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The “Baptists and the Demise of Des Moines University” digital collection focuses upon (1) the old Des Moines University; (2) T. T. Shields, the last president of the university; (3) the Baptist Bible Union, which Shields represented; (4) Highland Park College, the precursor of Des Moines University; and (5) College Corner Commercial Historic Business District, the designation of the geographical site in the National Register of Historic Places. 



In May of 1929, student riots erupted at Des Moines University, leading to the closing of the institution.  The campus unrest was spurred on by the controversial policies spear-headed by Dr. T. T. Shields, a pastor from Toronto, Canada.  Shields represented the Baptist Bible Union, which had purchased the institution and its campus in 1927.  Back in 1918, Des Moines University had been formed as a result of a merger between Des Moines College and Central University of Iowa with Highland Park College, the previous owner of the campus property.  The campus inhabited by Highland Park College and then Des Moines University stood at the corner of Second Avenue and Euclid Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa.  The Park Fair Mall now resides at this geographical site, which has been named to the National Register of Historic Places, under the name of “College Corner Commercial Historic Business District.” 


The Digital Project

This digital library was created by Paul Hartog in May of 2018, in partial fulfillment of the course INFOST 682, “Digital Libraries.”  This course was taught by Prof. Iris Xie, of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in the spring semester.  Digital master files of digital creations have been stored in a separate location, for the sake of long-term preservation.  High resolution digital images can be ordered using the online Image Order form.


Collection Development Policy

The goal of “Baptists and the Demise of Des Moines University” is to create a balanced digital library of quality materials, both in form and content, that will assist users in understanding the full context of the downfall of Des Moines University, while respecting copyright laws and intellectual property.  To achieve balance in form, the collection includes items of hyperlink (URL’s), JPEG, MP3, MP4, PDF, and WMV formats.  The hyperlinks should lead to resources of substantial scholarly value. All items should be downloadable by common browsers. To achieve content balance, the collection is distributed among materials relating to (1) Highland Park College, the precursor institution; (2) Des Moines University; (3) the Baptist Bible Union, which purchased the campus in 1927; (4) T. T. Shields, whose new policies led to riots and the closure in 1929; and (5) the College Corner Commercial Historic Business District. The collection will especially prioritize materials directly related to the events that precipitated the 1929 demise of Des Moines University. Finally, both “born digital” objects and objects converted from analog format are desired. Items that do not possess merit for scholarly research, exist in difficult formats, are essentially duplicate items, are judged to be irrelevant, or remain unused may be weeded out. Users and all stakeholders are encouraged to make any relevant recommendations to the digital collection curator.     


Copyright and Permissions

The “Baptists and the Demise of Des Moines University” Collection framework is published by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukeee.  Copyright © 2018 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. All rights reserved.

The holder of each item’s distinct copyright is explained within the “Rights” section of the item’s metadata.  The images may be copied by individuals or libraries for personal use, research, teaching or any "fair use" as defined by copyright law. Fair use of copyright-protected works for study, research, and other purposes does not require the permission of the copyright owner provided that the use meets the standard specified in Section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law.

Permission to reproduce materials in this collection for publication or distribution must be obtained from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Accommodations for Users with Disabilities

Our aim is to facilitate universal access.  If you desire any accommodation please contact us, and we will seek to help.




Please send us your comments or suggestions regarding the collection. The contact person and creator of this digital collection is Paul A. Hartog.


Phone: 515-964-0601

Mailing Address:  Paul Hartog, 1180 N.E. 51st Ave., Des Moines, IA 50313

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