Willard Joseph Poppy. Papers, 1942-1975.

Collection Overview

Title: Willard Joseph Poppy. Papers, 1942-1975.

Record Series: 14/17/02/02

Creator: Willard J. Poppy

Date: 1942-1975

Extent: 1.67 linear feet, 4 boxes

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

Language: 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 Willard Joseph Poppy Papers, 1942-1975, Archives Record Series 15/07/11, [box and folder number], University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

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Historical Note

Willard Joseph Poppy was born June 23, 1907, in New London, Wisconsin. He received his Ed.B. degree in Mathematics and Physics from Oshkosh State Teachers College in 1930. In 1933 and 1934, he earned his M.S. in Physics and his Ph.D., respectively, from the University of Iowa.

In the summer of 1930, Poppy served as an Instructor of Math at Oshkosh State Teachers College. From 1934 to 1942, he worked as an Associate Professor and Head of Physics at Fenn College (now Cleveland State) in Cleveland, Ohio. He then spent a year as a visiting lecturer at the University of Iowa before returning to Fenn College in 1943 as a full professor.

Poppy taught in the Physics Department at the University of Northern Iowa from 1940 until his retirement in 1975. He became a full professor in 1953 and was head of the department during the 1968-1969 academic year.

His achievements included being named the Fenn Student Council's "Outstanding Professor" in 1945; receiving the UNI College of Natural Sciences' "Dean's Award for Superior Achievement'; and served as president of the Iowa Academy of Science from 1976-1977. Poppy also co-authored two books, The Physical Sciences with Emmett Cable, Robert Getchell, and William Kadesch; and Exploring the Physical Sciences with Leland Wilson. He was also a member of the Arcturus Club and the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Poppy died on April 12, 1996, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Additional information may be found here.


Scope and Content

Professor Ralph Engardt, a colleague of Poppy in the UNI Department of Physics, brought this collection of papers to the Archives in 1997. The arrangement of the first three boxes of papers very closely follows the order in which they were received. For the most part, these three boxes contain curricular material associated with Poppy's teaching at the University of Northern Iowa. However, these boxes also contain material relating to courses that Poppy took while a student and courses that Poppy taught to Army Air Corps personnel from 1942-1944.

The curricular material includes quizzes, tests, lecture notes, and laboratory manuals. This material is arranged alphabetically by subject. There is also a small amount of professional correspondence associated with these curricular files.

The fourth box in this series relates to a Digital Equipment Computer unit used by the Department of Physics in the middle 1970s. This device is reputed to be one of the first computers used in association with instruction on the UNI campus. It is probable that the material in this box is not really related to Poppy. 


Box 1

Acoustics, Acoustics and Optics, Advanced Mechanics, Alternating Current, Army Air Corps Exams (1942-1944), Army Air Corps Physics, Astronomy, Atomic and Nuclear Physics Lab Manual, Comprehensive and Certification Exams

Box 2

Correspondence, Descriptive Geometry, Electricity, Electricity and Magnetism, General Physics I, Lab Manual for Engineering Physics, Lab Notes--Electricity, Light, Modern Physics

Box 3

Optics, Physical Science, Physical Science I Lab Manual (Poppy and Wilson), Physics Lecture Notes, Physics I Lab Manual, Public Lectures, Stokes' Theorem, Theoretical Mechanics

Box 4

Analog Devices Product Guide, Digital Equipment Computer documentation and programs, Computer Use for Physics Students learning modules

Processing Information

Material processed by Gerald L. Peterson and finding aid prepared by Gerald L. Peterson and Susan Basye, September and October 1997. Updated by Library Associate Dave Hoing, January 2018 and April 2018. Linear Feet updated September 17, 2017.

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