Orval Ray Latham. Papers, 1928-1940

Collection Overview

Title: Orval Ray Latham. Papers, 1928-1940

Record Series: 02/03/01  

Creator: Orval Ray Latham  

Date: 1928-1940

Extent: 8.34 linear feet, 20 boxes

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

Language: This material is entirely in English.

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Preferred Citation: [Identification of item] in the Orval Ray Latham Papers collection, 1928-1940, Archives Record Series 02/02/01, [box and folder number], University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

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Historical Note

A short biographical sketch of Orval Ray Latham may be found here:


Scope and Content

This collection is strong in the administrative aspects of Dr. Latham's administration, less so on aspects of his personal life.


Box 1

Biographical information

Administrative Organization Charts, 1929, 1934: several attempts to draw lines of responsibility in the ISTC organization especially to include new positions such as a Dean of the Faculty;

Alumni Survey, 1938: In January 1938 ISTC surveyed a group of selected ISTC alumni. The survey asked alumni for opinions and suggestions about: improvements in instruction and facilities that ISTC should make; the best teachers at ISTC; improvements in extra-curricular activities; institutional strengths and weaknesses; ways that ISTC could have contributed more toward "interest in and knowledge of homemaking"; ways that ISTC could have enabled alumni to discharge their "present-day social and civic duties and responsibilities in a more efficient manner"; and whether or not the alumni would still choose ISTC as their college. Several hundred of the questionnaires were completed and returned and are included in this collection.

Box 2

American Association of Teachers Colleges, Correspondence, 1929-1940: correspondence between Latham and the Association about standards and reports;

American Association of Teachers Colleges, ISTC Annual Reports, 1929-30- -1939-40: reports include statistics on degrees granted, graduation standards, faculty credentials, teaching loads, training school enrollment, student teaching, faculty publications, library collections and staff, and financial support;

American Association of University Women, Correspondence, 1928-1935: correspondence from Latham, Alison Aitchison, ISTC alumnae, and the Association dealing with the process of gaining recognition for ISTC and teachers colleges in general as full members of AAUW;

American Council on Education, Correspondence and Minutes, 1928-1940: correspondence between Latham and the Council as well as minutes of the Executive Committee.

Box 3

Baker Hall Specifications, Bids, and Correspondence, 1934-1938: detailed specifications (with some graphic material) for the construction and furnishing of the George Titus Baker Hall for Men; correspondence about bidding procedure; correspondence between Latham and architect Oren Thomas; correspondence between Latham and furnishings contractors;

Biographical Information: biographical information about Latham including who's who sketches, newspaper clippings, obituaries, memorial programs, and tributes; also included is material from the dedication of Latham field; there is a limited amount of correspondence from Jessie Juhl (Latham's secretary) and from Latham's family

Box 4

Board of Education, Correspondence and Reports, 1930-1940: correspondence and reports to and from the Iowa State Board of Education concerning fiscal matters, telephone systems, the Commons, faculty governance and reclassification, retirement provisions for faculty and staff including Charles Fullerton and Louis Begeman, Training School financial arrangements with Cedar Falls, naming of campus buildings, and destruction of the football grandstands by a storm;

Board of Educational Examiners, Correspondence, 1934-1940: correspondence concerning the validity of educational credentials and programs. Latham was a member of this board and corresponded regularly with other members including Jessie Parker and Agnes Samuelson;

Boardman, Benjamin: correspondence dealing with the collection of tax from employees' salaries; Boardman was ISTC Financial Secretary and Business Manager;

Bosley, Harold: correspondence, biographical information, and several addresses from the man who was ISTC Director of Religious Activities from 1934 through 1938

Box 5

Branch Summer Schools, 1928-1938: correspondence and reports relating to the location and conduct of extension summer sessions;

Bus Purchases, 1929-1937: correspondence and sales literature relating to the purchase of several ISTC buses;

Chicago, University of, Correspondence, 1930-1940: correspondence between Latham and faculty at the University of Chicago about teacher training institutes, speaking arrangements, and faculty visits; Latham consulted with Chicago faculty regularly on matters associated with teacher education;

Columbia University, 1931-1932: correspondence relating to Latham's appointment to teach a summer course at Columbia in 1932;

Committee on Faculty Reclassification, 1930-1931: correspondence, data, and reports relating to the attempt to systematize the ISTC faculty ranks; this was a controversial and difficult matter which sometimes pitted those with long teaching experience against those with strong academic credentials;

Commons, Specifications and Bids, 1933: specifications for construction and furnishing of Commons building;

Box 6

Commons, Specifications and Bids, 1933: see previous box;

Commons, Correspondence, 1932-1933: letters from Latham and E. E. Cole (ISTC Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds) to vendors, architects, and the Board of Education about construction and furnishing of Commons

Commons, Project History and Reports, 1933-1934: brief project history; initial report on use and misuse of facility written by Dean Sadie Campbell; final report by E. E. Cole on completion of building and accounting of funds spent, 1934;

Cory, Charles Seldon: correspondence between Latham and ISTC Registrar and Examiner Charles S. Cory about policy and specific cases relating to student credits and credentials;

Box 7

Detached Service: correspondence, reports, statements, and legal opinions relating to the remuneration and duties of retired ISTC faculty; an Iowa Attorney General's opinion in 1930 found fault with the policy of paying certain ISTC retired faculty for "detached service"; persons in this status included former President Seerley, M. F. Arey, David Sands Wright, and Anna McGovern;

Dinner Parties for the Faculty, 1938 and 1939: seating charts, and acceptances and regrets from the faculty in response to Latham's invitation to dinners in the Commons;

Diploma Samples, 1936: samples of diplomas and a diploma case submitted by a vendor

