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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Research Materials for Skull in the Ashes

Collection Overview

Date Span:
Creator: Kaufman, Peter
Extent: 6.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: msc1004
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Research materials for Skull in the Ashes.

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition: Donated to the University of Iowa Libraries in 2014.

Preferred Citation: Research Material for Skull in the Ashes, 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

Peter Kaufman was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He received a BA in History from the University of Cincinnati and an MA in History from Penn State University.

After graduating from Penn State, Kaufman moved to New York, where he worked as a science writer for the Polytechnic Institute of New York. Kaufman also freelanced and wrote articles for general interest publications such as [i]Women in Sports[/i], as well as such medical magazines as Ophthalmology Today and Cincinnati Medicine. Also, while in New York, Kaufman was a member of the National Association of Science Writers.

Returning to Ohio, Kaufman wrote a novel about his experiences on Kodiak Island, Alaska in the 1970s. The book, entitled Barometer's Shadow , was published is 2005.

Skull in the Ashes is his second book. A culmination of six years of research and writing, it was published in 2013 by the University of Iowa Press.

This collection contains clippings, letters, jury selection materials, Iowa Supreme Court papers, extradition orders, and other materials relating to the crime, pursuit, capture, and trial of Frank Novak, accused of burning Edward Murray to death in the store Novak owned in Walford in Benton County, Iowa in 1897.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Clippings - 1890-1911
    16 folders
  • Court transcriopts
    8 folders
  • Box 2:
  • Subject files 1890s, A-I
  • Box 3:
  • Subject files I-Z
  • Box 4:
  • Photographs
    2 folders
  • State Supreme Court records
    2 booklets and 1 folder
  • Notes for the book
    1 booklet
  • Box 5:
  • Miscellaneous
    Includes copies of Incendiary Iowa, an article that appeared in Iowa Heritage Illustrated
  • Box 6:
  • Additional sources
  • Extradition papers
  • Coroner's jury
  • Traveler's Insurance Investigation
  • Traveler's letter key
  • Perrin's diary
  • Affadavits
  • Correspondence
  • Lucy Dosh Tobin scrapbook
  • Harper's Weekly, October 30 - 1897
  • Publicity and reviews for A Skull in the Ashes
  • A paperback copy of Skull inthe Ashes

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.