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Alexander Kern Papers

Identifier: RG99.0026
The Alexander Kern papers include correspondence, clippings, articles, and photographs of Mr. Kern.


  • 1903-1995


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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


1.00 linear foot


Professor of English in 1946. Chairman in American Studies Program, 1947-1975. Correspondence, articles, photographs.

Biographical / Historical

Alexander Carl Kern was born September 23, 1909, in Erie, Pennsylvania. Mr. Kern earned his B.A. at Yale in 1930. He took his M.A. at the University of Wisconsin in 1933 and his Ph.D. in history in 1936. Kern married Jean Bordner in 1936, and they had two children, John and Antonia.

Dr. Kern joined the faculty at the State University of Iowa in 1936 as instructor of English. During 1945, he was a lecturer in the S.U.I. English Department, as well as University of Wisconsin and Allegheny College in Pennsylvania. In 1946 Kern was named assistant professor of English at S.U.I., where he further developed the American Studies Program. The American Studies Program was initially named American Civilization when it was first offered as a graduate program in 1934. Dr. Kern was made associate professor and course chairman of this program in fall 1947 by Elmer T. Peterson, acting dean of the Graduate College. Alexander Kern retired in 1975 and died August 16, 1997.

Method of Acquisition

These materials were donated to the University Archives by Mr. Kern's estate in August 1995. Finding aid created October 2007.

Related Materials

Folder, "Kern, Alexander C. ," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Cawelti, John G. "Alexander Kern: An Analysis and Interpretation." American Studies 16, no. 2 (fall 1975): 9-14, illus. Also "An Issue for Alex," pp. 5-8, with "A Kern Bibliography."

Kern, Alexander C. "A Historical Note on [the] American Civilization [Program] at Iowa." Handbook of the University of Iowa American Studies Program (1978): 3-4.

Papers of Norman Foerster (RG99.0060)

Denise Anderson, October 2007.
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242