Resources for the Study of Businessmen and Businesses
Special Collections holds a number of collections directly related to businessmen and businesses that date from the late 19th century into the 20th century. An effort in the 1960's to collect the historical records of Iowa businesses means that many of these collections are specific to Iowa. A number of the businessmen went on to become politicians and journalists. Company records reflect a strong manufacturing industry in Iowa and include those of a locomotive manufacturer, an elevator company, a maker of moving image equipment, and a desk manufacturer.
In addition to the more specifically business related collections listed below, there are many collections that reflect other types of business activity. The University of Iowa Libraries has significant holdings of newspaper and magazine editors and publishers. Publishers of small and private presses are also a strength. Many railroad collections contain business records of the lines that they document, including correspondence between key figures in the company, public timetables, and other forms of advertisement and promotional material for the railway. The Libraries also holds many collections of Iowa politicians who were involved in legislative committees that concerned business matters at both the state and national level.
Note: all images on this page come from the Papers of the Leopold Desk Company, "Catalog and Price list manufactured by the Northwest Furniture Company, Burlington, Iowa, January 1891."
Biklen, Wayne. MsC467
Dawson, Albert Foster. MsC67
Grahame, Orville Francis. MsC318
Kepner, George W. MsC16
Main, Willard F. MsC120
Nagler, Floyd A. RG10
Redhead, Wesley. MsC21
Reynolds, Conger MsC183
Strickland, Charles E. MsC311
Throop, James MsC76
Trowbridge, Delbert. MsC286
Weber, George. MsC269
Weeks, Carl. MsC164
Records of the Allen Motor Company (In process 2010).
Papers of the Davenport Bessler Corporation MsC81
Papers of the Dexter Company. MsC344
Papers of the Farmers' Grain Dealers Association. MsC141
Records of the Hertzberg Bindery / Library Binding Services, Des Moines Iowa. MsC545
Papers of Iowa Electric Light and Power Company. MsC146
Keith / Albee Collection. MsC356
Papers of The Kimball Elevator Company. MsC524
Records of the Krantz Family Concert Company. MsC150.10
Papers of the Leopold Desk Company. MsC209
Papers of the Linograph Corporation. MsC83
Records of the Redpath Lyceum Bureau. MsC150
Papers of the Roach and Musser Company. MsC191
Records of the Tamazunchale Press. MsC457
Papers of the Victor Animatograph Corporation. MsC153
Papers of the Willard Fur Company. MsC 207
Papers of W. H. Young and Company. MsC59
Records of the Zimmerman Steel Company. MsC850
Comment and Criticism
The Editorial Cartoons of Jay N. "Ding" Darling.
(digital.lib.uiowa.edu/ding). Search as SUBJECT,
"big business," "corporations," "businessmen," etc.
Articles and Related Resources
The Society of American Archivists Business Archives Section publishes online a Directory of Corporate Archives in the United States and Canada, listing corporate archives, archivists and organizations that provide business history.
Shepard, David H. "Victor Animatograph Company and the Beginnings of Non-Theatrical Film" 24:40-55
Schacht, John N. “American Labor and Working Class History at Iowa, Part I” 53:29-59; American Labor and Working Class History at Iowa, Part II 54:31-56.
Updated September 2010