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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the William O. Aydelotte Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1924-1996
Creator: Aydelotte, William O. (1910-1996)
Extent: 99.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: RG99.0093
Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Summary: University of Iowa professor of history, 1947-1996. One of the first historians elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 70

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition: These materials were donated to the University Archives by Mr. and Mrs. Aydelotte in August 1994.

Preferred Citation: William O. Aydelotte 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
Email: david-mccartney@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc/archives

William Osgood Aydelotte was born September 1, 1910, in Bloomington, Indiana. His parents were Marie Jeannette Osgood and Frank Aydelotte, who were Quakers. William O. Aydelotte graduated from Harvard University, with a major in classics in 1931. He took his Ph.D. in history at the University of Cambridge, England, in 1934. He then worked for two years at the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in Washington, D.C. Dr. Aydelotte held an appointment at the University of Minnesota during the summer of 1937. Over the next ten years, he taught at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut; Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts; and Princeton University.
 
Dr. Aydelotte joined the faculty at the University of Iowa Department of History in fall 1947 as assistant professor. He and others immediately began work to reform the department. Dr. Aydelotte served as chairman of this committee, replacing Professor Winfred Root, who died December 9, 1947. One result of this reform was the involvement of the entire department in the appointment process. Dr. Aydelotte was promoted to full professor in 1950, with his area of research being political behavior. During the 1950s, his studies of the British Parliament of the 1840s garnered him the honor of the Order of the British Empire in 1961. He served as Carver Professor of History, 1976 to 1978, and retired from the University in June 1978.
 
In June 1956, Dr. Aydelotte married Dr. Myrtle Kitchell, who became the first director of the College of Nursing in September 1949. They had two daughters, Marie and Jeannette. William O. Aydelotte died January 17, 1996.

This collection documents the professional career of Dr. William O. Aydelotte, professor of history from 1947 to 1978 at the University of Iowa. Lecture notes, speeches, publications, correspondence, and Department of History reports and minutes are included. These papers also contain Dr. Aydelotte's publications reviews, and document his participation in history conferences, committees and councils.Dr. Aydelotte was a prolific writer, and preserved his notes about everything from a 1924 meeting of the home room boys during his tenth grade, to the diaries he kept over a sixty-year period, to his vacation in Ireland, and to notes on the meetings of the Know-Nothing Club -- a group of University of Iowa professors who met informally, with no official minutes recorded. Dr. Aydelotte classified and indexed his major research notes, and filed them in a dozen card catalog drawers, as noted in the box list below.The focus of Dr. Aydelotte's research, in the area of political science, was the British Parliament. Such research topics are represented as the Victorian reformation, social attitudes in the work of Charles Dickens, politics in detective stories, as well as his research about using computers to analyze research statistics. Dr. Aydelotte maintained detailed files on subjects that interested him, such as the Latin hexameter verse machine, exhibited in London during 1845.This collection includes some material about Dr. Aydelotte's family. Box 58 contains information about his father, Frank (1880-1956), who was president of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania from 1921 to 1940. Genealogical material about William O. Aydelotte's Irish cousins is housed in box 52.Dr. Aydelotte was diagnosed with tuberculosis in September 1950, and he recorded the course of treatment he received at Oakdale Sanatorium, as well as descriptions of the facility, in nearly daily letters to his mother and brother during a nine-month period. These letters are arranged in chronological order in box 70.
Folder, "Aydelotte, William O. ," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Persons, Stow. "History at Iowa: The First Century, 1855-1948." Iowa City, 1996. 21 pp., Historical Papers Collection (RG01.0001.003)

Persons, Stow. "History at Iowa: The Modern Era." Iowa City, 1996. 24 pp., Historical Papers Collection (RG01.0001.003)

Papers of Stow Persons (RG99.0104)

Papers of Allan G. Bogue (RG99.0103)

Papers of Harry Plum (RG99.0107)

Records of the Dept. of History (RG06.0017.001)

The University of Iowa Libraries Dept. of Government Publications. British Parliament publications.

