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Erich Funke Papers

Identifier: RG99.0091

Scope and Contents

The Erich Funke papers include correspondence, clippings, articles, an unpublished typescript draft, and one photograph.


  • 1932-1974


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

Erich Funke was born December 11, 1891, in Rogaetz, Elbe, Germany. He graduated from Realgymnasium (high school with scientific emphasis) in 1912, and attended college at Leipzig, Munich, and Zurich, before taking his Ph.D. at the University of Halle in Germany, 1921. Funke married Lydia Gunzenhauser, and the couple had one son, Thomas, born in 1928. Dr. Funke joined the staff at the University of Iowa as assistant professor of German in 1931 and was made full professor and head in 1937.

In 1953 Dr. Funke began developing the Translingua Script -- a system of numbers he devised for communication which would replace words that require translation between languages. Funke received international recognition for the Translingua Script in 1957. According to a Cedar Rapids Gazette article dated March 11, 1960, the U.S. military expressed an interest in using the script.

Erich Funke retired in 1960 and died November 5, 1974.


0.75 linear feet

Method of Acquisition

These materials were donated to the University Archives by Mrs. Funke in 1978.

Related Materials

Folder, "Funke, Erich," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Erich Funke sound recordings (LP and reel tape), see Recordings Cabinet: LP1090, LP1116, LP1136

Papers of Ingeborg Solbrig (RG99.0092)

Records of the Dept. of German (RG06.0016.001)

Denise Anderson, October 2007
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242