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Dale M. Bentz Papers

Identifier: RG99.0299

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Scope and Contents

These papers document the 33-year career of Dale M. Bentz in the field of library administration at the State University of Iowa. Bentz was active in professional and community activities, and evidence of these activities is preserved here for researchers, divided into professional, university, and community activities. The largest series, correspondence, is separated into personal and professional, with both arranged chronologically.Other series are writings, speeches, clippings, subject files, biographical material, and a scrapbook of clippings, certificates, and photographs. Each line in the box list represents one folder, with the date range of the material noted.


  • Creation: 1937-2012


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

Dale Monroe Bentz was born January 3, 1919, in York County, Pennsylvania. He received the B. A. degree in teaching from Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 1939. He received the B. S. in library science at the University of North Carolina in 1940, where he met his future wife, Mary Gail Menius, and where he began his career in the Periodicals Department during the summer of 1940. Dale and Mary Gail were married in June 1942. At that time, Bentz worked in the library at Duke University. In November 1942, Bentz began military service in Denver, Colorado, as administrative officer in the U. S. Army Air Corps. After he was discharged in 1946, he worked at East Carolina Teachers College (now East Carolina University). Bentz received the M. S. degree from the University of Illinois in 1951.

Following graduation, Bentz worked as head of the Processing Department at the University of Tennessee. He was appointed associate director at the State University of Iowa Library on June 1, 1953. He was named University Librarian July 1, 1970, a position he held until his retirement on August 31, 1986.

Bentz was active on University committees and in professional associations, including the Iowa Library Association, where he served as president from 1959 to 1960. He served a number of years in several positions at the American Library Association, most notably as director of the Research Libraries Division. He was named president of the Resources and Technical Services Division of ALA from 1975 to 1976. Bentz was president of ACRL's University Libraries Section from 1963 to 1964. Bentz was a charter member of Beta Phi Mu, the international library science honor society, and was inducted at the University of Illinois in 1951. Bentz wrote and presented on new directions for research libraries. He brought William Anthony, fine binder, to the University of Iowa Libraries, who worked to establish the Libraries' Conservation Department.

Other University activities include work with the University of Iowa Foundation during the formative years in the 1950s, as well as with the University of Iowa Alumni Association. Bentz served a term as chair of the Board of Trustees of Student Publications, Inc., from 1965 to 1967. He served as president of the Triangle Club (formerly the men's faculty club) and served on fund-raising committees to remodel Iowa Hall and for the Museum of Art. Bentz was also a member of Faculty Senate from 1968 to 1971.

Within the Iowa City community, Bentz helped found Goodwill Industries of Southeast Iowa and served as vice president 1966 to 1969. He was a member of the Iowa City Board of Education for six years, and president 1962 to 1963. After his retirement, one of his many activities was to deliver meals to homes through Johnson County Senior Dining/Home Delivered Meals. Active in his church, Bentz was president of the congregation when the Old First English Lutheran Church, which was located at the corner of Market and Dubuque streets, was destroyed by an arsonist. This led to leadership positions in raising funds for a new church. Bentz served several terms on the church council and was president of the council when the church was named Gloria Dei Lutheran. A complete listing of Bentz's activities may be found in the biographical series of the Bentz papers, as well as in his Faculty Vertical File.

Dale and Mary Gail Bentz have two sons, Dale Flynn, and Thomas, and one daughter, Carol.


4.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Library administrator at the University of Iowa. Correspondence, writings, speeches.

Method of Acquisition

These papers were donated to University Archives during June-August 1986 and January 2011 by Dale M. Bentz. Finding aid posted to the Internet February 2011.

Related Materials

Folder, "Bentz, Dale M.," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Bentz, Dale M. Reflections On a Lifetime. Iowa City: Maecenas Press, 1990.

Dale M. Bentz. A scrapbook of letters gathered from colleagues and friends at Bentz's retirement and placed in a full goatskin designer binding by William Anthony, 1986. Special Collections, xfZ269.3.F55A5 v.31

Hamilton, Virginia. In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World. San Diego : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, c1988. Told by Virginia Hamilton; illustrated by Barry Moser. Presented to Dale M. Bentz by President Hunter Rawlings at the annual Friends Dinner celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Friends of the University Libraries. Special Collections, xBL226.H35 1988 cop.2

Records of the University Libraries (RG21.0001.001)

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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242