David Donald Delafield Papers, 1942-2003

Collection Overview

Title: David Donald Delafield Papers, 1942-2003

Record Series: 14/04/02/02

Record Group:

14/04/02 Faculty & Staff Papers

Creator: Delafield, David Donald

Date: 1942-2003

Extent: 6 boxes (3.17 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:

No restrictions. Materials are open for research.

Custodial History:

After Professor Delafield's death, his widow, Marianna Cryberg Delafield, gave a collection of his material to the University Museum. Staff from the UNI Museum, the UNI Gallery of Art, and Special Collections and University Archives inspected the collection. After discussion, the representatives from each area decided that, in order to provide the best care for the material, the collection would be divided. Material went to the area that was best suited to preserve and make it available for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

The portion of Delafield's collection designated for SC&UA arrived in December 2007.

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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Many items housed in the Rod Library Special Collections & University Archives, including unpublished images and manuscripts, may be protected by copyright, publication rights, trademarks, or model release rights which the library does not own and for which the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

David Donald Delafield was born April 7, 1920, in East Aurora, New York, son of Edgar Trevor and Maude S. Stotts Delafield. He married Mary Perdue. He later married Marianna Cryberg.

Professor Delafield received his B. F. A. (1945), M. F. A. (1946), and Ph. D. (1952) degrees from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He taught at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, from 1946 through 1949. He joined the faculty of the Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa) on a temporary basis in 1951 and on a regular basis in 1952. He was among the first art faculty to join the staff with a liberal arts background and without grade or high school teaching experience. He advanced through the professorial ranks and taught until 1983, when he assumed emeritus status. He was a World War II veteran of the US Army Air Corps.

He died December 26, 2003, at the Cedar Falls Lutheran Home. 

Scope and Content

This material consists primarily of biographical information; notes taken by Professor Delafield while he was studying at Ohio State University; sketchbooks; sketches; and correspondence from Professor Delafield to his first wife, Mary Perdue. 


Box 1

  • Biographical and personnel file information, including: autobiographical notes; statements on Professor Delafield's views of his art; exhibition catalogues; and newspaper clippings
  • Correspondence received by the Delafields
  • Photographs
  • Essay on art and society
  • Notes on sculpture
  • Essay on movement
  • Notes on an elementary art program, circa 1952
  • Figure composition, abstract of M. A. thesis, 1946
  • University examination booklets
  • Ohio State University Commencement booklets, 1946, 1952
  • Notes taken in university classes

Box 2

  • Notes taken in university classes
  • Sketchbooks

Box 3

  • Sketchbooks
  • Sketches

Box 4

  • Correspondence from Professor Delafield to his first wife, Mary Perdue. These letters are undated but were likely written when Professor Delafield was studying for his doctoral degree at Ohio State University. This correspondence provides a good look at both his daily student life as well as at his concerns for his family, who stayed at home while he was on campus. Some letters are incomplete.

Box 5

  • Sketches

Box 6

  • Painting by David Delafield, about 15" X 18", depicting a kingfisher:  produced about 1970 for an art show and sale to benefit the Democratic Party of Waterloo, Iowa

Processing Information

Papers processed by Gerald L. Peterson, Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist; finding aid prepared by Gerald L. Peterson, January 2008. Updated by Library Associate Dave Hoing, January 2018 and April 2018. Linear feet updated September 11, 2017.