Box 8

Director of the Budget (later, State Comptroller), ISTC Monthly Report, September 1927-June 1933, January 1939-June 1940): monthly financial balance sheets;

Faculty and Professors Meeting Minutes and Dockets, 1928-1931

Box 9

Faculty and Professors Meeting Minutes and Dockets, 1932-1940

Federal Emergency Relief Administration, 1933-1935: correspondence, rules and regulations, and reports relating to federally-supported work for college students; includes reports on work performed;

Football Eligibility, 1937: in response to a query from a teachers college president, Latham outlines the way ISTC runs its football program;

Fuller, A. C.: correspondence and reports from A. C. Fuller, ISTC Director of Alumni Service, about the Seerley memorial broadcast, branch summer schools, alumni reunions, and successful alumni

Box 10

General Correspondence, 1929-1940: this correspondence in many cases enlightens some of the subject folders in this collection of papers; included are letters to and from Latham about a wide variety of topics such ISTC department administration, extension services, and accreditation survey trips; correspondents include Ira S. Condit, Irving H. Hart, and Martin J. Nelson; of special interest are informal letters between Latham and his secretary Jessie Juhl about campus news and office matters;

Golf Course Expansion Plan, 1935-1936: correspondence relating to plans to purchase land to expand the ISTC golf course;

Iowa College Presidents Association, 1928-1940: correspondence, minutes, and papers relating to this organization

Iowa Department of Public Instruction, 1928-1933: correspondence and reports from State Superintendent Agnes Samuelson;

Iowa State Planning Board, Education Committee, 1934-1935: correspondence and reports; Latham and Irving H. Hart, ISTC Director of Extension, were associated with this committee;

Iowa State Planning Board, State Appraisal Committee, 1937-1938: correspondence and reports regarding public works projects;

Iowa State Teachers Association, 1928-1935: correspondence, programs, and addresses; especially related to the ISTC alumni groups who met when the state Association held conventions

Box 11

Knoff, Gerald E.: correspondence and addresses relating to Knoff, the ISTC Director of Religious Activities from 1938 through 1944; some material extends into the Price administration;

Kurtz, Edward F.: correspondence relating to the administration of the Department of Music;

"A Laboratory of Life": correspondence praising this special issue (June 1935) of the ISTC Bulletin;

Lawther Hall, 1938-1940: correspondence, specifications, and bids relating to the furnishing of Lawther Hall;

May Day Festival: programs and a brief history of the celebration;

National Education Association, 1929-1939: routine correspondence and reports

Box 12

National Youth Administration, 1935-1940: correspondence, rules and regulations, and reports on work accomplished under this student aid program;

Nelson, Martin J.: correspondence (1930-1934) between Latham and Nelson, head of the Department of Education and later Dean of the Faculty, about administrative matters, rules and regulations, research, and curriculum;

North Central Association, 1928-1936: correspondence and reports relating to both the accreditation of ISTC and Latham's work as an NCA accreditation team member

Box 13

North Central Association, 1937-1940: see previous box;

Official Communications, 1928-1940: Latham articulated policies, procedures, and announcements in several series of mimeographed communications. In his Administrative Letters series, Latham informed faculty, administrators, the Board of Education, and others about matters of institutional policy such as use of facilities, requisition of supplies and equipment, travel reimbursement, absences, telephone etiquette, student employment, and faculty classification. His Circular Letters series, sent to the faculty, established policy and distributed news: among the matters treated in these letters are student records, placement of chairs in classrooms, accreditation, the Placement Bureau, telephone service, and assemblies. His Special Announcements series usually told about programs and events such as a visiting speaker. His untitled communications combine many of the functions of the named series noted above.

Box 14

Physical Education and Athletics, 1931: a brief exchange of letters between Latham and Paul Bender, Head of Men's Physical Education at ISTC, about football practice areas;

Program of Legislative Askings, 1929-1931, 1931-1933: an outline and explanation of the needs of the various programs of ISTC;

Purple and Old Gold Awards: correspondence relating to the establishment of the awards (1938) and Latham's remarks at the 1939 Commencement when the awards were first given;

Reed, Leslie I.: correspondence between Latham and Reed, ISTC Dean of Men, about student conduct, dormitories, and administration;

Salary Study, 1939-1940: results of a survey conducted by Latham of teachers college presidents; the survey asked respondents to report their salaries and perquisites such as a home, car, utilities, janitorial service, and entertainment fund; both the returned questionnaires and Latham's summary are present;

Seerley, Homer H.: several letters and reports from late in the Seerley administration; memorial programs and statements about Seerley including an address by Latham;

Seerley Hall, 1937: correspondence, specifications, and bids relating to the construction and furnishing of Seerley Hall for Men

Box 15

Seerley Hall, 1938-1940: see previous box;

Sixtieth ISTC Anniversary Celebration, 1936: letters of invitation with acceptances or regrets for the October convocation and conference; arrangements for a survey of ISTC facilities and programs; texts of addresses

Box 16

Wild, Monica: correspondence between Latham and Head of the ISTC Department of Physical Education for Women Monica Wild about curricular and administrative matters such as women's athletics, advanced study for physical education faculty, remodeling of the gymnasium and pool, and the Wild and White text; some material from the Price Administration is included; memorial and tribute statements from colleagues.

Addresses, Reports, and Surveys, 1928-1940: Latham prepared reports and addresses for a wide variety of occasions. He also participated in many institutional accreditation surveys for the North Central Association. Detailed finding aids for this material have been prepared.

Boxes 17-20

Addresses, Reports, and Surveys, 1928-1940: see previous box

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Gerald L. Peterson, Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist, April 21, 1993. Updated by Library Associate Dave Hoing, April  2017, October 2017, and February 2018. Linear Feet updated August 8, 2017.

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