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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Norman Foerster Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1930-1971
Creator: Foerster, Norman (1887-1972)
Extent: .75 linear foot.
Collection Number: RG99.0060
Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Summary: University of Iowa professor of English and instrumental in the founding of the UI School of Letters.

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 of Iowa Libraries from Professor Foerster in 1965 and 1967. Processed by Earl M. Rogers in January 1997; guide posted to the Internet 2000; updated January 2008.

Preferred Citation: Norman Foerster 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

Norman Foerster was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 14, 1887, and died in Palo Alto, California, on August 1, 1972. The last name is pronounced "Firster." His degrees were A.B., Harvard University, 1910; M.A., University of Wisconsin, 1912; Litt.D., University of the South, 1931; D.H.L., Grinnell College, 1946; and Litt.D., University of North Carolina, 1948. Foerster taught English at Wisconsin, North Carolina, Iowa, Duke, and other schools. At Iowa he was director of the School of Letters, 1930-1944, resigning in a dispute about curriculum revision. He was also a prominent member of the New Humanist movement of the early twentieth century. Foerster wrote or edited many books on American literature and higher education.

The Norman Foerster Papers concern the administration of the University of Iowa School of Letters, Foerster's role in College of Liberal Arts curriculum revision, and his resignation. Correspondents include W.R. Boyd (Finance Committee, State Board of Education), Roy C. Flickinger (classics), George K. Kay (liberal arts dean), and other Iowa faculty.
Cartier, Jacqueline Marie. "Wilbur Schramm and the Beginnings of American Communication Theory: A History of Ideas," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa, 1988.

Falk, Robert and Robert E. Lee, "In Memoriam: Norman Foerster 1887-1972," American Literature 44 (January 1973): 679 - 680.

Flanagan, Frances Mary. "The Educational Role of Norman Foerster," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa, 1971.

Glander, Timothy Richard Glander. "Education and the Mass Media: The Origins of Mass Communications Research in the United States, 1939-1955," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, 1990.

Graff, Gerald. Professing Literature: An Institutional History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987).

Hoeveler, J. David Hoeveler, Jr. The New Humanism: A Critique of Modern America, 1900-1940 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1977).

Kelly, Gilbert Bruce. "Norman Foerster and American New Humanist Criticism," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Nebraska, 1982.

Lambert, John Stephen. "The Humanist Movement in American Criticism," Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1967.

Schuster, Richard. "Norman Foerster as a Critic of American Literature," M.A. thesis, Columbia University, 1948.

Other Foerster papers are at Stanford University.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Correspondence - 1930-1935
  • Correspondence - 1936-1939
  • Correspondence - 1940-1943
  • Correspondence - 1944-1945
  • Correspondence - 1965-1971
  • Correspondence - Undated

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

University of Iowa Faculty and Staff Organizations