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Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Papers of Herbert J. Wehman
MsC 721
Collection Dates: 1969 -- 1973

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Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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: Bequest of Herbert Wehman, 1979.

Photographs: None

Excerpt from universal science

Scope and Contents

The papers of Herbert J. Wehman consist of 3 linear feet of undated manuscript material believed to have been written between the years 1969 and 1973.  Seventeen ribbon copies of typescripts with hand written emendations make up the bulk of the collection.  A photocopy of Wehman’s obituary as it ran on May 2, 1979 in Burlington Iowa’s newspaper, The Hawk Eye, is also included.

Biographical Note

Herbert John Wehman was born July 2, 1888 in Burlington, Iowa to parents Frederick and Anna Wehman.   As an undergraduate, he attended the University of Iowa, then referred to as the State University of Iowa, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry in 1911.  Wehman continued his education at Iowa, receiving an Education Certificate in 1918 (Note: there is reason to believe that Wehman at some point attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, as is evidenced in his obituary, though this claim has not been confirmed). In 1920, he received a Master’s of Science in Zoology and Paleontology, also from the University of Iowa, during which time he served as a Graduate Fellow in the Department of Zoology.  Notably, Wehman acted as the Chairman of the Committee on Quarters for Iowa’s renowned Barbados-Antigua Expedition of 1918, led by Professor of Zoology, Charles C. Nutting.  Following the expedition, Wehman briefly served as Assistant Curator of the University Museum of Natural History between 1919 and 1920.  Not much is known of Wehman's life following 1920, though he is believed to have left the University after completion of his master's degree to serve as Assistant Professor at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.  He returned to his hometown of Burlington, Iowa some years later, where he lived the remainder of his life. Wehman wrote “Universal Science”, an eighteen volume manuscript, which despite much effort, never found publication during his lifetime.  Herbert J. Wehman died May 1, 1979. He is buried at Aspen Grove Cemetery.

Related Materials

A System of Universal Science. Burlington, Iowa: c 1969-73, v. 1-7 (Main Library Q175.W5 v. 1-7)

Papers of Charles C. Nutting (RG 99.0194)

Interdisciplinary Programs, Museum of Natural History (RG 06.41.01)

Box Contents List


Box 1


Universal Science. Vol. I, Part 1: Dimensions.


---Vol. II, Part 2: Substance, Part 3: Living Systems.


---Vol. III, Part 4: Psychic Systems, Part 5: Social Systems.


---Vol. IV, Appendix: Symbolism (1).


---Vol. V, Appendix: Symbolism (2).                    


Universal Science: Descriptive. Vol. I, Part 1: Dimensions.        


---Vol. II, Part 2: Substance.         


---Vol. III, Part 3: Living Systems.


---Vol. IV, Part 4: Psychic Systems.


---Vol. V, Part 5: Social Systems (1)


Box 2


---Vol. VI, Part 5: Social Systems (2)


Universal Science: Symbolic.  Vol. I, Part 1: Dimensions (1)


---Vol. II, Part 1: Dimensions (2)


---Vol. III, Part 2: Substance


---Vol. IV, Part 3: Living Systems (1)


---Vol. V, Part 3: Living Systems (2)


---Vol. VI, Part 4: Psychic Systems, Part 5: Social Systems                    


Obituary, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa, May 2, 1979.