MsC 664

Iowa Author

  Manuscript Register


Collection Dates: 1918 -- 1963
1.5 linear ft.

This document describes a collection of materials held by the
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Phone: 319-335-5921
Fax: 319-335-5900

Posted to Internet: May 2000

Acquisition Note: Mr. Mott donated some of these papers to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1946 -- 1947. His daughter, Mildred Wedel, donated the remainder in 1965.

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 Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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

Related Materials

Frank Luther Mott letters located in President Hancher files, 1940 -- 41 folders 85 and 138; 1941 -- 42, folders 86, 124 and 138; 1942 -- 43, folder 87.

Biographical Note

Frank Luther Mott was a writer who seemed to enjoy writing intimately about his own life and experiences. Not only does Time Enough, a collection of autobiographical essays, recall most of the significant points in his life, but the manuscripts in the University of Iowa Library's Iowa Authors Collection reveal an abundance of personal notes and anecdotes. One typescript begins "I come of Quaker parentage, and was more or less brought up in a country print shop...I had thought when I went to Chicago that I would study law, but my way back and forth from my home to the campus carried me by the University of Chicago Press Building, and the odor of fresh printer's ink from their pressroom made me so homesick for the print shop that I gave up my thoughts of a career in the law to take over with my father the management of a community weekly at Marengo, Iowa." Little else need be added to this significantly romantic beginning of a journalist and writer except a few dates and facts: Mott's Quaker parents were Mary E. (Tipton) and David Charles Mott, who published the weekly What Cheer, Iowa Patriot and owned a print shop near that little town in Keokuk County, where the writer was born April 4, 1886. When the elder Mott became editor of the Tipton Advertiser, young Frank, at age 10, began his career as a practical printer by setting type for his father. In 1902 Mr. Mott edited the Audubon Republican and the son worked for his father until he was graduated from high school. He attended for the next three years Simpson College, a denominational institution at Indianola, and received his Ph. B. in 1907 from the University of Chicago (not in law). He worked his way through college as a reporter for his father on the El Reno, Oklahoma, Daily American and as co-editor of the Marengo, Iowa Republican. By 1914 he had become editor and publisher by himself of the Grand Junction Globe. In 1917 he returned to school at Columbia University, receiving an M.A. in 1919 and teaching at the Marquand School for Boys in Brooklyn while there. He was a professor of English at the University of Iowa 1921 -- 1925, associate professor until 1927. In 1925 he became joint editor with John T. Frederick of The Midland. In that year he was named professor of journalism and director of the school of journalism as well as president of the board of directors of student publications, an office which he held until 1942. He continued to work on his doctorate degree and was awarded the Ph. D. in 1928. In 1939 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in American history for volumes II and III of his magnum opus, History of American Magazines. After more than twenty years at the University of Iowa, Dr. Mott in 1942 was appointed Dean of the journalism school at the University of Missouri, a post he held for the next nine years. During that period, he was granted a leave to serve on government journalism mission in France, 1945 -- 1946, was adviser to General McArthur's staff and newspaper leaders in Japan, 1947, and was a guest professor at Stanford during the summer of 1951. After his retirement, he continued at Missouri as professor of journalism until 1956, then became dean emeritus and professor emeritus on "limited service." At the time of his death at age 78 (in Columbia, Missouri, October 23, 1954), he was on leave of absence with a fellowship by the American Council of Learned societies to enable his to complete the fifth volume of his history magazines.

Scope and Contents

The papers of Frank Luther Mott consist of 1.5 linear feet of manuscripts dating from 1918 -- 1963. Correspondence and literary manuscripts make up the bulk of this collection.

Box 1

American Journalism

Correspondence, 1937 -- 1939

Correspondence, 1940 -- 1941 and undated

Printer's copy (1) with revisions

Printer's copy (2) with revisions

Printer's copy (3) with revisions

Printer's copy (4) with revisions

Printer's copy (5) with revisions

Printer's copy (6) with revisions

Printer's copy (7) with revisions

Printer's copy (8) Index with revisions

Andrews, Ernest F. "History of Radio Broadcasting in Iowa." 28 August 1956.

Bibliography of Frank Mott and collection inventory

Biographical information

"Conscientious Objections." Typescript carbon of a short story

Correspondence, The Palimpsest

1959 -- 1962


Correspondence, Publishers and magazines, 1918 -- 1935 and undated

19 January 1918, The Seven Arts

9 March 1918, The Sewanee Review

15 July 1918, The Stratford Company

28 April 1923, McClure's Magazine

28 May 1923, The Frank A. Munsey Company

17 June 1923, Short Stories

28 June 1923, Everybody's Magazine

26 August 1924, Fleming H. Revell Company

20 January 1924, Triple-X Magazine

25 Novemeber 1925, Houghton Mifflin Company

15 Novemeber 1926, Adventure

12 January 1927, The Sewanee Review

15 July 1930, Farrar & Rinehart, Inc.

7 August 1935, Woman's Home Companion (from F. L. Mott)

12 August 1935, Woman's Home Companion

14 August 1935, The Forum (from F. L. Mott)

4 September 1935, McCall's Magazine

18 September 1935, Harper's Bazaar (from F. L. Mott)

27 September 1935, Harper's & Brothers

3 October 1935, Holland's Magazine (from F. L. Mott)

8 October 1935, Holland's Magazine

16 October 1935, The Frontier (from F. L. Mott)

1 December 1935, Brief Stories Magazine

undated, The Forum

undated, form letter sent to several magazines (from F. L. Mott)

