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Bernard Mahler Timberg oral history

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 21/7/215

Scope and Content

The collection (1968-2006, undated) contains coursework and materials from Timberg's Master of Science thesis at Iowa State University and audio recordings of oral history interviews conducted by Timberg during his time at Iowa State. Included in the tapes are the original recordings identified and indexed in the appendix of his thesis. Timberg gathered oral histories from a variety of Iowans including Jack Shelley, Albert Parks Butts, Mabel Bartenhagen, Abe Mezvinsky, Lewis Morris, Jack Musgrave, and Lida Green.


  • Creation: 1968-2006, undated


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Bernard Mahler Timberg was born July 25, 1945, in Washington, D.C. He earned his B.A. (1971) in comparative literature from the University of California, Berkeley, his M.S. (1976) from Iowa State University in journalism and mass communication, and his Ph.D. (1979) from the University of Texas, Austin in radio-television-film.

While at Iowa State, Timberg worked with Professor James Dow of the Department of Foreign Languages on his Master of Science degree. Dow also had an interest in local folklore and oral history. Timberg's creative thesis was titled "Voices of Iowa: a Descriptive Thesis" (call no. ISU 1976 T481) and was a series of radio programs which included stories and oral history traditions from around the state of Iowa. His storytellers included Albert Parks Butts, who reminisced about his time working for the railroad; Orville K. Snav (a.k.a. Al Crowder), who owned a satirical company in Mason City that produced BunaBs, which apparently had no practical use; Mabel Bartenhagen, who recounted her years working on Mississippi river boats; and Abe Mezvinsky, who discussed his life story and his memories of living in Russia before emigrating to the United States.

After receiving his Ph.D., Timberg taught at many schools around the country, including the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Queens College of the City University of New York, Rutgers University-Newark, Radford University, Virginia Tech, and East Carolina University. He continued to write and produce radio and television programs and published many books and articles on the media, mental health issues, and Jewish studies, among other interests.

Timberg was married to Judy Tooley. He had two children, Eli and Katie, and two step-children, Sonya and Carla. He passed away July 23, 2010.


0.71 Linear Feet (1 card file box and 1 half-document box)


The collection is organized with audio recordings in Box 1 and additional materials in Box 2.

Related collection materials

•Albert Parks Butts Papers (MS 185)

•Earl Jonathan Stout Papers (MS 172)

•Jack Shelley Papers (RS 13/13/55)

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 21/7/215. Bernard Mahler Timberg oral history, 1968-2006, undated
January 22, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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