MsC 211

  Manuscript Register

PAPERS OF ORA DELMER FOSTER

Collection Dates: 1895 -- 1965
24.5 linear ft.

This document describes a collection of materials held by the
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Phone: 319-335-5921
Fax: 319-335-5900
e-mail: lib-spec@uiowa.edu

Posted to Internet: March 1998

Acquisition Note: The Ora Delmer Foster papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1958.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Photographs: Box 32, glass slides box 34 and 37

Audio Material: Dictaphone discs box 33

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 Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections:  The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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.

Table of Contents

Biographical note

Scope and contents

Box 1 Correspondence, 1895 -- 1936

Box 2 Correspondence, 1937 -- 1965

Box 3 Correspondence, Foster to M. Willard Lampe

Box 4 Personal correspondence

Box 5 Correspondence concerning an award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews

Box 6 Diaries

Box 6a Diaries

Box 7 "Quest of Religious Reality"

Box 8 "Quest of Religious Reality"

Box 9 "The Wages of Religious Liberalism" -- "Religion and Common Sense" by Kelly and Foster

Box 10 "Diplomat Without Portfolio" Parts 1 -- 3

Box 11 "Diplomat Without Portfolio" -- Documentation on Mexico

Box 12 Documentation on Mexico -- "South American Odyssey"

Box 13 "South American Odyssey" -- Newspaper clippings

Box 14 "South American Odyssey"

Box 15 "South American Odyssey" -- Notes on the Catholic - Protestant Conflict in Latin America

Box 15a "South American Odyssey"

Box 16 "Religion in the Americas," taught at the State University of Iowa, 1947 -- 1948.

Box 17 "Notes on European Trip, 1948 -- 1949" -- "Madrid and Environs"

Box 18 Notes on Spain

Box 19 "Notes on European Trip"

Box 20 "Threshold of Interamerican Understanding"

Box 21 "Threshold of Interamerican Understanding"

Box 22 "The Romantic Quest,"

Box 23 Autobiographical materials - "Part II; World War I,"

Box 24 Documentation on World War I and Comrades in Service

Box 25 "Part II: Survey of Theological Seminaries and Religious Training Schools of the United States and Canada" -- "Origin of the State - Interfaith School of Religion of the State University of Iowa, Project No. 1 of the American Association on Religion,"

Box 26 "School of Religion,"

Box 27 "Origin of University Religious Conference of the University of California at Los Angeles" -- "Greater University of Oklahoma"

Box 28 "In Quest of Recuperation and Inspiration, Summer of 1928" -- Scrapbook

Box 29 "World War II" -- "Fifty-Seven Years Through Hindsight"

Box 30 Undated notes

Box 31 Undated notes

Box 32 Photographs

Box 33 Dictaphone discs

Box 34 Thirty-six glass slides -- Carbon typescript manuscripts

Box 35 Pamphlets -- Spanish diploma

Box 36 Printing set -- Notes and memoranda

Box 37 Glass slides

Biographical Note

A Congregational minister, Ora Delmer Foster (1877 -- 1965) graduated from Manchester College in Indiana. He received his B.D. and A.M degrees at Oberlin and his Ph.D. at Yale. Toward the end of World War I, he organized and directed the Comrades in Service Movement. This was an interfaith project that included all of the welfare agencies along with officers and soldiers. Dr. Foster was for many years the university secretary of the Council of Church Boards of Education. In 1922, at the Conference of Church Workers in Universities, he presented a paper proposing the idea of a School of Religion as a part of a tax-supported university. His idea was picked up by Iowa officials attending the meeting, and the University of Iowa's School of Religion was born. Dr. Foster was a guest professor there in the 1940s. He was a promoter of interfaith and church-state understanding and cooperation. His life's work was in the field of inter-cultural relations. A wide traveler and unofficial ambassador of goodwill, he spent many years working and studying in Mexico and South America. Dr. O. Delmer Foster died in Claremont, California, at the age of eighty-seven.

Scope and Contents

The papers of Ora Delmer Foster date from 1895 to 1965 and document his life and career. Autobiographical materials, memoirs, and diaries give insights into Foster's private life. His correspondence (both personal and professional) which spans seventy years is contained in five boxes. Many of his writings, especially those on Mexico and South America as well as those concerning religious issues, are included in manuscript form, with typescript drafts and notes.

Religion courses that he taught at the University of Iowa are documented in the papers with lectures, notes, research, and memoirs. Iowa's School of Religion is the subject of one entire box. Information regarding Dr. Foster's work with Comrades in Service, the American Association on Religion, and the North American Board for the Study of Religion in Higher Education is included as well. There are also boxes of photographs, books and pamphlets relating to Latin America, and slides.