undated, from Celia Currien

Correspondence, The University of Iowa

1922 -- 1934

1935 -- 1936

1937 -- 1938

1939 -- 1942

Correspondence, The University of Missouri

1943 -- 1958, undated

"The Downfall of Frederick the Great." Typescript carbon of a short story

"Extempore." Typescript carbon of a short story

Five Stories

Correspondence 1951 -- 1963

Mailers and reviews

"The Freight Whistles In." Typescript (with corrections) of a one-act play

Golden Multitudes

Draft (1) with revisions

Draft (2) with revisions

Draft (3) with revisions

Draft (4) with revisions

Box 2

Green Sanctuary

Correspondence, 1938

First typescript (1) with corrections

First typescript (2) with corrections

"The Heel of Circumstance." Two typescript versions and correspondence, 1923 of a short story

"High John, Tramp 'Print'." Original manuscript draft (with revisions) of a short story

"The Hyphen." Typescript and manuscript draft

"A Jig O'Change." Typescript of a short story

Journal articles by Frank L. Mott


"100 Books on American Journalism (Revised)." The University of Missouri Bulletin 50.2 (1949).

"100 Books on American Journalism (Fifth Edition)." The University of Missouri Bulletin 50.27 (1949).

"200 Books on American Journalism." The University of Missouri Bulletin 60.48 (1959).

"The Beginnings of Artemus Ward." Journalism Quarterly 18.2 (1941).

"Book Reviews." Journalism Quarterly 39.2 (1962): 232-233.

"Carlyle's American Public." Philological Quarterly 4.3 (1925).

"The Chrisitian Disciple and the Christian Examiner." The New England Quarterly 1.2 (1928).

"Education for Journalism." The Journalism Educator 14.2 (1959).


"Eyes." The Stratford Journal (1918).

"The First Sunday Paper: A Footnote to History Journalism Quarterly 35.4 (1958).

"Footnote to Mortality." Prairie Schooner 10.2 (1936).

"Getting Down to Brass Tacks for Writers of Science Articles." Mississippi Valley Medical Journal and Radiologic Review (1948).

"Has the Press Lost Its Political Punch?" The Rotarian 81.4 (1952).

"Instructions and Suggestions for Correspondents." University of Iowa Extension Bulletin 480 (1940).

"Journalism's Next Quarter Century." The Quill 50.11 (1962).

"Magazines and Books, 1975: A Merging of Two Fields." Journalism Quarterly 23.1 (1955).

"Missouri Reprints Old Journalism Comments." Editor & Publisher (1955).

"The Newspaper Coverage of Lexington and Concord." The New England Quarterly 17.4 (1944).


"Newspapers in Presidential Campaigns." The Public Opinion Quarterly (1944).

"Of Men and Books." Northwestern University On the Air 1.2 (1941).

"Of Men and Books." Northwestern University On the Air 2.15 (1943).

"The Professional Element in Journalism." The University of Nebraska Publication School of Journalism Series No. 2 (1948).

"Research in Brief." Journalism Quarterly 40.1 (1963).

"Resurgence of Neihardt." Quarterly Journal of Speech (1962).

"The S.P.C.S." The Palimpsest, 43.3 (1962). (also includes The Midland by Mott)

"A Survey of the Japanese Daily Press as of April 1947." Journalism Quarterly 24.4 (1947).

"Trends in Newspaper Content." The Annals of The American Academy of Political and Social Science (1942).

Kappa Tau Alpha Initiantion Banquet and Portrait Ceremony program, 1961 (3 copies)

"The Last of Life." Three drafts, typescript and manuscript

"Man With the Good Face." Correspondence 1919 -- 1959 and radio script.

Box 3

Miscellaneous advertisements and printed material

Newspaper clippings, 1939 -- 1970

"An Outline for the Analysis of a Short Story." Typescript carbon

Pamphlets by Frank L. Mott

The Development of News Concepts in American Journalism, 1942

A Free Press: The Story of the American Newspaper, [1958?]

The Professional Element in Journalism, 1949 (two copies)

"The Phantom Flivver"

Correspondence, 1949 -- 1955

Typescript (titled "Peter Rugg in a Model T")

Newspaper clippings and Saturday Evening Post printing, 1950

"The Philanthopist." Typescript carbon of a short story

"The Planting of 'Itchy' Mitchell." Typescript and carbon copy of a short story

"The Press and Democracy." Typescript with corrections

"A Regular Go-Getter." Typescript carbon of a short story

"The Search for Happiness." Typescript carbon (with corrections) of a short story


Correspondence, 1930

First typescript (1) with corrections

First typescript (2) with corrections

Speeches and radio addresses

"Education for Journalism: Preparation of Young Journalists for Service to the Peoples of a Press World," 1959

"A silent revolution has taken place..." Typescript carbon of a speech, [1937?]

"The Stinker." Correspondence, 1953 and typescript of a short story

 "The Stuff of Heroes." Typescript carbon (with revisions) of a short story

"The Thirty-Three Themes of Modern Drama." Typescript carbon

"Vengeance is Mine." Typescript and carbon copy of a short story

"What Does Horace Say?" Typescript and carbon copy (with corrections) of a short story

"Who Knows?" Typescript carbon (with corrections) of a short story

"Young Chris Columbo." Typescript of a short story


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