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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

George Frederick Kay Papers
Collection Dates: 1903-1939
30 linear ft.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

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Acquisition and Processing Information: These materials were transferred to the University Archives from the Iowa Geological Survey Bureau in 1998. Guide created by Denise Anderson, September 2007.

Photographs: None

George F. Kay, 1925

George F. Kay, 1925

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the professional correspondence and field notes of George F. Kay while serving as state geologist for Iowa, 1911-1934, and as professor and head of the University of Iowa Geology Department, beginning in 1907.  Speeches and offprints of articles are also included.

Biographical Note

George Frederick Kay was born in Ontario, Canada, on September 14, 1873.  Mr. Kay served as principal of public schools in Zephyr, Ontario from 1892-1894.  He graduated from Owen Sound Collegiate Institute in 1896.  He took his B.A. and M.A. at the University of Toronto in 1900 and 1902.  Kay married Bethea Hopper on December 26, 1902, and they had three children: George Marshall (1904), Marjorie (1907), and Calvin (1912).

While living in Ontario, Kay was a geologist for the Canadian government.  He was assistant professor of geology at the University of Kansas, 1904-1907, before joining the faculty at the State University of Iowa as full professor of geology in 1907.  Kay was promoted to head of the department in 1911 and served as geologist for the state of Iowa, 1911-1934.  He took his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1914.  Dr. Kay was considered an authority on the glacial history of Iowa, and the Pleistocene Epoch in particular.  In 1917 he was named dean of the College of Liberal Arts, a position he held until his retirement on September 1, 1941.  George F. Kay died July 19, 1943.

[D. Anderson; 09/2007]

Related Materials

Folder, "Kay, George Frederick. ," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG 01.15.03)

Prior, Jean C. "The State Geological Survey of Iowa." In The State Geological Surveys: A History, edited by Arthur A. Socolow, pp. 134-145, illus., notes. n.p.: Association of American State Geologists, 1988.

Papers of Samuel Calvin (RG99.0083)

Box Contents List

Box 1

Correspondence, Iowa Geological Survey

---. 1908-1910

---. 1906-1911

---. 1919-1920

Box 2

Correspondence, Iowa Geological Survey, cont.

---. E-Z, 1913

---. A-R, 1915

Checking account statements, 1927-1929

Box 3

Correspondence, Iowa Geological Survey, cont.

---. 1914

---. A-O, 1912

---. A-J, 1914

Box 4

Correspondence, Iowa Geological Survey, cont.

---. 1922-1923

---. S-Z, 1915

---. A-H, 1916

Correspondence, George Marshall Kay (son of George Frederick Kay), 1923-1925

Box 5

Correspondence, Iowa Geological Survey, cont.

---. July 1920-March 1921

---. March-November 1921

---. January-September 1917

Box 6

Maps and field notes, Iowa Geological Survey

---. Folders 1-9

Box 7

Correspondence, Iowa Geological Survey, cont.

---. B-L, 1918-1919

---. 1919-1920

---. 1907-1911

Box 8

Correspondence, Iowa Geological Survey, cont.

---. K-Z, 1916

---. 1903, 1924-1926

---. 1922

Box 9

Correspondence, Iowa Geological Survey, cont.

---. Folders 10-26

Box 10


---. A-M, 1930-1934

Box 11

Correspondence, cont.

---. A-N, through folder 24, 1925-1930

Box 12

Correspondence, cont.

---. A-Z, 1930-1934

Box 13

Field notes

---. Folders 36-42

Box 14

Field notes, cont.

---. Folders 43, 44, 51, 54, 58

Box 15

Field notes, cont.

---. Folders A, B, C, 59, 60

Box 16

Correspondence, O-Z, 1930-1934

Field notes, folders 25-43


Box 17


---. 1911-1913

---. 1922

---. 1924-1925

Box 18

Field notes, folders 10-15, 17-19

Box 19

Field notes, folders 27-35

Box 20


Speeches and radio addresses

Box 21

Field notes, folders 55, 57