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Ralph E. Speer, Jr. papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 21/7/99

Scope and Content

The collection (1948-1994, undated) contains artifacts, biographical information, committee records, conferences, course work material, notes, papers, professional engineering societies materials, and slides.

Also included in this collection are some records of the American Public Works Association (APWA). The civil engineering coursework materials comprise the majority of the collection.


  • 1948-1994, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Ralph E. Speer, Jr. (1931-1994) was born August 3, 1931 in Sault St. Marie, Michigan. He graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. (1954) in Civil Engineering and also did some graduate work at the University of Michigan and Iowa State University.

Speer was the Director of Public Works for the City of West Des Moines, Iowa (1990-1994). During his professional career he also worked for Iowa City, Iowa; Rockford, Illinois; and Newport News, Virginia.

Speer was active in several national professional organizations. He served as President of the Institute of Transportation for the American Public Works Association (APWA) and for the Iowa and Oklahoma chapters of the American Public Works Association. He was a member of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Institute of Traffic Engineers, and the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Speer was a Korean War veteran and a retired commander of the Civil Engineer Corps for the United States Naval Reserve.

Speer died on October 16, 1994 in Rochester, Minnesota. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


9.03 Linear Feet (12 document boxes, 2 half-document boxes, and 3 oversized boxes)


The collection is arranged alphabetically in 10 series: American Public Works Association (APWA) records; Biographical Information; Committee Records; Conferences; Course Work; Notes; Papers; Professional Engineering Societies; Color Slides; and Artifacts. Each individual series is arranged chronologically.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 21/7/99. Ralph E. Speer, Jr. papers, 1948-1994, undated
January 15, 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