was granted a military leave to serve as Director of Education with the British Information Services in New York.  In spring 1943 he enlisted as a private in the United States Army, and then transferred to the Australian forces.  In spring 1947 he returned to S.U.I. with his wife, Molly (Wreford) Roberts.  They were married in October 1946 and had four sons.  Roberts moved his family to Australia in 1957.  Thomas H. Roberts died in Australia on September 8, 1979.

[D. Anderson; 08/2008]

Related Materials

Folder, "Roberts, Thomas Hewitson," in Faculty and Staff Vertical Files Collection (RG 01.15.03)

Records of the College of Education (RG 09)

Box Contents List

Box 1

Committee report, "The Teaching of English in Western Australia"

Correspondence, 1948

Self-study, "Education for International Understanding"

Manuscript, "Mr. Hitler Locks a Door," by T.H. Roberts

Lectures at S.U.I., "A History of Twentieth Century Ideas"


---. "The Timeless Land"

---. "Conquest"

---. "The Mayflower" and "Success"

---. "Know Your Neighbors: Know About Australia"