Skip to main content

Irving Maurer papers

Identifier: MC 004

Scope and Contents

The collection is divided into four series, Correspondence, Speeches and Writings, Diaries, and General, with the correspondence series further divided into artificial subseries based on chronology.

The Speeches series contains both handwritten and typewritten copies and drafts of speeches, articles, addresses, and sermons written by Maurer, some with his additional handwritten notes. Folders are generally named after the titles of speeches.

The Diaries series features President Maurer's 42 years' worth of daily entries, a bound volume covering each year (except 1901-1902) from 1900 through his unexpected death in February of 1942. The CD-R contains black and white scans of all of the diaries in the collection, as well as a few digital photographs, scans of early writings, and supporting correspondence between Beloit College and Margaret Maurer Gibson and Sterling Skinner, the donors of the diaries.

The General series contains the president's reports to the Board of Trustees, other administrative reports and records, photographs, fundraising and promotional materials, meeting minutes, President Maurer's appointment calendars, student/alumni records, and news clippings. Of particular note are correspondence, articles, and various documents regarding his death and its subsequent effects on the college and community.


  • 1823-2008; bulk 1924-1942

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research; however, certain materials are fragile and require Archives staff for handling, or use may be restricted. Some documents marked "Confidential. Not to be printed in whole or in part."

Biographical / Historical

[Excerpted from "Seven Presidents of Beloit College" by Dr. Robert Irrmann'39]

In 1924 Beloit College turned to its earlier tradition of calling a son of the College to the presidency; on this occasion it was Irving Maurer of the Class of 1904. Irving Maurer had gone from Beloit to Yale, receiving both a Bachelor of Divinity degree and a Master of Arts in 1908. As a Congregational minister, Maurer held two significant pastorates prior to returning to Beloit: that of the Jonathan Edwards Church in Northampton, Massachusetts, and Washington Gladden's First Congregational Church in Columbus, Ohio.

Irving Maurer brought a deep feeling for the older Beloit, a broad ranging humanistic outlook, and a devotion to the College Chapel as a forum for all interests of the College. Educated under Eaton's regimen, President Maurer continued to beautify the Vesper Service, stressing the role of music in its heightening effect. The earlier values of the Founders were those professed by President Maurer as animating forces in the life of the College: a non-sectarian, democratic spirit, characterized by simplicity and mental activity and by moral idealism in public life. He saw Beloit College as an institution, "cultural rather than professional, animated by a deep sense of truth, profoundly religious but knowing no antagonism between science and religion."

To his students he stressed the charm and attraction of the world of books. His love of the arts was mirrored in the erection of the Theodore Lyman Wright Art Hall. His belief in student collegiality at the outset of a college career is seen in the construction of the men's dormitories in 1927-28.

Faithful to the ideals of an earlier Beloit, and to the soundness of a broad humanism, Dr. Maurer carried the College through the depression years of the 1930s, and he presided over America's entry into World War II. Granted an extension of his presidency beyond age 65, so he might preside at the College's Centennial in 1946-1947, an untimely and unexpected death in February 1942 ended his presidency.


20.5 Linear Feet (21 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Irving Maurer papers contain correspondence, speeches, Beloit College administrative reports and documents, diaries, and a small number of photographs, most of which were written or created during Maurer's administration as president of Beloit College from 1924-1942. The vast majority of the collection is correspondence between President Maurer and alumni, faculty, students, parents, on- and off-campus organizations, peer college administrators, and many other groups. An accomplished orator and theologian, he spoke frequently at the college and at other outside events, and documentation of both the speeches and correspondence regarding those talks are represented here. The Archives also holds Maurer's personal dairies, kept daily from 1900-1942. Some topics of interest in all these materials include college and the church, the building of Wright Art Hall, and Prohibition.


Though each series has its own slight deviations in arrangement, overall the records have been kept in the order in which they arrived, and folder titles have been retained from the original folders where applicable. See each series listing below for more detailed arrangement notes.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

President Maurer's diaries were graciously donated by his daughter, Margaret Maurer Gibson, and the donation was coordinated by his grandson, Sterling "Skip" Skinner, in 2008.

Related Materials

Processing Information

This collection came to the College Archives in a few separate accessions, and was processed by 3-5 different student workers during the 1980s. The inventory and finding aid were completed in 2012 by another individual, with the aid of the College Archivist and his recollection of the original order and earlier processing activities.

In most cases, folder titles reflect labels found on the original folders. Square brackets in the folder titles indicate an addition of text by Archives staff. For instance, a folder labeled "Correspondence – B" contained only one letter from C. Douglas Booth, so "(C. Douglas Booth)" was then appended to the end of the original folder title.

Irving Maurer papers
Michelle Tom
October, 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Beloit College Archives and Special Collections, Beloit, WI Repository

700 College St.
Beloit WI 53511 USA