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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Norman A. Erbe Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1951-1975
Creator: Erbe, Norman A. (1919-2000)
Extent: 2.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0206
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Governor of Iowa. Subject files relating to liquor laws, correspondence, and speeches.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 1.

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition: Norman A. Erbe donated his papers to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1981.

Preferred Citation: Norman A. Erbe Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Norman Arthur Erbe was born in Boone, Iowa, on October 25, 1919. He served with the US Army as an infantry company commander from 1941 -- 1942. From 1943 until 1945, he was a pilot in the US Air Force. Erbe graduated from the University of Iowa in 1946 and earned his law degree the following year. Returning to his hometown, he became a partner in the law firm of Doran & Erbe. He was Iowa's Attorney General from 1956 until he was elected Governor in 1960. During his term, appropriations for education were increased, legislative districts were reapportioned, and certain prison reform measures were enacted. He lost his reelection bid to Harold Hughes. Erbe's indecisiveness on the liquor-by-the-drink issue probably cost him the election. Following his term as governor, Erbe held a number of positions including one as the regional representative of the Secretary of the US Department of Transportation. Norman Erbe died on June 8, 2000, at the age of 80.

The papers of Norman A. Erbe consist of two linear feet of manuscripts dating from 1952 to 1975. Arranged alphabetically, the papers include correspondence from Thomas E. Martin, H.R. Gross, John Kyl, Robert D. Blue, and Donald B. Johnson. Liquor-by-the-drink was the hottest issue in Iowa during Erbe's time in office and the papers reflect that with Iowa Liquor Control Commission investigations, correspondence, and printed materials. There are also three boxes of speeches, ranging in topics from agriculture to traffic.
Erbe, Norman. Ringside at the Fireworks. Des Moines, Iowa : Toreador Press, 1997. Special Collections Iowa Authors, no call number

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL
Series 2: SPEECHES

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Clippings - 1981-1998
  • Governor's veto messages - 1961
  • Honorary Colonels - 1960-1961
  • Inaugural correspondence - 1960-1961
    including letters from: Thomas E. Martin, H.R. Gross, John Kyl, Robert D. Blue, and Donald B. Johnson
  • Iowa Liquor Control Commission: Financial and operating statements, July-January - 1960-1961
  • Iowa Liquor Control Commission: Investigations - 1952-1961
  • Iowa Liquor Control Commission: Investigations: County lists
  • Iowa Liquor Control Commission: Investigations: Individual State Income Tax Returns - 1956-1959
  • Iowa Liquor Control Commission: Truck and car operating statements, July-January - 1960-1961
  • Iowa Liquor Control Commission: Correspondence - 1960-1961
  • Iowa Liquor Control Commission: Miscellaneous printed material, undated
  • Photograph, used for campaign postcard - 1962
  • US Armed Forces vs. Alcoholism, including "The Saga of Chief Butler" by Frederick R. Cushing - 1961
  • Series 2: SPEECHES
  • Box 2:
  • Agriculture - 1961
  • Anniversaries - 1961-1962
  • Dedications - 1962
  • Education - 1961-1962
  • Efficiency in government - 1961-1962
  • Governors' conferences - 1961-1962
  • History - 1961-1962
  • History II - 1962
  • Industry - 1962
  • Labor - 1962
  • Miscellaneous - 1962
  • More Pride in Iowa - 1962
  • Municipalities - 1962
  • National Guard - 1962
  • Box 3:
  • Organizations - 1962
  • Regional councils - 1969
  • Religion - 1961
  • Transportation and traffic - 1961-1975
  • Transportation and traffic II
  • Youth and aged - 1961

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Corporate Names:
Iowa Liquor Control Commission

Liquor laws


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa

Genre/Form of Materials: