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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the James C. Wright Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1933-1971
Creator: Wright, James C. (1903-unknown)
Extent: 7.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0296
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Educator. Correspondence, subject files, speeches, articles, clippings, and photographs documenting his career as a school administrator, state official, and educator.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs: Box 14

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: These papers were donated to the University by James C. Wright in 1974.

Preferred Citation: James C. Wright Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Educator James Claude Wright was born in Kansas in 1903. He received his B.A. from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and his M.A. from the University of Iowa. He spent twenty-seven years in the Keokuk school system, first as a teacher and coach, then as the high school principal, and finally as the superintendent of schools. In 1955, Wright was appointed State Superintendent of Public Instruction in Iowa. He was responsible for closing many small town schools and reorganizing many Iowa school districts. Because of these and other controversial actions, he was not reappointed in 1960. Moving to Washington, D.C. in 1961, he became secretary of the Committee for the Advancement of School Administration. In 1963, he accepted the position of director of education in American Samoa. Returning to the continental United States, he became a professor of education at Northeast Missouri State Teachers College in Kirksville, Missouri. He remained there until his retirement.

The papers of James C. Wright measure seven linear feet and date from 1933 to 1971. His career as an educator is documented with correspondence, speeches, clippings, articles, and subject files. The correspondence fills almost four boxes and spans nearly forty years. Subject files exist on a wide variety of topics relating to education. These include school district reorganization in Iowa, the Iowa Department of Public Instruction, the Committee for the Advancement of School Administration, education in American Samoa, the Iowa Schoolmasters Walt Whitman Club, and education in Keokuk, Iowa. There are also folders of his speeches and articles, and a box of photographs.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Correspondence - 1933-1956
    5 folders
  • Box 2:
  • Correspondence, January-May - 1957-1960
    4 folders
  • Box 3:
  • Correspondence, June-December - 1960-1964
    5 folders
  • Box 4:
  • Correspondence - 1965-1971
  • Correspondence, undated
  • Congratulatory letters on becoming State Superintendent - 1954
  • Articles by J. C. Wright
  • Biographical information on J. C. Wright
  • Box 5:
  • Speeches - 1942-1963
    2 folders
  • Newspaper clippings - 1936-1959
    2 folders
  • Box 6:
  • Newspaper clippings - 1960-1970
    3 folders
  • American Samoa, Daily Bulletin, Pago Pago
  • Box 7:
  • American Samoa Educational Specifications
  • American Samoa Educational Television
  • American Samoa Miscellaneous
    3 folders
  • Box 8:
  • American Samoa News of the Day: Newspapers
  • American Samoa News of the Day: Protestant Community Church
  • American Samoa News of the Day: Samoan Shark
  • American Samoa News of the Day: Telephone directories
  • American Samoa News of the Day: Textbooks
  • Box 9:
  • Committee for the Advancement of School Administration
    2 folders
  • Department of Public Instruction
    2 folders
  • Box 10:
  • Department of Public Instruction
    11 folders
  • General material on education
  • Box 11:
  • General material on education
    2 folders
  • Home room program for senior high school
  • Keokuk schools subject file
  • Box 12:
  • Keokuk schools subject file
  • Northwestern University Summer Workshop - 1939-1940
    2 folders
  • School district reorganization - 1954-1960
    2 folders
  • Box 13:
  • School district reorganization - 1961-1962
  • State Board of Public Instruction Minutes - 1960-1963
  • State Board of Public Instruction Weekly News Releases
  • Walt Whitman Club of Iowa Schoolmasters
  • Workshop at Minnesota
  • Box 14:
  • Photographs