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George Frederick Kay Papers

Identifier: RG99.0086

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Scope and Contents

This collection includes the professional correspondence and field notes of George F. Kay while serving as state geologist for Iowa, 1911-1934, and as professor and head of the University of Iowa Geology Department, beginning in 1907. Speeches and offprints of articles are also included.


  • Creation: 1903 - 1939


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

George Frederick Kay was born in Ontario, Canada, on September 14, 1873. Mr. Kay served as principal of public schools in Zephyr, Ontario from 1892-1894. He graduated from Owen Sound Collegiate Institute in 1896. He took his B.A. and M.A. at the University of Toronto in 1900 and 1902. Kay married Bethea Hopper on December 26, 1902, and they had three children: George Marshall (1904), Marjorie (1907), and Calvin (1912). While living in Ontario, Kay was a geologist for the Canadian government. He was assistant professor of geology at the University of Kansas, 1904-1907, before joining the faculty at the State University of Iowa as full professor of geology in 1907. Kay was promoted to head of the department in 1911 and served as geologist for the state of Iowa, 1911-1934. He took his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1914. Dr. Kay was considered an authority on the glacial history of Iowa, and the Pleistocene Epoch in particular. In 1917 he was named dean of the College of Liberal Arts, a position he held until his retirement on September 1, 1941. George F. Kay died July 19, 1943.


30.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



University of Iowa professor of geology, 1907-1941. Served concurrently as head of geology, dean of College of Liberal Arts, and state geologist of Iowa during 1911-1934.

Method of Acquisition

These materials were transferred to the University Archives from the Iowa Geological Survey Bureau in 1998.

Related Materials

Folder, "Kay, George Frederick. ," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Prior, Jean C. "The State Geological Survey of Iowa." In The State Geological Surveys: A History, edited by Arthur A. Socolow, pp. 134-145, illus., notes. n.p.: Association of American State Geologists, 1988.

Papers of Samuel Calvin (RG99.0083)

Genre / Form




Denise Anderson, September 2007
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242