Know-Nothing Club, Organizations and Clubs Vertical Files (RG01.0015.004)

Records of the Oakdale Sanatorium (RG27.0020.001)

Oakdale Campus Buildings vertical file (RG01.0015.002)

Papers of Frank Aydelotte (MsC0232)

Papers of Myrtle Kitchell Aydelotte, Iowa Women's Archives

National Academy of Sciences. Biographical Memoirs.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: TEACHING
Series 2: PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
Series 3: RESEARCH
Series 4: HISTORY DEPARTMENT
Series 5: WRITINGS
Series 6: PERSONAL

  • Series 1: TEACHING
  • Box 1:
  • Course lecture notes
  • Correspondence
  • Thesis committee work
  • William C. Lubenow, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and President of the North American Conference on British Studies, and student of Dr. Aydelotte, during the mid-1960s
  • Box 2:
  • Placement correspondence - 1971-1975
  • Rhodes Scholarship - 1948-1955
  • Box 3:
  • Correspondence
  • Box 4:
  • Lecture notes
  • Box 5:
  • Lecture notes
  • Box 6:
  • Course, “Modern European Intellectual History” - 1958-1969
  • Course, “Social Science History Association” (SSHA) - 1973-1976
  • American Historical Review editorial board - 1976
  • Seminar, “Legislative Behavior,” fall - 1967
  • Seminar, “Modern English History,” fall - 1963
    Course number 16:251
  • Seminar, “Congressional Behavior, 1816-1828,” March 9 - 1965
  • Seminar, “Modern England” - 1968, 1971
    Course number 16:252
  • Seminar, “Modern Europe” - 1959-1965
    Course numbers 16:241, 16:242
  • Seminar on topics proposed by students, fall - 1957
  • Ph.D. dissertation topics - 1949-1963
  • Princeton University Press correspondence - 1971-1976
  • Box 7:
  • Course, “Philosophy of History” - 1963-1973
    Course number 16:298
  • Course, “Historiography” - 1960-1961
    Course number 16:297
  • Course, “Historiography and Philosophy of History,” fall - 1948-1960
    Course number 16:297
  • Presentation to Graduate History Society and at Conference on the Use of Computers in Humanistic Research
  • Quantification in History, December - 1964
  • Speech about Scattergood, September 30 - 1958
  • Notes about writers of history - 1940-1949
  • Lecture by historian Arnold J. Toynbee, November 6 - 1955
  • Box 8:
  • “Philosophy of History” - 1970-1979
    Course materials 1-8
  • Box 9:
  • “Philosophy of History” - 1970-1979
    Course materials 10-13
  • Box 10:
  • Colloquiums, seminars and lectures - 1963-1981
  • Box 11:
  • Course materials
  • “Diplomatic History”
    Course number 16:155
  • “Intellectual History”
  • “Modern England”
  • Drafts
  • Box 12:
  • Modern England Course materials, including Harvard summer session 1966
  • Series 2: PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
  • Box 13:
  • “Quantification in History,” article in American Historical Review, April - 1966
  • Quantification in History, book title - 1971
  • History department
  • American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
  • Box 14:
  • AAUP
  • American Historical Association (AHA)
  • Woodrow Wilson fellowships
  • Box 15:
  • Articles
  • Guttman scales, statistical tools for analyzing the Corn Laws Parliament
  • British political party materials
  • Box 16:
  • Publications of other authors, and bibliography technical offprints A-L
  • Box 17:
  • Publications of other authors, and bibliography technical offprints M-Z
  • Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California - 1976-1977
  • Oxford, England - 1968
  • Visiting professor at University of Leicester, England - 1979
  • Kenya travel information
  • Box 18:
  • Aydelotte publications
    3 folders
  • Box 19:
  • Publishers
  • American Historical Review
  • Shady Hill School, elementary school in Cambridge, England
  • National Academy of Sciences (NAS) biography of Allan George Bogue
  • NAS biography of Samuel P. Huntington
  • Social Science History Association (SSHA)
  • William Penn Charter School, in Germantown, Pennsylvania
  • Harvard University
  • Trinity College teaching position
  • University of Minnesota position, summer - 1937
  • Job offers
  • Series 3: RESEARCH
  • Box 19:
  • "Genius," paper by Aydelotte - 1931
  • Stanford conference - 1957
