2011 Collection Highlights

Welcome to the new year of 2012!  With the close of another year, we would like to take the opportunity to highlight just a few of the collections whose finding aids went online last year.  We receive hundreds of linear feet of new collections each year, and in addition to these new collections we also work on getting our older paper-based finding aids retyped and up online as well!  Throughout this month, we’ll highlight a few of these new collections and re-typed finding aids finished this past year, but for now take a look at the list below of some of the collections we will not be able to highlight.  Clicking on the collection’s title will bring you to its finding aid.  In addition to letting you know a little about the collections we worked on last year, the list will hopefully give you an idea of the wide variety of collections available here in the Special Collections Department!

Veteran Civilian Conservation Corps Camp #2725 Scrapbook, MS 674

The Veteran Civilian Conservation Corps (VCCC) Camp #2725 was constructed in 1935 in what is now Stone State Park near Sioux City, Iowa in the Loess Hills. Members of the camp were unemployed World War I veterans who helped with construction of the camp and projects designed by the camp technical staff.

PrairieFire Rural Action Records, MS 313

PrairieFire Rural Action was founded in 1985 and based in Des Moines, Iowa. Organized during the 1980s farm crisis, PrairieFire Rural Action assisted Midwestern farmers and their families, and provided advocacy on behalf of farmers.

Milton Sage Robertson Films, MS 325

Milton Sage “Robbie” Robertson pioneered work in crop dusting, inventing a rotary brush atomizer (later known as ICD Rotors) for crop spraying in 1930. The methods used for crop dusting at this time were problematic, and Robertson developed a liquid spraying technique with a rotary brush. Robertson eventually ran his own business, and between 1931 and 1934, Robertson put together film of every known phase of crop dusting and spraying for promotion and to teach pilots the techniques of the business. Robertson used this film as an advertising tool, showing it to farmers and growers during sales meetings. A selection of these films are available on our YouTube channel.

Louise A. Carson and Lucia St. John Cook Papers, MS 314

Louise A. Carson was a resident of Burlington, Iowa during the middle of the 19th through the middle of the 20th centuries. Lucia St. John Cook (born in 1830) was a friend of Louise Carson. This collection contains journals, letters, correspondence, clippings, financial records, and photographs.  Some interesting entries of Cook’s diaries were made in 1850-1851 when Cook describes her journey alone from Farmington, Iowa to Arkansas to teach. Cook discusses meeting African Americans on her trip, her teaching experiences, and educational differences between the North and the South.

Bob Kisken Photographs, MS 596

Robert (Bob) Kisken is a retired teacher from Michigan and now does ranch and farm photography as a hobby. This collection contains photographs taken by Kisken of barns in the Midwest but also includes some from other states and Canada. The barns cover a variety including kit barns from Sears, Roebuck, and Company; red barns; white barns; cantilever barns; German style barns; round barns; brick and wood barns. Also included are rural scenes including homesteads, grain elevators, prairie scenes, and silos.

Women’s Helpful Birthday Club Records, MS 201

The Women’s Helpful Birthday Club originated as a group of farm women in north Grant Township, Story County, Iowa. Begun in 1904, the club was formally organized June 12, 1907, at the home of one of the founders, Mrs. J. I. (Rena) Mather. Rena Mather thought the club should be established so that neighborhood women would have a time to meet and provide more social contacts and cultural activities. In addition to the meetings which often included educational programs, club members also often had a picnic each year and conducted philanthropic activities.

Lauren Soth Papers, RS 16/3/54

Agricultural economist and editor at the Des Moines Register and Tribune. Lauren Soth was in charge of economic information at Iowa State from 1934-1947 and was an editorial writer for the Des Moines Register and Tribune (1947-1954) and editor of the newspaper’s editorial pages (1954-1975) until his retirement. Soth received a Pulitzer Prize (1956) for editorial writing encouraging a U.S.-Soviet agricultural exchange. The collection contains material documenting the U.S.-Russian agricultural exchange of 1955 and Soth’s U.S.S.R. trip the same year, speeches and talks on the Wolf Ladejinsky affair, the oleomargarine controversy at Iowa State University during World War II and agricultural economics. There is correspondence about farm policy in the 1970s and 1980s, and material on agricultural issues such as animal rights, food and export policy, and land usage.

One of many photographs in the collection, above is pictured a few images from the United States farmers trip to Russia in 1955 (found in box 12, folder 5).

