Guide to the Alexander Kern Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1903-1995
Creator: Kern, Alexander (1909-1997)
Extent: 1.00 linear foot.
Collection Number: RG99.0026
Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Summary: Professor of English in 1946. Chairman in American Studies Program, 1947-1975. Correspondence, articles, photographs.

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 2.

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition: These materials were donated to the University Archives by Mr. Kern's estate in August 1995. Finding aid created October 2007.

Preferred Citation: Alexander Kern Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: David McCartney

Biographical Note

Alexander Carl Kern was born September 23, 1909, in Erie, Pennsylvania. Mr. Kern earned his B.A. at Yale in 1930. He took his M.A. at the University of Wisconsin in 1933 and his Ph.D. in history in 1936. Kern married Jean Bordner in 1936, and they had two children, John and Antonia.
Dr. Kern joined the faculty at the State University of Iowa in 1936 as instructor of English. During 1945, he was a lecturer in the S.U.I. English Department, as well as University of Wisconsin and Allegheny College in Pennsylvania. In 1946 Kern was named assistant professor of English at S.U.I., where he further developed the American Studies Program. The American Studies Program was initially named American Civilization when it was first offered as a graduate program in 1934. Dr. Kern was made associate professor and course chairman of this program in fall 1947 by Elmer T. Peterson, acting dean of the Graduate College. Alexander Kern retired in 1975 and died August 16, 1997.

Content Description

The Alexander Kern papers include correspondence, clippings, articles, and photographs of Mr. Kern.

Related Materials

Folder, "Kern, Alexander C. ," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Cawelti, John G. "Alexander Kern: An Analysis and Interpretation." American Studies 16, no. 2 (fall 1975): 9-14, illus. Also "An Issue for Alex," pp. 5-8, with "A Kern Bibliography."

Kern, Alexander C. "A Historical Note on [the] American Civilization [Program] at Iowa." Handbook of the University of Iowa American Studies Program (1978): 3-4.

Papers of Norman Foerster (RG99.0060)

Detailed Description of the Collection

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This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Kern, Alexander Carl, 1909-

Corporate Names:
University of Iowa. Department of American Studies

English teachers

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa

University of Iowa Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Associates' Papers