For over 75 years, the Cowles Family and Drake University have been intertwined. Few families have left a more distinctive mark on any institution than the Cowles family has on Drake. In 1937, the Gardner Cowles Foundation made an instrumental gift to the University in the form of Cowles Library. A few decades later, the Library was given another generous donation from the Foundation, resulting in an addition to the facility which tripled the size of the Library.
Shortly after the deaths of John Cowles and Gardner Cowles, Jr. (Mike), the library acquired a large collection of family papers. Included in these papers are personal and business correspondence, speeches, photographs and framed documents, and memorabilia. More recently, the library acquired the papers of David Kruidenier, Jr., grandson of Gardner Cowles, Sr. Again these papers include correspondence, Des Moines Register annual reports, letters from high-profile individuals and miscellaneous historic photographs.
The papers of all three men have been organized into the Cowles/Kruidenier Collection. The Collection page contains finding aids for browsing the contents of the collection. Go to the Family page to see the Cowles family tree and access the men's biographies.