The Ira Baker Papers focus on his Semi-Centennial History of the College of Engineering of the University of Illinois. The work was prepared by Professor Baker between 1920 and 1923 at the request of President David Kinley. The manuscript contains a significant amount of material on the early history of the College of Engineering and the University of Illinois. Baker, an 1874 graduate, was the longest-serving member of the Engineering faculty. The correspondence included in this collection pertains to the publication and format of the history, a format description by the author, and instructions and lists of compositors.
This draft was secured through Marguerite Pease, who did editorial work on the manuscript in 1927-28 at the request of President Kinley, but it was never printed. The University of Illinois Archives holds both earlier and later versions of this draft of the manuscript. Much of this manuscript was reprinted in E. E. King, A History of the College of Engineering, 1868-1945, 2 volume. (Urbana, 1947).