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Marcus Bach papers

Identifier: UA10011

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Scope and Contents

The Marcus Bach papers, 1933-1964, contain correspondence, scripts, programs, publishing contracts, articles, and biographical materials relating to the academic and creative works of Marcus Bach. His career as both a scholar and a playwright are represented in the collection. The correspondence series contains letters with reviews of his plays, admonishments of his views on inter-faith cooperation, and his many speaking engagements. The collection also includes complete scripts of his plays, Haym Solomon, The Resurrection of Christ, and "America, Frontier of Faith", as well as academic articles on world religions.


  • Creation: 1935 - 1936


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

Marcus Bach was born in Sauk City, Wisconsin, on December 15, 1901, during the Third Great Awakening. His boyhood experiences with religious revivals and demonminational rivalries influenced Bach's dedication to study religious sects throughout the world and promote respect and unity between people of different faiths.

Bach studied music at the University of Wisconsin from 1920-1922, and then attended Mission House College and Seminary in Plymouth, Wisconsin, from 1924-1925, where he was ordained. After a pastorate at Fairfield Evangelical Church in Kansas City, Missouri, Bach returned to school to pursue playwriting in 1936 at The University of Iowa. He wrote religious plays as his thesis and dissertation to recieve his M.A. (1937) and his Ph.D. in Speech and Dramatic Arts (1942).

Bach taught multiple courses at The University of Iowa about lesser known religious sects. He resigned in 1961 to pursue writing full-time. Bach published more than 40 books and numerous articles, including Major Religions of the World, Had You Been Born in Another Fairth, and The World of Serendipity.

On August 19, 1932, Bach married Lorena Otto Ernst, an award-winning photographer. Her works illustrated most of Bach's books and writings. Bach died on March 26, 1995, at the age of 93.

Citation: Biography. Marcus Bach Collection. Brigham Young University Library. Retrieved on January 26, 2024.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



The Marcus Bach papers, 1933-1964, contain correspondence, scripts, programs, publishing contracts, articles, and biographical materials from the playright and religion scholar.

Bach, Marcus papers
Under Revision
Rachel Poppen
2023 December 12
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • December 2023: New resource created from collection material in Bach's vertical file by Rachel Poppen.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242