"I think it's important to get it written down, because not only is it preserved but the personality of the writer comes through.  I once heard personality described as a whiff of stardust & I'd like to see that whiff of stardust preserved."

Dorothy Kehlenbeck Bean, Archivist and Curator, Iowa State University Library

Dorothy Severin Kehlenbeck Bean (1912-1999) was born in Elberon and lived in Cedar Rapids before moving to Ames in 1935.  She attended Coe College, and married Alfred Kehlenbeck, a young German professor at the college.  After her marriage, she worked at the University of Wisconsin and Ohio Wesleyan University, but returned to Coe to finish and receive her B.A. in 1938.  Dr. Kehlenbeck became the Head of Modern Language Department at Iowa State, and Mrs. Kehlenbeck first worked as a book-keeper at the Memorial Union.





Iowa State University Library, 1925

In 1953, the Alumni Achievement Fund allocated funds to organize the College History Collection and Mrs. Kehlenbeck was named the Curator.

She worked to classify the photographs in the University Archives, interviewed alumni and professors, answered reference questions for students and staff, and organized early manuscript and record collections.  She also compiled information on Iowa State's traditions.  For the centennial in 1958, she published "Chronology of Important Events of the First 100 Years."  Mrs. Kehlenbeck retired in 1973.

She was a member of the Faculty Women's Club, the Mary Greeley Auxiliary, the ISU Retirees, Friends of the ISU Library, Friends of the Ames Public Library, Friends of the Coe College Library and the Order of the Knoll.

Dorothy Kehlenbeck Bean is remembered here for her efforts to compile the first remnants of Iowa State history.  Today, the University Archives contains app. 15,000 linear ft. of records, 1 million photographs, and several thousand books and publications.


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Twentieth Century Women of Iowa State University
Comments: archives@iastate.edu
URL: http://historicexhibits.lib.iastate.edu/20thWomen/revisedSept2005/20thcenturywomen.html