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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Papers of Arthur A. Small, including materials on the Iowa Communications Network (ICN)
MsC 254
Collection Dates: 1984-1994
1 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Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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: This Collection was donated to the University of Iowa Special Collections by Arthur A. Small in 2006.

Photographs: none

ICN network overlaid on a map of Iowa








Scope and Contents

This collection, assembled by Arthur A. Small, contains legislative documents, handwritten notes from committee and legislative meetings, news clippings, reports, and other documents directly pertaining to the development of the Iowa Communications Network (ICN).  It also contains a number of thematically related documents and news clippings regarding such topics as fiber optics, rural depopulation, and the "information highway of the future," which provide context for the milieu in which the ICN was developed.     

Biographical Note

Arthur A. Small was born on October 14, 1933 in Brunswick, Maine.  He graduated from Bowdoin College with his BA in 1959, received an MA from the University of Iowa in 1962, and earned his JD from the University of Iowa in 1982.  He served in the Iowa State House of Representatives  from 1971 to 1978, and in the Iowa Senate from 1979-1986.  Judging from the kinds of documents in the collection, Small appears to have been closely involved with the development of the ICN; however, the precise capacity in which he collected these materials is not clear. 

Historical Note

During the 1980's, Iowa's legislature began exploring the exciting possibilities of cutting-edge communications technologies.  The State of Iowa Communications Task Force and the Education Uplink Study Committee were two early efforts to determine what the state government's role in the field of communications technology would be.

In 1989, a bill was passed that allowed for the construction of a statewide telecommunications network, which was to be completed in three stages.  Parts I and II, begun in 1990, included 104 fiber optic endpoints--one per county (99), per state university (3), at Iowa Public Television (IPTV), and at the state capitol complex.  These endpoints became operational in 1993.  

The ICN became a state agency in 1994, when the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission (ITTC) was established by the legislature as the ICN's govening body.  In 1995, implementation of part III began with the establishment of full-motion video sites in public and private school districts, area education agencies, and public libraries.

As of 2007, the ICN continues to upgrade its technology as it administers a statewide fiber optics network that allows hospitals, state and federal government, public defense armories, libraries, schools, and higher education institutions to make use of telephones, high speed internet connections, and full-motion video.

Based in part on The ICN Story - Bringing a State Together (available at the Iowa Communications Network).

Related Materials

In addition to the Papers of Arthur A. Small, the Iowa Women's Archives holds documents related to the ICN in
Box 10 of the Betty Jean Furgerson Papers, and Box 26 of the Mary C. Neuhauser Papers.  There are also numerous documents pertaining to the Iowa Communications Network in the University of Iowa Library's government publications, which may be found via the online catalog.  Further information may also be sought through the Iowa Communications Network Homepage.

Box Contents List

Box 1

Folder I

"The State of Iowa Communications Task Force Final Report," February 12, 1985.

Miscellaneous legilsative documents, including a position paper from the Department of General Services and "Answers to Questions in the Area of Communications," 1986

Folder II

Education Uplink Study Committee materials: membership, mailing list, correspondence, minutes, miscellaneous documents, and final report, 1987. 

Folder III

"Iowa Educational Telecommunications Plan," 1987.

Folder IV

Legislative documents from the Office of Governor Terry E. Branstead, Joe O'Hearn, Chief Clerk, 1989.

Folder V

Case No. CE 36-21264 Millage v. Iowa Department of General Services, 1990. 

Folder VI

Iowa Department of General Services, 1990-1991.

Box 2

Folder VII

Telephone Companies' statements, 1990-1991.

Folder VIII

"Analysis of the Proposed ICN," 1991

Folder IX

Senate Files and House Resolutions, 1991-1992.

Folder X

Small's legislative session notes and misc. clippings, March-April 1991.

Folder XI

Small's legislative session notes, April 1991.

Folder XII

Kiewett Network Technologies, 1991-1993.

Folder XIII

Community Colleges' statements, November 1991.

Folder XIV

Miscellaneous notes and other documents, including a 1993 "State of Iowa Communications Network Report."

Folder XV

ICN Newspaper Clippings, 1986-1994.

Folder XVI

Non-ICN Newspaper Clippings, 1984-1993, on related topics.

Folder XVII

"Funding Iowa Schools" no. 1-4, 1988.

Folder XVII

Miscellaneous documents on related topics, 1984-1993, including a 1984 study by the Iowa Development Commission, a 1990 publication of "Telecommunications: Infrastructure for Ideas," and several others.

Folder XIIX

"Words of Wisdom - A Collection of Advice from our Elders," Iowa Press Citizen 21 February 2008.  Features Arthur Small.