State University of Iowa Class of 1878

This guide describes materials available in the University of Iowa Archives, Department of Special Collections, that pertain to alumni and students who attended the University. RG numbers within some of the entries below refer to the described collection’s record group number.

If you have questions about our holdings, please feel free to contact us.

Please note: As a first step in your research, we recommend that you confirm the dates of attendance and graduation of the individual you are researching. This information can, in turn, guide you in the use of the resources described below. To confirm dates of attendance at the University, contact the Office of the Registrar.

African American Women Students at the University of Iowa, 1910-1960. This Iowa Digital Library online collection brings together newspaper articles, photographs, correspondence, oral histories, and other primary sources. Materials are drawn from the Iowa Women’s Archives, the University of Iowa Archives, the African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa, and the State Historical Society of Iowa.

Alumni and Former Students Vertical Files. Over 500 alumni and former students are represented in this collection. Files contain newspaper clippings, academic vitae, obituaries and other material. Among the files are those of African-American alumni and former students. RG 01.0015.001.

Alumni Association. The University of Iowa Alumni Association (UIAA) is a clearinghouse of information for current and future alums. Clubs and groups, career services, and publications are among the services offered.

Alumni magazines, including The Iowa Alumnus (1903-1925), The Iowa Alumni Review (1947-1993), The Iowa Alumni Quarterly (1993-2000), and The Iowa Alumni Magazine (2000- ). Back issues of all alumni publications, with the exception of the most recent five years, are available online as part of the Iowa Digital Library. RG 01.0009.002.

Alumni registers and directories. The UIAA periodically releases registers which include directory information about graduates. The earliest-known edition was issued in 1877 (RG 28.0002.001). In addition, some colleges and departments have prepared their own alumni directories, notably the College of Law (RG 14) and the College of Dentistry (RG 08).

Commencement programs and official graduate lists. Issued by the Office of the Registrar, the Archives maintains a full set of programs and lists from 1857 to the present. Lists include the student’s name, home town, area of study, rank of degree and, where applicable, the title of their thesis or dissertation. RG 24.0001.007.

Amos Currier Scrapbooks Collection.  Pasted to the pages of nine scrapbooks are various programs, including commencement and convocations, 1872-1908; Alumni Association reunion banquet programs, 1877-1907; student handbooks which include student names and addresses, 1889-1895; course lectures and lecture syllabi, 1892-1900; literary societies, 1864-1905; music and theatre programs, 1871-1903; contests and debates, 1871-1903; assemblies and Class Day exercises, including lyrics and sheet music to Old Gold, 1874-1908. RG 99.0326.

Degrees Granted, Summary of. A statistical summary of all degrees conferred by the University of Iowa since 1847, listed by type of degree and including discontinued curricula. The list is updated annually by the Office of the Registrar on its University of Iowa Statistics web page, which is linked here.

Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. A list of all recipients of the award since its inception in 1963, compiled by the University of Iowa Alumni Association.

Event programs. Former students’ names may also appear in such event programs as music recitals (RG 06.24) or football games (RG28.03). Media guides produced by the Department of Athletics also include information about student athletes (RG 28.0003.001).

Faculty, staff and student directories. The directories, also known as the “herd book,” date from about 1913 to the present and include published directory information (RG 01.07). The YMCA student handbook, published between 1889 and 1935, often included directory information as well, as did other student-produced directories (RG 02.0013.001).

General catalogs. Published since 1855, the first year of classes at the University, the catalogs list all students alphabetically by name until the 1934-35 edition, and those awarded degrees until the 1940-41 edition. For historical and legal purposes, the Office of the Registrar retains a copy of each University of Iowa General Catalog. Changes made after the original publication date are not reflected in these documents. You may view online all General Catalogs from the 1970-72 edition to the present at the Office of the Registrar web site, selecting from the drop-down menu. You will need Adobe Acrobat Viewer to view PDF documents. Earlier versions of the General Catalog are archived at the University of Iowa Main Library. RG 01.0008.001.

Hawkeye annual. The University of Iowa’s yearbook chronicled campus life from 1892 until 1992, and includes photographs of many students, including junior or senior-year portraits. There is an online index to photographs of individuals for the 1893 to 1942 editions. RG 02.0010.001.

Internal Allocations. Also known as the “budget book,” this set of volumes lists the salaries and positions or rank of all University staff – academic, professional, scientific, and merit – from October 1925 to the present. In many instances, student employees are also listed. RG 25.0001.001.

Notable alumni, Rhodes Scholars and Pulitzer Prize winners associated with the University of Iowa.

Official birth, marriage and death records. The Bureau of Health Statistics of the Iowa Department of Public Health in Des Moines maintains the state’s vital records. To submit a record request, go to the Bureau’s website.

Official degree and directory information. The Office of the Registrar maintains official degree and directory information pertaining to all graduates, including month and year conferred, type of degree, and major area of study. To submit an inquiry, go to:

Official student records, including transcripts. The Office of the Registrar maintains the official records of all students who attended the University, regardless of whether they completed a degree. Disclosure of such information to third parties is subject to Federal, State of Iowa and University regulations.

Papers of alumni and former students. Over 300 collections of the papers of University faculty, administrators and others are housed at the Archives (RG 99 series). In addition, the Presidential Correspondence Papers (1916-1976) include indexed references to individuals who corresponded with the University administration (RG 05 series).

Photographs. Photographs of some former students, particularly from prior to 1970, are available in the Frederick W. Kent Collection of Photographs (RG 30.0001.001).

Publications. University-produced publications often include references to alumni and former students. Titles of over 200 such publications may be searched in the University Serials and Journals Collection (RG 01.0009.002).

Student life collections. The collections include the records of student clubs and organizations, student-run services and programs, publications and newsletters, political activity, student government, personal papers and scrapbooks, yearbooks, and newspapers. RG 02.

Student newspapers. The Archives houses a nearly-complete set of student-produced newspapers, including The Daily Iowan and its predecessor publications, from 1868 to the present. It is arranged by date but is not indexed (RG 02.11). In addition, a microfilmed set of The Daily Iowan is maintained by Media Services, Main Library.

Back issues of the Daily Iowan and its predecessor publications are available online as part of the Iowa Digital Library.

Theses and dissertations. The Archives maintains a set of all master’s theses approved by the Graduate College from 1886 to the present, and doctoral dissertations from 1900 to 1955. These titles may be located by the author’s name or by title in InfoHawk, the University of Iowa Libraries’ online public access catalog. A circulating copy may be charged out locally or, for off-campus users, borrowed through interlibrary loan, depending upon availability.

For a compilation of theses and dissertations prepared at the University of Iowa during the first half of the twentieth century, see: Edwards, Sarah Scott, comp. Theses and Dissertations Presented in the Graduate College of the State University of Iowa, 1900-1950. Iowa City: University of Iowa, 1952.


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