  • Box 20:
  • Quantification in History
  • Bismarck and British Colonial Policy
  • American Historical Association (AHA) - 1971
  • Ann Arbor conference - 1967
  • Reisman
  • Metzger, Walter P., UI Department of History faculty
  • The Business Interests of the Gentry in the Parliament of 1841-1847
  • Box 21:
  • Criticism of Toynbee's November 1955 lecture, by Abba Eban, Israel's ambassador to U.S., January 18 - 1956
  • Walter P. Metzger (UI Department of History) paper on economist Thorstein Veblen
  • James R. Wiegand undergraduate college thesis - 1953
  • "Ten Hours," about welfare legislation in England 1833-1867
  • Box 22:
  • Social Science Research Council (SSRC), Aydelotte's German-language article ("Notes on the Problem of Historical Generalization") "Bemerkungen zum Problem historischer Generalisierungen" - 1963
  • Social Science History Association (SSHA)
  • National Research Council panel on relation of non-response to promises of confidentiality - 1978
  • Box 23:
  • Correspondence
  • Lectures on Victorian studies, University of Leicester - 1971
  • Speeches
  • Drafts
  • Reviews
  • Midwest conference of British Historical Studies - 1962-1963
  • Legislative Behavior conference suggestions - 1971
  • Conferences - 1971-1972
  • History of Parliamentary Behavior, introduction
  • Correspondence about trip to England - 1968
  • Paper delivered at Ithaca, New York
  • Correspondence with Abraham Flexner, Institute for Advanced Study - 1933-1947
  • Frank Aydelotte autobiography material
  • Correspondence with Frances Blanshard about biography - 1954-1966
  • Box 24:
  • Subject folders
  • Box 25:
  • Reprints on House of Commons - 1841-1847
  • Box 26:
  • Reprints on parliamentary politics and home rule
  • Box 27:
  • Outline file
  • Box 28:
  • Outline file
  • Box 29:
  • “Modern England,” lectures
  • Box 30:
  • "Serendipity," background
  • Latin Hexameter Verse Machine. Machine for Making Hexameter Latin verses, by John Clark - 1837
  • Latin Hexameter Verse Machine. "Latin Hexameter Machine," exhibition by John Clark at Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, London - 1845
  • Box 31:
  • Bibliographies
  • Box 32:
  • "History of English University," bibliography and reprints
  • Know-Nothing Club presentation notes - 1945-1987
    13 folders, incomplete
  • Know-Nothing Club membership lists - 1961-1962; 1964-1968
    5 folders
  • Know-Nothing Club, description and philosophy of - 1954
  • Charles H. Firth, Fellow of the British Academy, publications - 1918-1920
  • Harold Temperley biographical information, Aydelotte's Cambridge University professor
  • Box 33:
  • Charles Dickens research - 1944-1970
    Chapters 1-6
  • Dickens Characters Cocktail Set, linen napkins - 1946
  • Box 34:
  • "The Novelist and the Historian" - 1950
  • Applications for research support
  • Conference on Mathematical and Statistical Methods in History (CMSMH), Harvard, June 10 - 1965
  • Bibliographies
  • Guggenheim Memorial Foundation - 1953-1954
  • Guggenheim Memorial Foundation - 1969
  • "History and the Social Sciences," research material
  • Quantitative History Project, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, July 14-August 4 - 1967
  • Box 35:
  • "Notes on Glan," by Aydelotte, June - 1963
  • "Glendalough House," by Aydelotte
  • Ireland postcards and travel information
  • Booklet, The Book of Kells, published by Trinity College, Dublin
  • Booklet, Glendalough and the Seven Churches of St. Kevin - 1962
  • Book reviews by Aydelotte - 1955-1972
  • Correspondence about publications
  • Box 36:
  • Card catalog drawer of reference notes, Members of the Corn Laws Parliament, 1-380
  • Box 37:
  • Card catalog drawer of reference notes, Members of the Corn Laws Parliament, 381-526
  • Box 38:
  • Card catalog drawer of reference notes, Members of the Corn Laws Parliament, 527-671
  • Box 39:
  • Card catalog drawer of reference notes, Members of the Corn Laws Parliament, 672-815
  • Box 40:
  • Card catalog drawer of reference notes, Members of the Corn Laws Parliament, 450-600
  • Box 41:
  • Card catalog drawer of reference notes, divisions, British legislative behavior - 1841-1847
  • Box 42:
  • Card catalog drawer of reference notes, divisions, British legislative behavior - 1841-1847
  • Box 43:
  • Card catalog drawer of reference notes, divisions, British legislative behavior
  • Box 44:
  • Correspondence - 1951-1975
  • Box 45:
  • Correspondence, A-C
  • Box 46:
  • Correspondence, D-H
  • Box 47:
  • Correspondence, H-L
  • Box 48:
  • Correspondence, M-P
  • Box 49:
  • Card catalog drawer of reference notes
  • Box 50:
  • Card catalog drawer of reference notes
  • Box 51:
  • Card catalog drawer of reference notes
  • Box 52:
  • Card catalog drawer of reference notes
  • Box 53:
  • Card catalog drawer of reference notes
  • Series 4: HISTORY DEPARTMENT
  • Box 54:
  • Administrative notes - 1950-1989
  • Reports - 1949-1968
  • "On Coming into the Country, or the Rocky Road to Iowa," by Stow Persons - 1993
  • Professor Harrison John Thornton - 1951-1984
  • Graduate Council minutes
  • Clippings
  • Speakers
  • Courses
  • Department - 1980-1994
  • Box 55:
  • Department - 1947-1949
  • Department - 1975-1979
  • Box 56:
  • Employee Record, University of Iowa newsletter - 1949, 1950
  • State Historical Society of Iowa - 1948-1972
  • Correspondence - 1949-1959
  • Reports, Department of Political Science Review Committee, January - 1972
  • Faculty, Winfred Trexler Root seminar room dedication, March 28 - 1952
  • Faculty, Oscar Handlin
  • Correspondence - 1948-1949
  • Appointments - 1948, 1953
  • Appointments - 1955-1956
  • Correspondence - 1947-1951
  • Correspondence, Allan Bogue - 1959
  • Chairman - 1959-1973
  • "Informal Guide to Administrative Procedures," September - 1950
  • Box 57:
  • History Department minutes, September-April - 1950-1951
  • History Department minutes, April-August - 1959-1981
  • Box 58:
  • History department administration - 1960-1969
  • Box 59:
  • History department administration - 1961-1973
  • Box 60:
  • History department - 1973-1975
  • British data bank
  • Conference, Ann Arbor, Michigan - 1957, 1965
  • Conference, Ithaca, New York - 1968
  • Detective story - 1949
  • Miscellaneous
  • Series 5: WRITINGS
  • Box 61:
  • Legislative conference - 1972
  • SSRC - 1965-1970
  • Box 62:
  • Correspondence
  • Box 63:
  • House of Commons, chapter 1
  • Box 64:
  • House of Commons, chapter 2
  • Box 65:
  • House of Commons, chapter 2
  • Box 66:
  • House of Commons, chapter 2
  • Box 67:
  • House of Commons, chapter 2
  • Box 68:
  • House of Commons, chapter 2
  • Box 69:
  • House of Commons, chapter 3
  • Box 70:
  • House of Commons, chapter 3
  • Box 71:
  • House of Commons, chapter 3
  • Box 72:
  • House of Commons, chapter 4
  • Box 73:
  • House of Commons, chapter 4
  • Box 74:
  • House of Commons, chapter 4
  • Box 75:
  • House of Commons, chapter 4
  • Box 76:
  • House of Commons, chapter 5
  • Box 77:
  • House of Commons, chapter 5
  • Box 78:
  • House of Commons, chapter 6
  • Box 79:
  • House of Commons, chapter 6
  • Box 80:
  • Reprints
  • Box 81:
  • Appointment booklets - 1927-1979
    Incomplete
  • Series 6: PERSONAL
  • Box 82:
  • Correspondence
  • Academic advice for others
  • Academic career of Aydelotte appointments, vitae, retirement, bibliography
    4 folders
  • Box 83:
  • Genealogy of Aydelotte's cousins, the Childers and Barton families
  • Correspondence to his mother, brother, paternal grandmother, and one early photograph - 1922-1938
  • Correspondence to his mother and brother - 1928-1951
  • Includes- During tuberculosis treatment at Oakdale Sanatorium, September 12-June - 1950-1951
  • Includes- Regarding comparative studies of religious groups influence on social history - 1941-1943
  • Includes-Description of problems at Trinity, Smith, and Yale - 1941-1943
  • Frank Aydelotte biographical material
  • Family
  • William O. Aydelotte's 7th and 9th grade report cards
  • Frank Aydelotte at Swarthmore College
  • Journal to Frank Aydelotte from his son, February-June - 1953
  • Correspondence - 1922-1929
  • Diary, "Minutes of the Home Room Meeting of the Tenth Grade Boys" - 1924
    7 folders
  • Diaries - 1940-1999
    6 folders, incomplete
  • Address books
  • Correspondence from Germany - 1933
  • Box 84:
  • Awards
  • Notebook
  • High School albums