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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Stow Persons Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1943-2005
Creator: Persons, Stow (1913-2006)
Extent: 7.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: RG99.0104
Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Summary: Professor and head of the Department of History 1948-1981.  Chair of Faculty Senate 1969-1970, during student protests of the Vietnam War.  Correspondence and committe records.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs: Box 19

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition:

Preferred Citation: Stow Persons 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

Stow Spaulding Persons was born June 15, 1913, in Mt. Carmel, Connecticut. Persons received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history at Yale University in 1936 and 1940. He taught history at Princeton University from 1940 until 1950, when he joined the faculty at the State University of Iowa as professor of history. William O. Aydelotte, who was named head of the SUI Department of History in 1948, worked with Persons and other faculty to strengthen the department through additional faculty appointments and through improvements in the appointment process. Persons also developed an American intellectual history program and two of his lectures were broadcast on WSUI radio, in September 1961 and in June 1962. He supervised 38 doctoral dissertations.
 
Persons served on the Liberal Arts Educational Policy Committee as well as the Executive Committee. During his service on the Graduate Council, Persons proposed the establishment of a Research Council, through the Old Gold Fund, for presenting research awards. His proposal was supported by President Virgil M. Hancher, who later appointed Persons to serve for two years as acting dean of the Graduate College, until John Weaver was named graduate dean and vice president for research in fall 1962. In addition, Persons served as chair of the Faculty Senate for the 1969-1970 academic year, during the student protests of the Vietnam War. Persons presided over the Senate meeting held in the Old Dental auditorium where, by a narrow margin, the Senate voted that the University should end the ROTC contract with the U. S. government. Despite the outcome of this vote, the contract was continued by President Howard R. Bowen.
 
Persons was named the Carver Professor of History in 1978, an honor earlier bestowed upon William O. Aydelotte. After his retirement in 1981, Persons was honored by his former students with the publication of a festschrift in 1982, Ideas in America's Cultures from Republic to Mass Society. During his retirement, Persons continued to write about the history of various University of Iowa departments, as well as a history of the University, The University of Iowa in the Twentieth Century: An Institutional History.
 
Persons married Dorothy Reuss of Aurora, Illinois, on September 4, 1943 and they had one daughter, Catherine. Dorothy was appointed librarian at the University of Illinois and Ohio State University, before serving as librarian of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1942. In Iowa City, Dorothy was a metal jewelry artist. Dorothy died in June 2011. Stow Persons died January 6, 2006.

The Stow Persons papers include correspondence, minutes, and work of the many committees on which he served, including the Executive Committee, Faculty Senate and Council, Educational Policy Committee, Library Committee, Collective Bargaining Committee, Honorary Degree Committee, and the Department of History. Persons' work with the Old Gold Development Fund Council (1963-1966) is represented, as well as such professional associations as the American Studies Association and the American Historical Association. His papers on the history of various campus departments, written during his retirement, are included.
Folder, Persons, Stow, Faculty and Staff Vertical Files

William O. Aydelotte Papers (RG99.0093)

Stow Persons course, American Intellectual History, notes from student Janet Pease [accession 2012-55]

Browse by Series:
Series 1: CORRESPONDENCE
Series 2: COMMITTEES
Series 3: DEPARTMENTAL
Series 4: PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
Series 5: WRITINGS
Series 6: AWARDS, PHOTOGRAPHS

