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Nellie M. Naylor papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RS 13/6/51

Scope and Content

This collection (1909-1993) documents Naylor's life personally and professionally. Especially valuable are her "Autobiographical sketch" (Box 1, Folder 2) and "Family history" (Box 1, Folder 3; her mother's family, the Gunson's, and her brother Bruce), including a genealogical chart. Her "History of the ISU Chemistry Department" (Box 1, Folder 11) provides a personal account of her teaching days as well as a rare, anecdotal glimpse of early twentieth-century Iowa State history. The collection also contains personal correspondence (Box 1, Folder 4), which is comprised mostly of letters to "Jim and Georgia," meaning her nephew, James Naylor and his wife. There is also professional correspondence (Box 1, Folder 10) that contains official letters of appointment and salary notifications.


  • 1909-1993

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


A longtime faculty member remembered by many, Nellie May Naylor (1885-1992) was the second woman to hold such a rank in the Chemistry Department at lowa State University (then lowa State College). Born in Clear Lake, lowa, Naylor received a B.A. (1908) from the State University of lowa (University of lowa in lowa City), an M.S. (1918) from lowa State College, and a Ph.D. (1923) from Columbia University. She started teaching at lowa State as a Chemistry Assistant in 1909, after one year as a Clear Lake Public School teacher. Except for when she was studying elsewhere, Naylor remained at lowa State until 1955, when she retired as Associate Professor of Chemistry. She was a member of many professional societies, most notably the lota Sigma Pi, of which she was an active participant, enduringly involved.

For a more fulsome account of her life and work, see "Biographical information" (Box 1, Folder 1), "Autobiographical sketch" (Box 1, Folder 2), "Family history" (Box 1, Folder 3), and "History of ISU Chemistry Department" (Box 1, Folder 11). Her personal correspondence (Box 1, Folder 4) is also illuminating.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 document box)

Items in related collections

RS 13/6. Iowa State University. Department of Chemistry records, 1883-2014

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 13/6/51. Nellie M. Naylor papers, 1909-1993
June 15, 2020
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672