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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Charles A. Schaeffer Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1887-1898
Creator: Schaeffer, Charles A. (1843-1898)
Extent: 3.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: RG05.0001.004
Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Summary: Seventh president of the University of Iowa, 1887-1898.

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition: These papers were transferred to the University Archives from the Office of the President; date unknown.

Preferred Citation: Charles A. Schaeffer Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: David McCartney

Charles Ashmead Schaeffer served as the seventh president of the State University of Iowa, from 1887 to 1898.
The Hon. William R. Boyd, a former chairman of the Iowa State Board of Education, once said Schaeffer "was the [University of Iowa's] first president who sensed what a modern university would be." Indeed, in his June 22, 1887, inaugural address, "The Development of the University," Schaeffer called for a larger library, more classrooms, and, above all, a commitment of financial support from Iowans. The result was a continuing tax to support the university so that the school would no longer depend solely on biennial appropriations.
Schaeffer was only 17 years old when he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1861. Following service in the Union Army, he attended the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University and in 1869 earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Goettingen. From then until 1887, he was a member of the faculty at Cornell University.
The Pentacrest building that bears his name opened in 1902, five years after Schaeffer turned the first sod on the site. It was initially known as the Hall of Liberal Arts; it was renamed in Schaeffer's honor in 1934.
Schaeffer was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on August 14, 1843. In 1871, he married Evelyn Schuyler of Ithaca, New York, and they had four children. Schaeffer died on September 23, 1898, at age 55.

Catalogs of the University, 1887-1898 (RG01.0008.001)

Records of the Board of Trustees and Board of Regents, 1847-1909 (RG04.0001.001)

Manuscript File Collection (RG01.0001.001)

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Correspondence
    0.25 ft
  • Daybook
    0.25 ft.
  • General Files
    2.5 ft.
  • Publications

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Schaeffer, Charles A. (Charles Ashmead), 1843-1898

College presidents

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa

Genre/Form of Materials:
Presidential papers

University of Iowa Administration