Donald F. Howard Papers, 1925-1994

Collection Overview

Title: Donald F. Howard Papers, 1925-1994

Record Series: 12/06/02/06

Record Group:

12/06/02 Faculty & Staff Papers

Creator: Howard, Donald F.

Date: 1925-1994

Extent: 4 boxes (1.67 linear feet)

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

Language: Materials entirely in English.

Information for Users

Accessing the Collection:

Most materials are open for research. Materials related to the confidentiality of personnel, student, medical, and other legally protected records are CLOSED to researchers for 70 years from the date of creation. Consult the archivist with any questions or concerns.

Consult the Inventory for details.

Sensitive Materials Statement: Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy or similar laws, and the Iowa Open Records Law (see Iowa Code § 22.7). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Northern Iowa assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], in the [Series Title] #[series number], [folder number or title when applicable], [Collection Name], Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

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Historical Note

Donald F. Howard was born at Strawberry Point, Iowa, in 1909. After high school he attended Iowa State Teachers College, and graduated in 1931 with a B.A. in English. After teaching in several secondary schools he returned to college and earned a master's degree in American history in 1935 and a Ph.D. in the same field in 1947, both from the University of Iowa.

Howard joined the UNI faculty in 1947, when he was hired as an assistant professor of history. For four years, beginning in 1955, he was Coordinator of Curriculum and Assistant to the Dean of Instruction. Two years after he was promoted to the rank of professor (1959), he became head of the Department of Social Science, and in 1969 he became the first Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

In addition to his achievements at UNI, Howard was well-known for his participation in the radio program "Behind the Headlines," where he worked with Herbert Hake, and for his articles in local newspapers. He died on July 28, 1989. On November 9, 1994, a room in the recently renovated Seerley Hall was dedicated as the Donald F. Howard Memorial Seminar Room.

Scope and Content

Donald F. Howard's papers consist of four boxes, covering the time period from his entrance into the teaching field in the 1920s until his death in 1989. The processor found that the papers fell into three distinct categories: Personal Materials, Teaching, and Creative Works.

The first category, Personal, contains papers relating to his private life. Included are his doctoral dissertation and master's thesis, old graduate school examinations, personal correspondence, photographs, and two biographical folders. The correspondence consists of two types of letters: letters written to Howard and letters written by Howard to colleagues, campus officials, former students, and friends. The following is a list of the notable individuals with whom he corresponded: Clifford McCollum, J.W. Maucker, John Kamerick, James Hearst, Constantine Curris, Marvin Diemer, Ross Nielsen, M.R. Thompson, William C. Lang, Leland Sage, Douglas Vernier, Robert Morin, Jimmy Carter, Willard L. Boyd, and Daryl Pendergraft. Most of this correspondence is currently available for research.

The two folders of photographs contain pictures of Howard at different periods in his life; friends; the UNI campus; and unidentified photos. One notable color photograph is of his 50th Iowa State Teachers College class reunion in 1981.

Howard's biographical materials have been separated into two folders. The first folder contains general biographical items such as articles written about him, interview scripts, and programs. The second folder contains items that would be found in a faculty member's personnel file. It contains personnel action forms, evaluations, correspondence, and his faculty record. Some items in this folder are restricted from general viewing.

The folders in the second category, Teaching, contain the materials relevant to his teaching career. The first three folders contain notes and outlines for units in "American History-1877 to Present," a course he taught for several years. Also included in this area are examinations, evaluations, teaching certificates and contracts, and written recommendations.

The third area contains his creative works. This includes speeches and articles written by Howard. The folders labeled "Articles" contain typed copies or photocopies of his articles that were published in newspapers. As far as the processor could determine, the majority of the articles were published in The Waterloo Courier, in which he wrote a column called "Another View"; The Des Moines Register; and The College Eye. They are arranged chronologically.

The speeches are also arranged chronologically (see additional finding aid for a complete list). Following this sequence are eight folders of undated speeches, arranged alphabetically by title or, if the title was not given, by subject. These titles also appear on the additional finding aid.

His handwritten and typed notes and drafts of the speeches and articles are in separate folders from the actual works. There is one folder which contains notes for only his speeches; this folder is with the speeches. There is also a folder containing notes for both speeches and articles. For these, the processor could not determine which notes referred to speeches and which to articles. If researchers are looking for drafts or notes of either type of work, they are advised to examine the contents of both folders.

Howard and a colleague, Herbert Hake, conducted a radio show entitled "Behind the Headlines." Included in his papers are several folders containing letters he received from listeners and other correspondence, and print copies of the broadcasts which were submitted to newspapers. Of special interest to researchers may be a subject folder containing the proposed route for Interstate 380 through Cedar Falls and Waterloo.

Also located in Box 4 are two army uniform lapel insignias and a golf trophy. At the Beaver Hills Country Club in Cedar Falls, Howard shot a hole in one to receive a plastic glass award. The winning golf ball is included with the award.

Please note that the collection's control file contains a list of Howard's speeches. Please ask SC&UA staff for access.


Box 1


  • Biographical Materials - General
  • Correspondence 1947-1989 (RESTRICTED)
  • Doctoral Course Work in History
  • Doctoral Dissertation
  • Examinations

Box 2


  • Master's Thesis
  • Personnel Information (RESTRICTED)
  • Photographs


  • Candidacy and Comprehensive Exams, Individualized Readings
  • Class - "American History 1877 to Present" Units 1-3
  • Evaluations
  • Public School Certificates, Recommendations, and Contracts

Box 3

Creative Works:

  • Articles 1949-1989
  • Behind the Headlines - Clippings
  • Behind the Headlines - Correspondence
  • Behind the Headlines - I-380 Proposal
  • The Guardsman
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Notes for Speeches and Articles, Drafts and Ideas
  • Speeches 1935-1959

Box 4

Creative Works:

  • Speeches 1962-1984
  • Speeches - Notes, Drafts, and Ideas
  • Speeches - Undated (8 folders)
  • Story Ideas
  • Typed Drafts of Articles and Speeches
  • Army Uniform Lapel Insignias
  • Trophy and Golf Ball - Hole in One Award, July 13, 1977

Processing Information

Material processed and finding aid written by Susan Witthoft, Special Collections Assistant, February 1996. Updated by Library Associate Dave Hoing, December 2017 and April 2018. Linear Feet updated August 28, 2017.