The University of Iowa Libraries has thousands of the personal papers of Iowa native Henry A. Wallace (1888-1965). Wallace, the 33rd vice president of the United States, died 50 years ago today (18 November 1965). Wallace also served as the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Commerce and was the nominee for the Progressive Party in the 1948 presidential election. His papers include information on the economic and agricultural consequences of the Great Depression, the role of the vice president during World War II, and the subsequent development of alternative political party structures as the nation and the world recovered from the conflict and new power dynamics were formed.
Along with papers in the Library of Congress and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, our Wallace papers were microfilmed many years ago. Our collection was later digitized and it is freely available online to any researcher. Our digital collection has approximately 67,000 page images in it, making it a rich source of material for a historian or a history class. The collection also includes four reels of correspondence from Wallace’s father, Henry Wallace (1836-1916), the founder of Wallaces’ Farmer.
The collection also includes more than 350 photographs. Many of the images are from Siberia and China in 1944.
The UI Libraries prepared a joint index to the three microfilm collections. This index is now a searchable database, with entries for items in Iowa’s collection linking directly to the digitized version. When users start typing in the correspondent search box, names will appear, showing the number of results for each name, based on sender or recipient. Select the name you want and press search.
The resulting list includes everything to or from the individual selected. The film numbers for the Iowa microfilm link directly to the digitized version. The results display in date order. Columns can re-sort by sender, recipient or film number. You can also search by year or by multiple years.
If interested in a specific date, try the general search box, formatting the date with the year first, e.g. 1945-04-12. This top search box also allows you to search by first name or by a last name to get correspondence for everyone with that last name.
For more information, see the Guide to the Henry A. Wallace Papers and the Guide to the Henry Wallace Papers. The Henry C. Wallace Papers are not included in this digital collection, but the Guide provides details on this print collection.