Sally J. Pederson Papers, RS 21/7/198

Consultant, editor, and former Lieutenant Governor of Iowa, Sally Pederson was born in 1951 in Muscatine, Iowa. She was senior food editor for Better Homes and Gardens and an executive with the Meredith Corporation. Pederson was elected to two terms as Lieutenant Governor (1999-2007) of Iowa under Governor Tom Vilsack. While in office, she was an advocate for people with disabilities.

Black Cultural Center (Ames, Iowa) Records, RS 7/5/4

In 1969, the Black Student Organization at Iowa State began planning for a Black Cultural Center to be located near campus and operated by a non-profit organization. The purpose of the Black Cultural Center is to provide a place for the Ames and Iowa State community to interact and gain a better understanding of black culture and to act as a home away from home for African American students attending Iowa State University. These purposes are carried out through a variety of social activities, cultural events, and lectures. The BCC is home to a library and the Iowa African-American Hall of Fame and it also publishes the student magazine Uhuru (Archives call no. LD2546 U38x).

Frank Robotka Papers, RS 13/9/55

An educator and specialist on agricultural cooperatives, Frank Robotka (1889-1975) worked for many years at the Agricultural Extension Service (1920-1961) of Iowa State University where he became involved with agricultural cooperatives. Robotka continued his study and research on cooperatives at Iowa State until his retirement in 1961. Throughout his career as a Professor of Agricultural Economics, he produced numerous journal articles and topical studies concerning the cooperative movement. (2012 is the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives; if you are interested in taking a look at our other collections related to cooperatives, please take a look at this subject guide)

LaVerne and Ida Noyes Collection, RS 21/7/235

LaVerne Noyes enrolled at Iowa Agricultural College (Iowa State University) in 1868 and graduated with a B.S. (1872) in general science as a member of Iowa State’s first graduating class. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Engineering from Iowa State for the success of his inventions and the promotion of higher education. Ida Noyes received her B.S. (1874) from Iowa Agricultural College (Iowa State University). Following her graduation Ida became a teacher. Ida and LaVerne married on May 24, 1877. LaVerne’s achievements include running a hay-tool business, starting a book holder manufacturing company (his Noyes Dictionary Holder sold modestly well), patenting farming machinery, and starting the Aermotor Company in Chicago, Illinois. The Aermotor Company  manufactured some of the first steel windmills and became the leading manufacturer of windmills in the country. During his successful career as an inventor and businessman, Noyes was able to acquire a modest fortune. Noyes enlisted the help of landscape gardener O.C. Simmonds to help beautify the campus of his alma mater, Iowa State. This project resulted in the creation of Lake LaVerne on our campus.

Charles A. Goetz Papers, RS 13/6/17

Charles Goetz attended the University of Wisconsin (1926-1931) where he studied agricultural bacteriology and chemistry and received his B.S. (1932), M.S. (1934), and Ph.D. (1938) in chemistry from the University of Illinois. Goetz pursued his interests in analytical chemistry, electrochemistry, and in fire extinguishing by carbon dioxide. Goetz worked at several corporations, where he invented and received patents for a number of important and useful ideas including the aeration process for whipped cream which allows it to be dispensed from pressurized containers. He also patented a number of fire extinguishing processes and devices for outdoor use on large fires. Goetz was a professor at Iowa State in the Department of Chemistry from 1948 until  his retirement in 1978.

E. Robert Baumann Papers, RS 11/5/55

E. Robert Baumann earned a B.S.E. degree (1944) in civil engineering from the University of Michigan, and a B.S. degree (1945) in sanitary engineering, an M.S. degree (1947) in sanitary engineering, and a Ph.D. (1954) in sanitary engineering all from the University of Illinois. Baumann served as a teacher and researcher during his time at the University of Illinois and then worked at Iowa State University(1953-1991) until his retirement. Baumann’s research centers on water filtration and waste water treatment. He published several books and hundreds of journal articles, research reports, trade magazine articles, and conference papers on diatomite filtration and municipal sewage treatment. His vast experience in sewage systems and filtration led to his work as a civil engineering consultant to cities and private companies throughout his career.

Fred W. (Frederick William) Lorch Papers, RS 13/10/54

Frederick William Lorch, born in Germany, received his B.A. (1918) from Knox College and his M.A. and Ph.D from the University of Iowa. He joined the Iowa State College (University) staff in 1921 as an instructor in English, was promoted through the faculty ranks, and served as Department Head (1942-1959). Lorch was the author of more than 30 scholarly articles and a national authority on some aspects of Mark Twain’s career. He edited several textbooks, including The Trouble Begins at Eight-Mark Twain’s Lecture Tours (call no. PS1338.L6). This work was published posthumously and won the Iowa State University Press Annual Award for the most outstanding manuscript by an Iowa author.

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