Skip to main content

W. Ross Livingston Papers

Identifier: RG99.0102

  • Staff Only
  • Please navigate to collection organization to place requests.

Scope and Contents

The W. (Walter) Ross Livingston papers are comprised primarily of correspondence concerning his military service during both world wars, as well as his political aspirations. His tireless work as a professor of history to establish a collection of British documents at the University of Iowa Libraries is well documented. His personal and professional correspondence are inter-filed in chronological order. This collection also contains photographs and diaries, as well as Livingston's dissertation and writings regarding the U. S. Army Eighth Air Force.


  • Creation: 1918-1978


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

Walter Ross Livingston was born October 14, 1893, in Iberia, Missouri. He received the A. B. degree in 1919 from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. He took the A. M. degree at the University of Missouri in 1920 and his Ph.D. in history at the University of Wisconsin in 1927.

Livingston served in the U. S. Army during World War I. After earning his master's degree, Livingston was employed at Pomona College in California, from 1920 to 1923 before accepting a graduate fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, where he studied under Winfred T. Root. Root was appointed head of the History Department at the State University of Iowa in 1925 and recruited Livingston to join the SUI faculty that same year. Livingston taught Canadian history during his first semester and soon included courses in American history and foreign relations, as well as the British Empire and commonwealth. He was instrumental in building a collection of British government publications at the University of Iowa Libraries. During 1943 to 1947, he was on leave while serving as Captain, then Major, then Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army Eighth Air Forces in Europe. During this leave, he was promoted to full professor at SUI. He also served on the board of trustees of the Iowa Unitarian Association during the first half of the 1950s. Livingston retired from SUI in 1962 and was employed as a visiting professor at several colleges and universities over the next decade, including the University of California at Los Angeles during 1965-1966 and the California State College in Long Beach in 1968.

Livingston married Mary Zella Bear in 1920 and the couple had three daughters, Jean, Yvonne, and Irene. Jean served with the Women's Air Service Pilots for 18 months during 1943 to 1944. W. Ross Livingston died December 30, 1978.


10.00 Linear Feet


Professor of history at the University of Iowa from 1925 to 1962. Instrumental in acquiring British government documents for the University of Iowa Libraries. Served in the U.S. Army Eighth Air Forces in Europe during World War II and wrote a history of that unit.

Method of Acquisition

These papers were transferred to the University Archives from the Department of History in July 1979. Folders containing Iowa Unitarian Association Board of Trustees minutes dated 1950-1955 were transferred to the Unitarian Universalist Association in Boston in December 2009. Guide created December 2009.

Related Materials

Folder, "Livingston, Walter Ross," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Livingston, Walter Ross. Responsible Government in Nova Scotia; A Study of the Constitutional Beginnings of the British Commonwealth.

Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242