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Josiah L. Pickard Papers

Identifier: RG05.0001.003

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Josiah L. Pickard served as the sixth president of the State University of Iowa, from 1878 to 1887.


  • Creation: 1878-1887


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

A leading educator and administrator, Pickard assumed the presidency after heading the public school system in Chicago. He also was a devoted student of history, serving as president of the State Historical Society of Iowa for nearly 20 years.

Pickard, a native of Maine, graduated from Bowdoin College in 1844 and served as principal of Platteville (Wisconsin) Academy until 1860. That year, he was selected Wisconsin's state superintendent of public instruction, a position he held until 1864, at which time he began a 13-year stint as Chicago's superintendent of schools.

During Pickard's presidency at Iowa, two departments - later to become colleges - were added: dental and pharmaceutical. Course offerings in the remaining four departments were expanded, and he advocated raising teaching standards and academic requirements. From 1881 until 1900 he was president of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and retired from active teaching in 1889.

Pickard was born in Rowley, Massachusetts, on March 17, 1824. He died on March 29, 1914, at age 90.


0.25 Linear Feet

Method of Acquisition

These papers were transferred to the University Archives from the Office of the President; date unknown. Guide posted to the Internet December 2006.

Related Materials

Catalogs of the University, 1878-1887 (RG01.0008.001)

Records of the Board of Trustees and Board of Regents, 1847-1909 (RG04.0001.001)

Manuscript File Collection (RG01.0001.001)

David McCartney, December 2006.
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242