Emmett J. Cable, papers

Archives record series:  15/04/19

Emmett J. Cable (1877-1964).  Papers, (1910-1963), 1.25 linear feet.


Emmett J. Cable was a distinguished, long-time member of the faculty of the University of Northern Iowa.  He was born in Eldora, Iowa, on November 12, 1877.  He graduated from Hubbard (Iowa) High School and then received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from Cornell College in 1894 and 1895, respectively.  He studied at the University of Chicago and then received his Ph. D. from the University of Iowa in 1917.

Professor Cable taught in rural schools and was superintendent of schools in Albion, Iowa, before joining the geography faculty of the Iowa State Normal School in 1905.  In 1917 he became head of the Department of Natural Science.  In 1935 he became head of the Department of Science, which combined the natural and physical sciences.  He served in that capacity until he assumed emeritus status in 1948 and became Curator of the Museum on a part-time service basis.  He resigned from that position in May 1963, due to poor health.  He died in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on February 20, 1964,

Professor Cable was a productive scholar, who published books and articles on a wide range of subjects.  His area of specialization was Iowa geology.  He also presented popular science programs on the radio for many years.


Some of the papers in this collection accumulated gradually over the years in the University Archives:  administrative correspondence, some newsclippings, and personnel records.  However, most of this collection came from the UNI Museum in 2010.  This included correspondence between Professor Cable and Pauline Sauer, Cable's successor as head of the Museum; newsclippings; publications; material associated with his interests and research; and material associated with the composition of his publications.  Among the material associated with his publications is a large collection of photographs used as illustrations in his published work.  University Archivist Gerald Peterson decided to combine this material into one collection in order to enhance research possibilities.

Container inventory

Box 1

  • Biographical and personnel records
  • Maps and drawings
  • Presentations and publications
  • Radio talks
  • A field study in north central Iowa

Box 2

  • The Hampton tusk
  • The Physical Sciences--chapter outlines
  • The Physical Sciences--tests
  • Astronomy
  • Evolution of the Cephalopods
  • Geology
  • Geology and fossils
  • Science and religion
  • World calendars
  • Photographs

Box 3

  •  Photographs

Collection processed by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson, June 2010.

Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675
Telephone: (319)-273-6307
Fax: (319)-273-2913
Email: Gerald.Peterson@uni.edu