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Henry A. Wallace papers

 Collection — Reel: 1-67
Call Number: RH MF 95


Henry A. Wallace's papers from the University of Iowa Libraries, copied on microfilm. The collection includes correspondence, Wallace's daily and trip schedules, and documentation from telephone conversations he held, among other records documenting his political career, agricultural career, and personal life.


  • Creation: 1888-1965, 1974


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Henry Agard Wallace (1888-1965)

Henry A. Wallace was born in Adair County, Iowa, the son of Henry Cantwell and May Brodhead Wallace. Henry A.'s father served as Secretary of Agriculture under President Warren G. Harding, and his grandfather and father had founded the magazine Wallace's Farmer. After graduation from Iowa State College in 1910, Wallace worked for the family magazine, becoming its editor in 1921. Wallace was also an expert in agricultural science in his own right, experimenting with plant genetics and gaining success in hybridizing corn in order to create higher-yielding strains.

In 1928, Wallace broke with family tradition and the Republican Party because of the party's protectionist tariff policies. Joining the Democratic Party, Wallace helped deliver conservative Iowa to that party in the 1932 Presidential election. That, combined with his knowledge in agriculture, led to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointing Wallace as Secretary of Agriculture, a position Wallace held through Roosevelt's first two terms. Wallace formulated and administered the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, part of the New Deal legislation that was designed to stabilize farm prices, conserve soil, control production, and otherwise stabilize the farming and agricultural economy of the United States during the Great Depression.

Wallace ran as Roosevelt's Vice President for Roosevelt's third term. In this role during World War II, Wallace served as goodwill ambassador to Latin America and traveled to Siberia and China. He also played a significant role in national economic affairs. Because of party opposition to his vice presidency candidacy for a second term, Wallace did not run as Vice President for Roosevelt's 4th term. Instead he served two years as Secretary of Commerce, resigning in 1946 from President Harry S. Truman's Cabinet because of increasing polarization between Wallace and Truman regarding Truman's hardline Cold War policy with the Soviet Union.

Wallace helped form the Progressive Party and served as its presidential candidate in the 1948 election. His platform included arms reduction, closer cooperation with the Soviet Union, and having the United Nations adminster foreign aid. He received over a million popular votes. In 1950, Wallace resigned from the Progressive Party and returned to private life.

Wallace married Ilo Browne of Indianola, Iowa in 1914. They had three children: Henry, Robert, and Jean. Wallace died in Danbury, Connecticut on November 18, 1965 and his ashes were later interned in Des Moines, Iowa at Glendale Cemetery.

[Information retrieved from "Henry A. Wallace," Encyclopedia Britannica and from "Papers of Henry Agard Wallace Collection Guide,"]


67 Reels ; Microfilm reels measure 35 mm.

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MF 95

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Department of History (T. A. Wilson)

Existence and Location of Originals

The original papers are held at the University of Iowa Special Collections.

Separated Materials

University of Iowa Libraries. Guide to a microfilm edition of the Henry A. Wallace papers at the University of Iowa. Iowa City: University of Iowa Libraries, 1974. Available at Spencer Research Library at C18568 (formerly at RH Ref C2876 Handbook RH C3151).

Processing Information


Guide to the Henry Agard Wallace Collection
Henry A. Wallace papers on microfilm
Finding aid prepared by pg, November 1975. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2004. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Henry Agard Wallace papers on microfilm, Kansas Collection, RH MF 95, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas
Literary property rights in teh letters of Henry A. Wallace at the University of Iowa Libraries belong to the University of Iowa Libraries.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States