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Norman Leonard Jacobson papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 6/1/14

Scope and Content

The collection (1940-1993, undated) contains materials documenting Jacobson's career including vitae, published works, correspondence, manuscripts, grant proposals, awards, speeches, and research. Also in the collection are files related to some of his trips overseas to Egypt, Costa Rica, and Bulgaria. Correspondence and research related to Jacobson's work with milk fever and calcium metabolism in livestock, a project sponsored by the Moorman Manufacturing Company for over 20 years, can also be found in this collection. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence with colleagues and various papers related to his research in nutritional physiology.


  • 1940-1993, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Norman L. Jacobson was born on September 11, 1918, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin--Madison, where he graduated with a B.S. (1940) in dairy husbandry. Jacobson then went to Iowa State College (University) to pursue his M.S. (1941) in dairy husbandry with a minor in veterinary physiology and a Ph.D. (1947) in dairy husbandry with minors in physiology chemistry and veterinary physiology. During World War II, Jacobson served in the U.S. Navy (1942-1946) as a Line Officer where he carried out duties as a Navigator and Executive Officer.

After World War II, Jacobson returned to Iowa State where he completed his Ph.D. and was named Assistant Professor (1947-1949) in the Department of Animal Science. He was promoted to Associate Professor (1949-1953), full Professor (1953-1963) and Distinguished Professor of Agriculture (1963-1989). He joined the administration as Associate Dean (1973-1988) of the Graduate College, Associate Vice-President for Research (1979-1988) and Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate College (1988-1989). Jacobson retired in 1989 and received Emeritus status.

Jacobson's primary research interests were in nutritional physiology. Areas where he devoted major attention to consisted of bloat in cattle and sheep, lipid and fatty acid absorption in cattle, effects of feeding antibiotics to dairy cattle, etiology, cattle nutrition, and milk production. He was the author of over 130 published works, including in scientific journals, books, and book chapters. Jacobson also was involved in training new professionals as a major professor for 23 masters and 39 doctoral degree recipients.

In addition to being involved in matters at Iowa State University, he was active in professional organizations. He served on the editorial board for journals including Dairy Science and Nutrition. Jacobson held leadership positions at the American Dairy Science Association. He was a member of the National Research Council Subcommittees related to Animal Science and National Honor Societies.

Jacobson married Gertrude A. Neff on August 24, 1943. Together they had two children, Gary and Judy. Jacobson passed away on May 14, 2015


3.78 Linear Feet (9 document boxes)


Norman L. Jacobson was a professor in the Animal and Dairy Science Department and Administrator for Research and Graduate College. He primarily worked on nutritional physiology and is best known for his work related to cattle and dairy cattle. This collection contains materials including vitae, papers, correspondence, manuscripts, grant proposals, awards, speeches and research. Most of the material is correspondence with colleagues and various papers related to his research in nutritional physiology.


This collection largely maintains original order except for the correspondence files which are organized chronologically.

RS 6/1/14. Norman Leonard Jacobson papers, 1940-1993, undated
July 22, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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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