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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Erich Funke Papers
Collection Dates: 1932-1974
0.75 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 donated to the University Archives by Mrs. Funke in 1978.  Finding aid created by Denise Anderson, October 2007.

Photographs: Box 2

Professor Erich Funke, September 6, 1957

Erich Funke explaining Translingua Script, September 6, 1957

Scope and Contents

The Erich Funke papers include correspondence, clippings, articles, an unpublished typescript draft, and one photograph.

Biographical Note

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.

[D. Anderson; 10/2007]

Related Materials

Folder, "Funke, Erich," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG 01.15.03)

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 (RG 06.16)

Box Contents List

Box 1



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



Dr. Funke's school comic annual from Gymnasium