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Frank Kenneth Ramsey papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 14/7/13

Scope and Content

The collection (1917-1991, undated) contains biographical information, correspondence, research materials, publications, and travel information. The biographical information includes news clippings, faculty information files, curriculum vitae, family genealogy, and photographs. Other related materials include photographic negatives (#102791-102802) of Ramsey, personal outings, and family gatherings. Several awards received by Ramsey are housed in the University Artifacts Collection (listed in the appendix).

Correspondence, which comprises the bulk of the collection, is categorized into three areas: general correspondence, departmental correspondence, and personal correspondence. The most notable correspondents from Iowa include Margaret Sloss, Charles Grassley, Dean Rusk, and E. A. Benbrook. Notable correspondence with organizations includes the World Health Organization, Franklin Institute Research Laboratories, Rockefeller Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Agency for International Development. Ramsey's files also contain correspondence with ministers of agriculture in Ireland, Israel, Denmark, Argentina, and SEATO nations as well as other colleagues from around the world.

Due to the many years Ramsey spent as Head of the Department of Veterinary Pathology, the collection contains many records relating to the College of Veterinary Medicine. These files include records related to the planning of the Veterinary Medicine Building, which was completed in 1976. Other departmental records include subject files on the American College of Veterinary Pathologists fraternal organizations, the Osborn Club, the Veterinary Medicine Building Committee, local and long range planning committees, ISU Foundation Governors, East Iowa Veterinary Association Inc., and the Northern State College Alumni Association. Also contained in the collection are files related to various selection committees Ramsey served on including distinguished professorships, Deans, and University President.

Ramsey's research and writings include information on animal disease research and the history of veterinary medicine in Iowa. The research files include information on various animal diseases occurring in both domestic and international livestock. Most of the writings and publications are related to the history of veterinary medicine at Iowa State University and in the state of Iowa (including a letter from 1892 listing all of the veterinarians in Iowa at that time). Other writings include Ramsey's biography of Margaret Sloss.


  • Creation: 1917-1992, undated


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Frank Kenneth Ramsey was born to parents Carl and Bertha Ramsey on June 5, 1910 in Princeton, Missouri. He received his B.S. (1936) from Northern State Teachers College, Aberdeen, South Dakota, and his M.A. (1940) in zoology from the University of Montana, Missoula. Ramsey then earned his D.V.M. (1946) and Ph.D. (1955) from Iowa State College (University). He graduated with distinction and was the first in his class in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Ramsey joined the staff at Iowa State as Instructor and Assistant Professor (1946-1949) in the Department of Veterinary Anatomy. He was promoted to Associate Professor (1949-1957) of Veterinary Pathology and named the Clarence Hartley Covault Distinguished Professor (1957-1980) and Head (1957-1975) of the Department of Veterinary Pathology. Ramsey retired from teaching duty in 1980 and was named Professor Emeritus (1980).

Prior to coming to Iowa State, Ramsey was superintendent of schools in Bonilla, South Dakota (1936-1938), and taught in the Glendive, Montana junior college (1940-1943). He served as a Veterinary Consultant (1958-1959) in Chile for the International Cooperation Administration. Ramsey served in the same capacity in 1961 for the Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, to determine the establishment of a veterinary school at Kabete, Kenya. As a result of these and other international consulting work Ramsey received the Wilton Park International Service Award (1971).

Ramsey was the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. He received the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association's first Veterinary Service Award (1947). Ramsey was given the Distinguished Alumni Award (1960) from Northern State Teachers College. He received the Faculty Citation (1967) from Iowa State and was named Professor of the Year (1973) in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He earned the Gamma Sigma Delta Award of Merit (1975) for distinguished service to agriculture. In his honor, the F.K. Ramsey lecture series was established in the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1975.

Ramsey married Beatrice Joyce Woodford of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa in 1936. They had four children: Gerald Frank, Richard Allen, Homer Leroy, and Janet Joyce. Frank Kenneth Ramsey died on January 9, 1992.


14.18 Linear Feet (9 document boxes and 8 records center cartons)


Frank Kenneth Ramsey (1910-1992) was a longtime Professor and Head of the Department of Veterinary Pathology at Iowa State University. The collection contains biographical information, personal and professional correspondence, photographs, publications, research materials, and travel information. The bulk of the collection consists of professional correspondence with colleagues and fellow researchers regarding the administration of and the ongoing research in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The collection also contains Ramsey's writings on animal diseases, specifically mucosal disease in cattle, and materials related to trips to Europe, South America, and Africa where he served as a veterinary consultant.


The collection is organized Alphabetically.

Items in related collections

RS 14/7. Iowa State University. Department of Veterinary Pathology records, 1899-2012

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 14/7/13. Frank Kenneth Ramsey papers, 1917-1992, undated
January 23, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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