The Drake Heritage Collections


The purpose of the Drake Heritage Collections is to collect, digitize, and preserve important stories of Drake University's 125-year history.

Photographs and articles are scanned and oral histories from eye witnesses are recorded. These are then presented online to reach the largest possible audience.



Bart Schmidt
Digital Projects
(515) 271-2940

Preserving the stories of Drake University's 125-year history

Take a look at the news as Drake University students have documented it. Published since 1884, the paper now known as the Times-Delphic offers a fascinating look at the past. This is a work in progress, with issues added as they are processed.
Drake University Yearbooks
Drake University’s Yearbook, the Quax, is now available online. Search or browse across decades worth of Drake University’s history. With over sixty years digitized and presented on our website, this ongoing project hopes to soon have all classes represented.
Building a Modern Campus
With the 1945 hiring of Saarinen, Swanson, and Saarinen, Drake University became one of the earliest American campuses to feature modernist architecture on a large scale. This online collection of images and documents showcases the work of Eliel and Eero Saarinen at Drake.
Dr. Morehouse and Astronomy at Drake
Former Drake University President Daniel Morehouse was an astronomer who discovered the Comet Morehouse. Browse through a collection of images and documents relating to Dr. Morehouse, the Drake Municapal Obesrvatory, and Astronomy at Drake.
Cowles Family Publishing Legacy
Cowles Library holds the papers of three of the men who presided over the Cowles family publishing empire: John Cowles, Gardner Cowles, Jr. (Mike), and David S. Kruidenier, Jr. Presented online are the Cowles family tree, biographies, and finding aids for the papers.
Women Remember Drake
Hear stories from several generations of Drake graduates in this oral history project. From streetcars in the 30's to quiet hours in the 80's, see how things have changed... and how much they stay the same.
Ding Darling
Pulitzer Prize winner Jay Norwood 'Ding' Darling created editorial cartoons for the Des Moines Register throughout the first half of the 20th century. Cowles Library's extensive collection of Ding Darling artist proofs has been digitized and is presented here online.
Drake Relays Digital Archive
In 1910, perhaps 100 fans witnessed the first Drake Relays. This event grew from a dirt track on the outskirts of a fledgling Des Moines to become one of the premier track and field competitions in the country. This collection showcases the history of the Drake Relays through hundreds of images, documents and articles.
The Johnny Bright Story: Dirty play caught on film
The intentional slugging of Drake halfback Johnny Bright at a game at Oklahoma A&M in 1951 caused repercussions in the intercollegiate athletics world and brought changes in rules and equipment.
Historic Des Moines
Take a glimpse of Des Moines, Iowa as it entered the 20th century. A collection of photographs of homes, parks and public places taken between 1904 and 1914. Features the article: From the Real to the Ideal, Images of Des Moines in the Progressive Era by local historian John Zeller.
Drake Bands
Since the early days of Drake University there has been a University Band. Dr. Thompson Brandt, a Drake alumnus, has written a history of Drake's Band. Read the history, view the images, and hear the sounds of Drake Bands from days gone by.
Looking for Ernest Tomlin: Drake student lost on the Titanic
An "A" student, Tomlin learned in 1910 that his father was ill and traveled to London to care for him. In the spring of 1912, Tomlin booked passage on the "RMS Titanic" in order to return to his studies at Drake.
From the Class of 1912Drake's Centenarian
Born in Indianola, Iowa on August 6, 1890, Emma Verona Calhoun Johnston was not only the oldest living American; she was also a graduate of Drake University.
Copyright (c) Cowles Library, Drake University