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.


Biklen, Wayne. MsC467

Dawson, Albert Foster. MsC67

Grahame, Orville Francis. MsC318

Kepner, George W. MsC16

Main, Willard F. MsC120

Meredith, Edwin.MsC121

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