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Norman A. Erbe Papers

Identifier: MsC0206

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Scope and Contents

The papers of Norman A. Erbe consist of two linear feet of manuscripts dating from 1952 to 1975. Arranged alphabetically, the papers include correspondence from Thomas E. Martin, H.R. Gross, John Kyl, Robert D. Blue, and Donald B. Johnson. Liquor-by-the-drink was the hottest issue in Iowa during Erbe's time in office and the papers reflect that with Iowa Liquor Control Commission investigations, correspondence, and printed materials. There are also three boxes of speeches, ranging in topics from agriculture to traffic.


  • Creation: 1951-1975


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Norman Arthur Erbe was born in Boone, Iowa, on October 25, 1919. He served with the US Army as an infantry company commander from 1941 -- 1942. From 1943 until 1945, he was a pilot in the US Air Force. Erbe graduated from the University of Iowa in 1946 and earned his law degree the following year. Returning to his hometown, he became a partner in the law firm of Doran & Erbe. He was Iowa’s Attorney General from 1956 until he was elected Governor in 1960. During his term, appropriations for education were increased, legislative districts were reapportioned, and certain prison reform measures were enacted. He lost his reelection bid to Harold Hughes. Erbe’s indecisiveness on the “liquor-by-the-drink” issue probably cost him the election. Following his term as governor, Erbe held a number of positions including one as the regional representative of the Secretary of the US Department of Transportation. Norman Erbe died on June 8, 2000, at the age of 80.


2.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Governor of Iowa. Subject files relating to liquor laws, correspondence, and speeches.

Method of Acquisition

Norman A. Erbe donated his papers to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1981.

Related Materials

Erbe, Norman. Ringside at the Fireworks. Des Moines, Iowa : Toreador Press, 1997. Special Collections Iowa Authors, no call number

Genre / Form




Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)