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Iowa City IA 52242
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Release: Immediate

UI Libraries receives papers of radio businessman Arthur A. Collins

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The papers of the late Arthur A. Collins (1909-1987), founder and president of Collins Radio Company, now part of Rockwell International Corporation, have been deposited at the University of Iowa Libraries.

Collins was a pioneer in the making of specialized electronic equipment. The Collins Radio Company in Cedar Rapids, which began producing amateur radio equipment in 1933, played an important role in the history of the area and was one of Iowa's most important employers. Later Collins expanded to other specialized areas of electronics including aviation, navigation, broadcast and general communications.

During World War II, Collins Radio supplied electronic equipment for airplanes and ships. Later, Collins was the major communications supplier for the U.S. Manned Space Program. When Admiral Richard E. Byrd planned his exhibition to Antarctica (1933-1934), he selected Collins to build transmitters that would enable him to make live broadcasts to America from the South Pole.

Filling 33 large boxes with documents covering the years 1932 through the late 1970s, the Arthur A. Collins Collection provides historically significant records of a major area employer and will prove valuable to students, faculty and other researchers. Materials in the collection include correspondence, subject files, photographs, notebooks, corporate annual reports, product literature, product drawings and other working papers.

The collection is currently being processed, which involves arranging, preserving and describing the materials so that they will be available to researchers. Processing could take up to a year. For more information on the collection and its contents, please call the UI Libraries department of Special Collections (319) 335-5921.