MsC 841

C ollection Dates: 1917 -- 1963
(Bulk Dates: 1917 -- 1922 )
5 linear ft.

Collection Guide

This document describes a Manuscript Collection held by the

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries

Guide Contents

Administrative Information

Biographical and Historical Information

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Acquisition and Processing Information

Box Contents List

Administrative Information

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.

Copyright:  Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections:  The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Biographical Note

Robert Morriss Browning, Ph.D., was born near Iowa City, Iowa, on August 22, 1893, and received his bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology from the University of Iowa in 1916 and 1924, respectively. Between May 1917 and October 1922, Mr. Browning served as a lieutenant and, later, captain of infantry, in the U.S. Army. In 1927, Mr. Browning received his doctorate in psychology from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He taught at Johns Hopkins, the University of Maryland, College Park, and at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, before joining the U.S. Civil Service Commission in 1929, where he was employed as a psychologist with the Department of Tests and Measurements, retiring in 1953. He died on December 4, 1963, at age 70. He and his wife Louise had two daughters.

Scope and Contents

The Robert Morriss Browning Papers consist of correspondence between Mr. Browning and Karl S. Hoffman, a fellow University of Iowa student, and Mabel C. Williams, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Iowa, between 1917 and 1922. The letters chronicle Mr. Browning's military activity in the U.S. Army during and following World War I, including letters from Germany during post-war operations. The collection also includes several photographs of Mr. Browning and Army colleagues, as well as postcards from European locales to which he traveled during 1920 --1922. A biography file includes a photocopy of Mr. Browning's application to the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, requesting an appointment as a Republican member of the U.S. Civil Service Commission, a request which was denied by the administration.

The Robert Morriss Browning Papers consist of three series: I. Biographical; II. Correspondence (with sub-series arranged by recipient); III. Photographs.

Acquisition and Processing Information

These papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries by Anne Browning Nelson in 2001.

Guide posted to Internet: July 2006

Box Contents List

Series I


Letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt requesting appointment to the United States Civil Service Commission, 1933 (photocopy)

Application to the United States Civil Service Commission, 1936 (photocopy)

Obituary, The Washington Post, 1963

Series II


Karl S. Hoffman




1920 -- 1924

Mabel C. Williams

May -- July, 1917

August -- September, 1917

October, 1917

November -- December, 1917

January -- March, 1918

April -- June, 1918

July -- December, 1918

January -- July, 1919

August -- December, 1919


1921 -- 1922

Other recipients

1921 --1922

Series III


Portrait, 1917

Photographs (6), Separation Note: These photos were originally enclosed with a letter to Karl S. Hoffman dated November 27, 1917

First week at ROTC

With 2nd Lieutenant W. F. Scott, morning after sleeping in tents and cooking own meals, dated October 21, 1917

The building Browning lived in during training camp

Weekend leave at Columbus Junction with unidentified woman

Cover trench dug by ROTC

Browning studying during ROTC

Postcard photograph, undated

Postcard photograph with correspondence to Earl S. Browning, 1922

Postcard photograph with correspondence to Mrs. Eli Browning, [1918 -- 1920]

Postcard photographs (2) with correspondence to Earl S. Browning and Karl S. Hoffman, [1918 -- 1920]

Postcard photograph, [1918 --1920]

Postcard photograph, [1918 -- 1920]

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