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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Erich Funke Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1932-1974
Creator: Funke, Erich (1891-1974)
Extent: .75 linear feet.
Collection Number: RG99.0091
Repository: University of Iowa Archives

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 Mrs. Funke in 1978.

Preferred Citation: Erich Funke 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

Erich Funke was born December 11, 1891, in Rogaetz, Elbe, Germany. He graduated from Realgymnasium (high school with scientific emphasis) in 1912, and attended college at Leipzig, Munich, and Zurich, before taking his Ph.D. at the University of Halle in Germany, 1921. Funke married Lydia Gunzenhauser, and the couple had one son, Thomas, born in 1928. Dr. Funke joined the staff at the University of Iowa as assistant professor of German in 1931 and was made full professor and head in 1937.
In 1953 Dr. Funke began developing the Translingua Script -- a system of numbers he devised for communication which would replace words that require translation between languages. Funke received international recognition for the Translingua Script in 1957. According to a Cedar Rapids Gazette article dated March 11, 1960, the U.S. military expressed an interest in using the script.
Erich Funke retired in 1960 and died November 5, 1974.

The Erich Funke papers include correspondence, clippings, articles, an unpublished typescript draft, and one photograph.
Folder, "Funke, Erich," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Erich Funke sound recordings (LP and reel tape), see Recordings Cabinet: LP1090, LP1116, LP1136

Papers of Ingeborg Solbrig (RG99.0092)

Records of the Dept. of German (RG06.0016.001)

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Correspondence
  • Articles
  • Box 2:
  • X-ray photos, Die Deutschen Laute (The German Sound)
  • Newspaper and magazine articles about Translingua Script
  • Photograph, Dr. Funke at blackboard, September 6 - 1957
  • Box 3:
  • Translingua Script, a Code of Interlinguistic Communication, typescript draft, unpublished
  • Correspondence
  • Clippings
  • Dr. Funke's school comic annual from Gymnasium

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

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