UNI's Rod Library receives 'Bridges of Madison County' manuscript

Posted on Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Gerald Peterson, special collections librarian and university archivist, Rod Library, 319-273-6307,

Melinda Beland, library assistant, Rod Library, 319-273-2802,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- "The Bridges of Madison County" original manuscript has been donated by author Robert James Waller to the Rod Library's special collections and university archives at the University of Northern Iowa. The manuscript includes Waller's personal notes and annotations. Originally published in 1992, this love story between a woman living in Madison County, Iowa, and a photographer was a New York Times bestseller that has sold 50 million copies worldwide.

"Interest in Professor Waller's first novel and his later works has remained at a high level over the years," said Gerald Peterson, Rod Library's special collections librarian and university archivist. "A late typescript of his novel, with his handwritten emendations, is an impressive addition to UNI's archives. Professor Waller's generous gift will benefit generations of scholars."

"This manuscript will be of interest to students and faculty in the Department of Languages and Literatures as well as other disciplines at UNI," said Chris Cox, dean of library services. "The special collections and university archives will be a destination for Waller scholars around the world."

"The Bridges of Madison County" was made into a feature film in 1995 starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. Waller's book was also made into a Broadway musical in February 2014, which won a Tony Award.

"Professor Waller's first novel had an enormous impact on American popular culture. People across the United States and around the world were talking about his book," said Peterson. "Discussion, criticism, and speculation about the author, the story and its characters permeated popular media for months."

Robert James Waller lives in Texas and received his B.A. in 1962 from the University of Northern Iowa, as well as his M.A. in 1968. Waller is a former faculty member and former dean of what is now known as the College of Business Administration at UNI. His other New York Times bestseller is "Puerto Vallarta Squeeze."

For more information about the new manuscript, visit