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Erma Plaehn. Papers.


Title: Erma B. Plaehn. Papers, ca. 1936-1973.

Archives Record Series: 12/08/20

Creator: Erma B. Plaehn

Date: ca. 1936-1973

Extent: 2.92 linear feet, 1 box

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Language: This material is entirely in English.

Access and Use: There are no restrictions on the use of this material.

Preferred citation: [Identification of item] in the Erma B. Plaehn Papers, ca. 1936-1973, Archives Record Series 12/08/20, University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Scope and content: This collection consists entirely of newspaper clippings pasted into two large scrapbooks.

Historical note:

   Erma Plaehn, ca. 1947.

Dr. Erma B. Plaehn (1906-1974) began her 37 years of service at Iowa State Teachers College as an instructor at the Laboratory School in 1936. In 1945 she joined the Department of Social Science with the rank of Assistant Professor of Political Science. Teaching was her life commitment and she developed a sensitive appreciation for the individuals who studied with her. Her classrooms and office were among the busiest on campus.

As the number of political scientists on the staff increased, she led the successful movement to create a separate Department of Political Science and became its first Head in 1969. After two years she decided to leave her administrative position and return to full time teaching. She was awarded emeritus status at the end of the 1972-73 academic year.

Dr. Plaehn was a member of many community organizations and was named to the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women, and Board of the Iowa Center for Education in Politics. She was active professionally and during her career was a member of more than a dozen national academic or service organizations including the Midwest and the American Political Science Associations, the American Civil Liberties Union, and AAUP. She helped establish the Iowa Conference of Political Scientists and served as one of its early officers.

Her scholarly writings included contributions to the Iowa State Course of Study for American Government, the State Civics Course Study, and "Taxes Underwrite Education", which appeared in the Palimpsest, March 1945. She was co-author, with Professor Henry Nelson, of a series of filmstrips on Iowa history and geography. In 1969 she received the Outstanding Woman Educator award from Torch and Tassel, UNI Women's Association, and twice received the Alumni Service Award.

The above information is an edited version of her biographical sketch in Special Collections.


Box 1

The scrapbooks

Finding aid created by Library Associate Dave Hoing, July 2017. Updated december 2017 (dh). Linear Feet updated August 28, 2017.


Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives 
University of Northern Iowa 
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675 
Telephone: (319)-273-7295
Fax: (319)-273-2913 


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