Skip navigation

The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Paul L. Sayre Papers
RG 99.0262
Collection Dates: 1904-1962
3.5 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.

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Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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 materials were donated to the University Archives by Mrs. Sayre in February 1960 and later from the College of Law. Guide created and posted to the Internet by Denise Anderson, April 2007.

Photographs: None

Paul Sayre, between 1950 and 1955.

Paul Sayre, between 1950 and 1955.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence and manuscript drafts written during Paul Sayre's tenure as professor of law at the University of Iowa.  Sayre wrote a biography of Harvard law professor Roscoe Pound, and the correspondence in Sayre's papers includes approximately 100 pages written by Roscoe Pound to his friend, Omer Hershey, between 1892 and 1893.  Sayre was a student of Roscoe Pound at Harvard.  Nearly one linear foot of this collection is material relating to the Roscoe Pound biography, and there are five linear inches of Sayre family correspondence.

Biographical Note

Paul Lombard Sayre was born July 26, 1894, in Hinsdale, Illinois.  He attended University High School in Chicago, and the Teacher School in Ojai, California.  Sayre received his A.B. (B.A.) degree at Harvard in 1916.  He took his J.D. degree in 1920 from the University of Chicago, was admitted to the Illinois bar that same year, and practiced law in Illinois until 1924.  He took his S.J.D. degree in 1925 from Harvard Law School.  From 1925 until 1928, he served as professor of law at Indiana University.  Sayre was a research fellow from 1928 to 1929, and in 1930 he lectured on civil procedure at Harvard Law School, before joining the faculty at the University of Iowa College of Law that same year.  At Iowa, Professor Sayre's lectures focused on family problems and divorce laws, and he founded the National Council on Family Relations in 1937.  He also served on the editorial board of the Iowa Bar Review.  He married Grace Geyer, and the couple had three children.   Paul Sayre died August 10, 1959.

[D. Anderson; 04/2007]

Related Materials

University of Iowa College of Law records, RG14.02.

Folder, "Sayer, Paul L.," in Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG 01.15.03).

Box Contents List

Box 1

Correspondence, Sayre family, 1904-1954

Box 2

Correspondence about Roscoe Pound

Box 3

Correspondence, 1943-1947

Box 4

Correspondence to Sayre, 1940s

Box 5

Correspondence about North Dakota farm sale, 1930-1959

Box 6



---. Christmas readings, 1959

---. "Love of the Good," n.d.

---. "How to Experience Worthy Living," n.d.

---. Justice, n.d.



---. Justice, 1958-1959

---. Mason Ladd, Dean UI College of Law,1943-1946

---. Adventures of Bozo, 1940-1957

Box 7

Letters of Roscoe Pound

Correspondence about The Life of Roscoe Pound, a biography by Paul Sayre

Box 8

Family relations topics


---. Correspondence, 1937-1958

---. Newspaper clippings, 1944-1962

---. "Iowa Advocate" newsletter of the Iowa Law Student Association, 1958

---. "Virginia Law Weekly" newsletter, 1950


Domestic relations courses


---. Correspondence, 1948

---. National conference, 1946

---. Newspaper clippings, 1948

Domestic relations, selected essays, correspondence about, 1950-1951


Interpretation of Legal Philosophy, correspondence, 1944-1945

Legal Philosophy volume, correspondence, 1945-1946


Correspondence, 1945-1947

Law School, correspondence, 1950-1952

Book reviews, 1953-1955