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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Robert Morriss Browning Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1917-1963
Creator: Browning, Robert Morriss (1893-1963)
Extent: .50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0841
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: World War I letters to students at the University of Iowa.

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition: These papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries by Anne Browning Nelson in 2001.

Preferred Citation: Robert Morriss Browning 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

Robert Morriss Browning, Ph.D., was born near Iowa City, Iowa, on August 22, 1893, and received his bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology from the University of Iowa in 1916 and 1924, respectively. Between May 1917 and October 1922, Mr. Browning served as a lieutenant and, later, captain of infantry, in the U.S. Army. In 1927, Mr. Browning received his doctorate in psychology from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He taught at Johns Hopkins, the University of Maryland, College Park, and at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, before joining the U.S. Civil Service Commission in 1929, where he was employed as a psychologist with the Department of Tests and Measurements, retiring in 1953. He died on December 4, 1963, at age 70. He and his wife Louise had two daughters.

The Robert Morriss Browning Papers consist of correspondence between Mr. Browning and Karl S. Hoffman, a fellow University of Iowa student, and Mabel C. Williams, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Iowa, between 1917 and 1922. The letters chronicle Mr. Browning's military activity in the U.S. Army during and following World War I, including letters from Germany during post-war operations. The collection also includes several photographs of Mr. Browning and Army colleagues, as well as postcards from European locales to which he traveled during 1920-1922. A biography file includes a photocopy of Mr. Browning's application to the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, requesting an appointment as a Republican member of the U.S. Civil Service Commission, a request which was denied by the administration.
The Robert Morriss Browning Papers consist of three series: I. Biographical; II. Correspondence (with sub-series arranged by recipient); III.

Browse by Series:

  • Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
  • Box 1:
  • Letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt requesting appointment to the United States Civil Service Commission - 1933
  • Application to the United States Civil Service Commission - 1936
  • Obituary, The Washington Post - 1963
  • Box 1:
  • Karl S. Hoffman - 1917
  • Karl S. Hoffman - 1918
  • Karl S. Hoffman - 1919
  • Karl S. Hoffman - 1920-1924
  • Mabel C. Williams, May-July - 1917
  • Mabel C. Williams, August-September - 1917
  • Mabel C. Williams, October - 1917
  • Mabel C. Williams, November-December - 1917
  • Mabel C. Williams, January-March - 1918
  • Mabel C. Williams, April-June - 1918
  • Mabel C. Williams, July-December - 1918
  • Mabel C. Williams, January-July - 1919
  • Mabel C. Williams, August-December - 1919
  • Mabel C. Williams - 1920
  • Mabel C. Williams - 1921-1922
  • Other recipients - 1921-1922
  • Series 3: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 1:
  • Portrait - 1917
  • Photographs (6) Separation Note: These photos were originally enclosed with a letter to Karl S. Hoffman dated November 27 - 1917
  • First week at ROTC
  • With 2nd Lieutenant W. F. Scott, morning after sleeping in tents and cooking own meals, dated October 21 - 1917
  • The building Browning lived in during training camp
  • Weekend leave at Columbus Junction with unidentified woman
  • Cover trench dug by ROTC
  • Browning studying during ROTC
  • Postcard photograph, undated
  • Postcard photograph with correspondence to Earl S. Browning - 1922
  • Postcard photograph with correspondence to Mrs. Eli Browning - 1918-1920
  • Postcard photographs (2) with correspondence to Earl S. Browning and Karl S. Hoffman - 1918-1920
  • Postcard photograph - 1918-1920
  • Postcard photograph - 1918-1920