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Alfred P. Kehlenbeck papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RS 13/11/14

Scope and Content

This collection (1927-1971) contains biographical information, correspondence, and publications as well as information about the first Alfred P. Kehlenbeck Memorial Award. Correspondence with Rinehart Publishing Company regarding the book Introduction to Reading German are included and also some draft pieces of the book. This collection does includes three of his publications: Die Mittelniederdeutschen Laute Im Williamsburger Platt (1938), German Handbook (1941), and An Iowa Low German Dialect (1948).


  • 1927-1971


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Alfred Paul Kehlenbeck was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on February 24, 1906. He received his B.A. (1927) and M.A. (1928) from the University of Iowa, and his Ph.D. (1934) from the University of Wisconsin. He also studied at the University of Munich and the Sprachatlasinstitut in Marburg, Germany.

Following graduation, Kehlenbeck worked in the German departments at Oberlin College and Coe College. He was then hired by Iowa State as Assistant Professor (1935-1941) in the Department of Modern Languages. He was later promoted to Associate Professor (1941-1945) and Professor (1945-1946). Kehlenbeck left Iowa State to take a position as Associate Professor of German at the University of Virginia (1946-1950). He later returned to Iowa State as Professor and Head (1950-1969) of the Department of Modern Languages.

Kehlenbeck conducted research and specialized in German-American dialects and published four works on this topic. He also worked with Rinehart and Company on the book Essentials of Reading German. He was an editorial consultant for the Britannica World Language Dictionary in 1955.

Kehlenbeck was a member of the Modern Languages Association and the American Dialect Society. He served as the president of the Iowa chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German and was also on the national committee responsible for revising the College Boards Examination in German. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

He and his wife, Dorothy A. Severin, were married in Joliet, Illinois, on June 27, 1932. Dorothy Kehlenbeck served as the curator of Iowa State University's college history collection for a number of years. They had no children. He died in Ames, Iowa on August 4, 1969. In 1971, a house in Larch Hall was named in his honor. The Alfred P. Kehlenbeck scholarship was started and is awarded to a student studying foreign language.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 half-document box)


Alfred P. Kehlenbeck (1906-1969) was a professor (1935-1945; 1950-1969) of German in the Department of Foreign Languages at Iowa State University. A graduate of the University of Iowa, Kehlenbeck authored several books on the German language and German-American dialects, including Essentials of Reading German. This collection includes biographical information, correspondence, and publications. Three of his published works on the German-American dialect are included in the collection, along with correspondence with his publisher, Rinehart and Company. Material related to the Alfred P. Kehlenbeck Memorial Scholarship is also included.


This collection is organized Alphabetically with biographical information at the front.

Items in related collections

RS 13/11. Iowa State University. Department of World Languages and Cultures records, 1901-2013

Related collection materials

Related collections in the Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library include:

•Dorothy Kehlenbeck Papers, RS 25/4/51

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 13/11/14. Alfred P. Kehlenbeck papers, 1927-1971
January 23, 2019
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672