The Cowles / Kruidenier Collection

The papers, letters, and photos of John Cowles, Gardner Cowles, Jr. (Mike), and David Kruidenier, Jr. are available for viewing at Drake University's Cowles Library. For assisance locating items, contact the Cowles Library Reference Desk. You can search all three collections together, or search them individually below.


The John Cowles Papers

Search the John Cowles papers. All items are available for viewing at Cowles Library, Drake University.

The John Cowles collection includes 16 filing cabinets of papers and other memorabilia and framed documents and photographs. The material was organized and cataloged in such a way as to preserve as much as possible the original placement of papers in Cowles’ files. If the placement of an item seems strange to the researcher, it is probably where it is because John Cowles caused it to be there. The following general areas are listed in the order of their filing in the file cabinets:

Speeches
These files include speeches made by J.C., correspondence relating to the speeches and material which he kept for reference when writing speeches, organized by date where relevant.
Family
These files include correspondence with family members, family business matters, art, insurance, philanthropy, estate business of both J.C. and Elizabeth Bates Cowles and other family members, foundation matters, investments and trusts.
Special Areas
Papers relating to Phillips Exeter Academy, the Ford Foundation, General Mills, Harvard University, the Des Moines Register, Look magazine and Cowles Communication, Inc.
Public Life
These papers are organized chronologically, with the years up to 1955 being mostly a year by year set of files. After 1955, the files are alphabetical by subject with a range of dates given for each file. This organization is the way the material was originally found.
Artifacts
This category includes material which either did not arrive at the library in a file folder or did not lend itself to storage in a file folder. Included are rolled documents, academic hoods, scrapbooks, photographs and published materials.

The finding aid lists the general area, followed by the file folder caption, followed by the number of the filing cabinet and the number of the drawer.

One comment for the researcher: John Cowles was an amazing correspondent; his letters to friends and family are filled with references to the important topics of the day including business matters, economics, politics, domestic and foreign affairs. These letters are an invaluable source to his ideas and opinions.


The Gardner Cowles, Jr. (Mike) Papers

Search the Gardner Cowles, Jr. (Mike) papers. All items are available for viewing at Cowles Library, Drake University.

The Gardner Cowles, Jr. (Mike) collection covers an approximate time period of 1942 to 1975. The papers consist mainly of correspondence, speeches and material related to the business of publishing. In organizing these papers, the rule of provenance was observed. This resulted in some like material being filed in two different areas – for example, Look material in both folders labeled “Look” and in folders labeled “CMI – Cowles Magazines Inc.”

The papers are housed in filing cabinets at Cowles Library, Drake University. The papers are divided into four major categories with an addendum for file drawers 21-26:

Correspondence
Correspondence filed alphabetically by correspondent and date.
Speeches
Speeches given by Mike Cowles and filed by date. Cowles’ own inventory of his speeches is filed here with additions by archivist Dawson. The folders include correspondence regarding particular speeches if Cowles arranged them in that way.
General subjects
The remainder of the papers which could be filed in folders. The material is filed alphabetically by topic and includes some large groups of folders on such subjects as Look magazine and the San Juan Star.
Other Materials
Material not suited to file folders.

The David Kruidenier, Jr. Papers

Search the David Kruidenier, Jr. papers. All items are available for viewing at Cowles Library, Drake University.

The David Kruidenier, Jr. collection of papers is housed in 3 filing cabinets at Cowles Library, Drake University, Des Moines, IA and includes correspondence, clippings and other published material and photographs. The material was organized and cataloged in such a way as to preserve as much as possible the original placement of papers in Kruidenier’s files. The following general areas are listed in the order of their filing in the file cabinets:

Family
These include files related to the Cowles/Call families, Kruidenier family, correspondence with family members and history.
David Kruidenier, Jr.
Correspondence and Speeches
Des Moines Register
This material includes correspondence, reports, minute books, clippings and much on the sale of the Des Moines Register during the years of 1984-85.
Cowles Media Company/Minneapolis Star Tribune
Included here are annual reports, correspondence and clippings.
Des Moines City Involvement
Folders here contain aspects of Kruidenier’s many civic contributions: public libraries, Civic Center, Gray’s Lake, Drake University.