Box 1

Note: For correspondence with Henry Agard Wallace, see that collection, MsC177

Correspondence, 1895 -- 1936

Box 2

Correspondence, 1937 -- 1965

Box 3

Correspondence, Foster to M. Willard Lampe

Box 4

Personal correspondence

Box 5

Correspondence concerning an award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews

Box 6

Diaries

Box 6a

Diaries

Box 7

"Quest of Religious Reality" (unpublished typescript with corrections, in a bound volume)

 Box 8

"Quest of Religious Reality" (with carbon copy)

Box 9

"The Wages of Religious Liberalism" by Fred J. Kelly

"Religion and Common Sense" by Kelly and Foster, typescripts

Box 10

"Diplomat Without Portfolio":

Part 1, "Mexico and Central America" (2 copies)

Part 2, "South American Republics" (2 copies)

Part 3, "Spain, Portugal and Rome" (2 copies)

Box 11

"Diplomat Without Portfolio" (cont):

Part 4, "Reminiscences and Reflections"

"Mexico and Central America" vol. 1 (2 copies, one with documentation)

"Mexico" vol. 2 (with documentation)

Documentation on Mexico

Box 12

Documentation on Mexico.

"South American Odyssey (1944 -- 1945)," :

Typescript, pp. 1 -- 195 (with documentation)

"The Duoguays," 90 pp. (with documentation)

Box 13

"South American Odyssey" (cont.):

Carbon copy, 285 pp.

"Argentina" (with documentation)

Documentation on South America

Newspaper clippings

 Box 14

"South American Odyssey (cont.):

"Chile" (with documentation)

"Bolivia" (with documentation)

"Peru" (with documentation)

"Ecuador" (with documentation)

"Ecuador" vol. 2 (with documentation)

Box 15

"South American Odyssey (cont.):

"Columbia" (with documentation)

"Columbia" vol. 2 (with documentation)

Expenses of Study Travel Trips

Foster's notes from South America

Miscellaneous materials on South America

Notes on the Catholic - Protestant Conflict in Latin America

 Box 15a

"South American Odyssey" (carbon copy)

Box 16

"Religion in the Americas," taught at the State University of Iowa, 1947 -- 1948. Materials concerning the course

Box 17

"Notes on European Trip, 1948 -- 1949" part 1, Spain, vol. 1 (with documentation and carbon copy)

"New Years Day, Lisbon, Portugal to Madrid" (with documentation)

"Madrid and Environs" (with documentation)

Box 18

Notes on Spain (with documentation)

Box 19

"Notes on European Trip" part 2, Italy (with documentation)

Box 20

"Threshold of Interamerican Understanding" chapters 1 -- 4, 8 -- 9 (unpublished typescript with corrections and illustrations)

Box 21

"Threshold of Interamerican Understanding" (carbon copy)

Box 22

"The Romantic Quest," 2 volumes (unpublished typescript with corrections, illustrations)

Box 23

Autobiographical materials:

"Reminiscences and Reflections for Grandchildren," (with documentation, through 1912).

"Form or Substance?" volume 1 of "Yen for the Yon," through 1912 (with two copies of Foster's dissertation)

"Official Ecclesiastical Relationships" (with documentation, through 1917)

"Part II; World War I," (2 copies, 1 with documentation)

 Box 24

Documentation on World War I and Comrades in Service

 Box 25

"Part II: Survey of Theological Seminaries and Religious Training Schools of the United States and Canada" (with documentation and carbon copy).

"The American Association on Religion" (with documentation)

"Origin of the State - Interfaith School of Religion of the State University of Iowa, Project No. 1 of the American Association on Religion," (text)

 Box 26

"School of Religion," (documentation)

Box 27

"Origin of University Religious Conference of the University of California at Los Angeles" Project No. 2, American Association on Religion (with documentation)

"Return from Europe."

"In Protestant Excile," 1929 -- 1930 (with documentation and carbon copy)

"Greater University of Oklahoma" Project No. 2, North American Board (with documentation and carbon copy)

Box 28

"In Quest of Recuperation and Inspiration, Summer of 1928"

"Resume and Consequent Observations," (with copy)

"Epilogue" (with documentation)

"First Excile" (carbon copy)

"Second Protestant Excile" (with documentation)

"Part II; Exploring Under Institutions" (with carbon copy)

"Lecturing for the Redpath Bureau and Institutes for International Rotary" (with documentation)

Scrapbook containing clippings from The New Deal

 Box 29

"World War II" (with documentation and carbon copy)

Guardians of America (documentation)

Materials concerning the years 1947 -- 1948, spent teaching at the University of Iowa

"Fifty-Seven Years Through Hindsight"

 Box 30

Undated notes

Box 31

Undated notes

Box 32

Photographs

Box 33

Dictaphone discs

Box 34

Thirty-six glass slides: "Mexico and the Persecution of the Church"

Hard Case: Slides

Carbon typescript mss. with the following titles:

"The Romance of Maya Land"

"The Forgotten Man in Mexico"

"The Mecca of the Americas"

"Romance of Creation"

"The Earliest Known Americans"

"Fact and Fancy in Old Mexico"

"Buried Alive"

"Archaeological Fascinations of Mexico"

 Box 35

Pamphlets, articles, etc.

Newspaper clippings

Spanish diploma

 Box 36

Printing set

Photographs and passports

Notes and memoranda

"My O.D. Foster" by Doug Shepard. Gift of Doug Shepard, 2010.

 Box 37

Glass slides: "Mexico and Central America"

These boxes are followed by unnumbererd boxes containing the following:

11 boxes of books from Dr. Foster's library, and some unboxed books.

2 cases of projector slides

2 framed poems

1 framed certificate

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