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Robert Jack Sharps letters

 Collection
Identifier: RS 21/7/219

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

This collection (1899) contains letters between Robert Jack Sharps and his family while he was attending classes at Iowa State College (University). The letters are primarily from Sharps to his family though there are a few in the collection from his mother and father. The letters span from August, when Sharps first arrived on campus, to November, when Sharps was preparing to finish up his coursework and return home. The letters are not a complete set of correspondence during this time period and some of the letters themselves are incomplete. The last letters do not indicate whether or not he planned to return to Iowa State, but they do hint that the family was struggling to finance his education.



The letters provide a limited yet vivid portrayal of the life of a freshman college student in 1899. In his letters Sharps describes things that would be familiar to current college students: concerns about passing examinations and requests for money from home. His biggest expenses throughout the months he is at school are for rent and for clothes. Some things contained in Sharps’ letters are unique to the time period. He describes the military drills he and other students participated in under the direction of General Lincoln. He also describes in detail the banquet he attended in which the freshman class was dubbed the “Erehas” by the sophomores. He also mentions the Sunday chapel services that students were required to attend at the time.

Dates

  • 1899

Language of Materials

English

Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives

Biography/Profile

This collection (1899) contains letters between Robert Jack Sharps and his family while he was attending classes at Iowa State College (University). The letters are primarily from Sharps to his family though there are a few in the collection from his mother and father. The letters span from August, when Sharps first arrived on campus, to November, when Sharps was preparing to finish up his coursework and return home. The letters are not a complete set of correspondence during this time period and some of the letters themselves are incomplete. The last letters do not indicate whether or not he planned to return to Iowa State, but they do hint that the family was struggling to finance his education.



The letters provide a limited yet vivid portrayal of the life of a freshman college student in 1899. In his letters Sharps describes things that would be familiar to current college students: concerns about passing examinations and requests for money from home. His biggest expenses throughout the months he is at school are for rent and for clothes. Some things contained in Sharps’ letters are unique to the time period. He describes the military drills he and other students participated in under the direction of General Lincoln. He also describes in detail the banquet he attended in which the freshman class was dubbed the “Erehas” by the sophomores. He also mentions the Sunday chapel services that students were required to attend at the time.

Extent

0.21 Linear Feet (1 half-document box)

Related collection materials

For information related to the military drills Sharps participated in on campus see the Department of Military Science Records, RS 13/16.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

Title
RS 21/7/219. Robert Jack Sharps letters, 1899
Date
January 22, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

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