Frank Ivan Merchant. Papers, 1851-1978

Collection Overview

Title: Frank Ivan Merchant. Papers, 1851-1978

Record Series: 14/03/02/14

Creator: Frank Ivan Merchant

Date: 1851-1978

Extent: 2.09 Linear Feet + 1 Item, 5 boxes

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Language: Except for Dr. Merchant's dissertation, which is in Latin, this material is entirely in English.

Access and Use

Accessing the Collection:

There are no restrictions on the use of this material.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item] in the Frank Ivan Merchant Papers, 1851-1978, Archives Record Series 14/04/10, [box and folder number], University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

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Historical Note


Frank Ivan Merchant was born in New York City in 1855.  He received his bachelor's degree from Shurtleff College in 1880 and his master's degree and doctorate from the University of Berlin.  He taught at the University of South Dakota from 1890 through 1903, and then studied for a year in Rome.  He joined the faculty of what is now the University of Northern Iowa in 1907 as a member of the Latin faculty.  He served as the head of the variously named language departments from 1909 until his retirement from active service in 1934.  He died in 1951.  He willed his estate to the University of Northern Iowa to fund scholarships for alumni of that school to pursue graduate education.

University Archivist Gerald Peterson wrote an essay about the Merchant legacy at UNI. It may be found here:

Scope and Content

This collection was apparently transferred to the University Archives by the Merchant Trust Committee following Professor Merchant's death in 1951.  The collection includes journals kept by Professor Merchant's mother, Candace Downs Merchant; Merchant family biographical information; family photographs; addresses by Professor Merchant; and business and legal documentation associated with the administration of the Merchant estate. 

The journals kept by Candace Downs Merchant during her time with her family in Europe are particularly interesting. 


Box 1

  • Candace Downs Merchant journals:  July 2, 1887-April 28, 1889; May 2, 1889-August 19, 1889; August 25, 1889-July 10, 1899 (with gaps); October 23, 1903-August 2, 1904; October 16, 1907-April 19, 1910; May 11, 1910-May 26, 1915
  • Candace Downs Merchant journals transcriptions:  August 17, 1887-September 23, 1889; October 23, 1903-August 2, 1904

Box 2

  • Biographical and genealogical information
  • Last will and testament of Frank Ivan Merchant
  • Merchant family obituaries
  • Merchant family photographs
  • Frank Ivan Merchant estate documents and correspondence
  • Merchant trust documents and correspondence
  • Merchant library--lists of books from Frank Ivan Merchant's library
  • Historical review of the Merchant Scholarship: research paper by Mari L. Carmichael, 1978

Box 3

  • De Ciceronis Partitionibus Oratoriis Commentatio, Berlin, July 5, 1890--doctoral dissertaion of Frank Ivan Merchant
  • Publications and addresses of Frank Ivan Merchant
  • Dissertations in the Merchant library
  • Correspondence regarding translations
  • Account book kept by Albert Merchant, father of Frank Ivan Merchant
  • Shurtleff College publications
  • Iowa State Teachers College personnel form for Frank ivan Merchant
  • Iowa State Teachers College administrative correspondence
  • Notebook given to Frank Ivan Merchant in appreciation for his work on the Codification Committee, 1923

Box 4

  • Mementoes and unidentified images

Box 5

  • Mementoes and unidentified images

Processing Information

Collection arranged and inventory developed by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson. Updated by Library Associate Dave Hoing, April and October 2017 and April 2018. Linear feet updated September 14, 2017.

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