Grinnell College Libraries Special Collections and Archives

Early College History
Documents that record the history of Iowa College until 1909, when it officially changed its name to Grinnell College. Included are photographs, articles, and the College’s articles of incorporation.
George Washington Cook Correspondence, 1857-1860
Correspondence between a Grinnell citizen, George Washington Cook, and family and acquaintances between 1857 and 1860.
Grinnell College Buildings
Images and documents that record Grinnell College’s current and previous buildings.
Historic Iowa Postcards
Grinnell College Libraries' Historic Iowa Postcard Collection. A collection of postcards from 1900 through the middle of the 20th century, covering all parts of Iowa.
Jimmy Ley Collection
James “Jimmy” J. Ley attended Grinnell College for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942. Ley’s papers include an extensive series of correspondence written by Ley during his time at Grinnell and in the army air force, as well as personal items, photographs, and military documents.
John Kleinschmidt Architectural History Collection
John Kleinschmidt was a professor of French at Grinnell College with a passion for local history. This collection features many of the documents and photographs that he compiled about the history of both the Grinnell College campus and the greater Grinnell community.
Life at Grinnell College
Event programs, photographs, and other records that document student life on and around the Grinnell College campus.
Social Gospel
The Social Gospel Movement of the late 19th century arose in response to the disruptions of the era: urbanization, industrialization, immigration, wealth inequality, and labor unrest among them. Some religious leaders responded to this by asking, “What would Jesus Do?” and sought to bring a more just society into being. During the 1890s, Grinnell was a leading center of this movement through the leadership of George A. Gates, President of the College, and George D. Herron, the Professor of Applied Christianity. This collection contains images, texts, correspondence, and other materials that document the influence of the Social Gospel in Grinnell.
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