  • Series 1: CORRESPONDENCE
  • Box 1:
  • General - 1943-1956
  • Box 2:
  • General - 1957-1962
  • Box 3:
  • General - 1963-1968
  • Box 4:
  • General - 1969-1973
  • Box 5:
  • General - 1974-1978
  • Box 6:
  • General - 1952-1980
  • Series 2: COMMITTEES
  • Box 7:
  • Mississippi Valley Historical Association - 1960-1963
  • American Quarterly - 1958-1966
  • Library Planning Committee - 1966
  • Executive Committee - 1953-1961
  • Executive Committee - 1961-1964
  • Educational Policy Committee - 1953-1960
  • Educational Policy Committee - 1964-1967
  • Distribution of Grades reports - 1952-1958
  • Box 8:
  • Educational Policy Committee - 1975-1978
  • Liberal Arts faculty meeting minutes - 1953-1960
  • Liberal Arts Committee - 1965-1966
  • Graduate Council - 1953-1958
  • Box 9:
  • Graduate Council - 1955-1958
  • Graduate Council - 1959-1960
  • Graduate Council - 1961-1968
  • Graduate Council - 1959-1961
  • Graduate Council - 1961-1968
  • Research Council - 1956-1957
  • Research Professorships Committee - 1956-1957
  • Faculty Council - 1953-1961
  • Faculty Council - 1962-1966
  • Box 10:
  • Faculty Council - 1967
  • Faculty Council - 1968-1969
  • Faculty Senate - 1967-1968
  • Faculty Senate - 1968-1969
  • Faculty Senate - 1971-1972
  • Box 11:
  • Faculty Senate - 1972-1973
  • Faculty Senate, February - 1973
  • Faculty Senate, March-June - 1973
  • Box 12:
  • Department of History meeting minutes - 1955-1968
  • Department of History meeting minutes - 1968-1973
  • Department of History meeting minutes - 1968-1973
  • Departmental procedures - 1954-1961
  • Box 13:
  • Department of History meeting minutes - 1973-1980
  • Department of History meeting minutes - 1980-1981
  • American Studies/American Civilization course - 1975-1981
  • Graduate advisees - 1957-1963
  • Box 14:
  • Collective Bargaining - 1975-1977
  • Leave of Absence - 1965
  • Botany Department review - 1974
  • Faculty tenure - 1977-1980
  • Student protest, Jim Sutton - 1969-1972
  • Stephen S. Fox salary panel - 1971
  • Ethnicity in the Revolutionary Era - 1975
  • Dean candidates and selection, two folders - 1976
  • Box 15:
  • Library Committee - 1950-1963
  • Honorary Degree Committee - 1958-1964
  • Liberal Arts Committee minutes - 1967-1981
  • Friends of the Library - 1969-1974
  • Box 16:
  • Series 3: DEPARTMENTAL
  • Box 16:
  • Graduate students advised - 1957-1963
  • Old Gold Development Fund Council - 1963-1966
  • History Department appointments for the Colonial History position - 1964-1965
  • Committee on National Humanities Foundation
  • Series 4: PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
  • Box 17:
  • American Studies Association - 1948-1959
  • American Historical Association - 1961-1962
  • American Association of University Professors (AAUP) - 1953-1959
  • Series 5: WRITINGS
  • Box 17:
  • Summer book project correspondence - 1962-1963
  • Newberry conference paper, "Organic Cycles and Progress" - 1951-1954
  • Box 18:
  • Reviews and publications - 1943-1958
  • Reviews of Free Religion: An American Faith - 1947
  • Reviews of Evolutionary Thought, edited by Stow Persons - 1951
  • Correspondence with publishers - 1950-1966
  • "Thirty Years at the University of Iowa: A Memoir" - 1982
  • "The Culture-Epoch Curriculum at the University of Iowa"
  • "Education and the Liberal Arts at the University of Iowa" - 1992
  • "The Intellectual History of an Intellectual Historian" - 1996
  • "History at Iowa" - 1996
  • "History for the Middle Class"
  • "The College of Business Administration"
  • "Creating a Research University" - 1998
  • "The Triangle Club: The First Century" - 1999
  • "The Great Awakening: Parties and Issues"
  • "Fifty Years at the University of Iowa: An Academic Memoir" - 2000
  • Box 19:
  • Drafts of lectures, n.d.
  • Correspondence with publishers - 1999
  • Correspondence with publishers - 2000
  • Correspondence with publishers - 2001
  • Correspondence with publishers - 2002
  • Correspondence with publishers - 2003
  • Correspondence with publishers - 2004
  • Correspondence with publishers - 2005
  • Strategic planning - 1987
  • History of University, correspondence, reviews - 1989-1998
  • "Thirty Years at the University of Iowa: A Memoir" - 1982
  • "Creating a Research University" - 1998
  • "The College of Engineering," n.d.
  • "On Coming into the Country, or the Rocky Road to Iowa" - 1993
  • "50 Years at the University of Iowa: An Academic Memoir" - 2000
  • "History at the University of Iowa, 1855-1981"
  • "History at Iowa, 1855-1981"
  • "The Decline of Homeopathy, the University of Iowa, 1876-1919"
  • Series 6: AWARDS, PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 19:
  • Distinguished Service Award; membership pins
  • Two photographs of historians, n.d.

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.


Browse:
University of Iowa Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Associates' Papers