Frank Ivan Merchant Papers, 1851-1978

Collection Overview

Title: Frank Ivan Merchant Papers, 1851-1978

Record Series: 14/03/02/14

Record Group:

14/03/02 Faculty & Staff Papers

Creator: Merchant, Frank Ivan

Date: 1851-1978

Extent: 5 boxes (2.09 linear feet); 4 oversize items (3.58 linear feet)

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.

Information for Users

Accessing the Collection:

No restrictions. Materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

This collection was apparently transferred to sC&UA by the Merchant Trust Committee following Professor Merchant's death in 1951.

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.

General Use, Reproduction, and Copyright Policies

Many items housed in the Rod Library Special Collections & University Archives, including unpublished images and manuscripts, may be protected by copyright, publication rights, trademarks, or model release rights which the library does not own and for which the library cannot grant permission or licensing. Materials currently under copyright are usually still available for research and limited reproduction under Fair Use laws. However, it is the sole responsibility of the patron to determine whether or not their use of a given material falls within Fair Use guidelines and to obtain permission for said use from the rightful copyright owner. If you are unsure where to begin, please consult the Copyright LibGuide. Please note that it is not the library's responsibility to locate or contact copyright holders for a patron, and neither the library nor library employees are responsible for copyright violations of the materials to which they facilitate research access. Please see our full General Use and Service Policies for more information.

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.

Scope and Content

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

  • 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

  • Mementos and unidentified images

Box 5

  • Mementos and unidentified images


  • De Ciceronis Partitionibus Oratoriis Commentatio, Berlin, July 5, 1890--doctoral dissertation of Frank Ivan Merchant (3 copies)

  • Shurtleff College document / certificate

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.