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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Harry Harper Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1946-1985
Creator: Harper, Harry (1900-1977)
Extent: 1.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0365
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Physician and civil rights leader in Fort Madison, IA. Correspondence, speeches, biographical and autobiographical materials, and subject files document both his career and his Civil Rights activism.

Alternate Extent Statement: Audio cassette tapes in Box 1.

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition: This collection was donated to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1981 by the descendents of Harry Harper, represented by his daughter Virginia Harper.

Preferred Citation: Harry Harper 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

Fort Madison native, Harry Dandridge Harper was born on February 12, 1900. He graduated from the University of Iowa and from Howard University of Washington, D.C. Dr. Harper practiced medicine in Fort Madison, Iowa for more than fifty years. He was very involved in civil rights activities in Iowa. He was chairman of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and president of the Fort Madison branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Active in other community affairs, Dr. Harper was a past vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce and a charter member of the Kiwanis club. Dr. Harry D. Harper died in January 1977, at the age of seventy-six.

The papers of Harry D. Harper are comprised of three boxes (or 1.5 linear feet) of manuscripts dating from 1946 to 1985. Autobiographical and biographical sketches, correspondence, civil rights speeches, newspaper clippings, etc. document Dr. Harper's life and career. There are three audio cassettes of an interview with George Garcia consisting of reminiscences of Harper's civil rights work. There is also a box relating to a discrimination controversy involving U.S. Highway 61 in Fort Madison, Iowa.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Letters: Mexico trip, January-February - 1950
  • Letters: drafts of letters, Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, American Association for the UN - 1946-1969
    Includes two letters from Dorothy Schramm
  • Autobiographical sketches and fragments, undated
  • Civil rights speeches, activities, and fragments - 1963-1974
  • Interview of Harry Harper by George Garcia, Fort Madison, August 23, August 25, and September 13 - 1976
    3 cassettes
  • Box 2:
  • Appointment book - 1975
  • Biographical sketches of Dr. Harper for published reference works, undated
  • Correspondence - 1926-1959
  • Correspondence - 1960-1969
    Including letters from Roy Wilkins and Fred Schwengel
  • Correspondence - 1970-1985
  • Undated or incomplete
    Including letters from Edward Mezvinsky and "Duke" Slater
  • Harper family reunions - 1935, 1949-1950
  • Hunting and fishing - 1946, 1958, 1972
  • Newspaper clippings - 1948-1985
  • Speeches - 1964
  • Box 3:
  • Correspondence - 1969-1974
  • Correspondence, October - 1974-1975
  • Correspondence, undated
  • Newspaper clippings - 1974-1975