Department of Modern Languages (Historic) Collection

Collection Overview

Title: Department of Modern Languages (Historic) Collection

Record Series: 14/20/01

Record Group:

14/20/01 Department of Modern Languages (Historic) Collection

Creator: Department of Modern Languages

Date: 1966-2009

Extent: 6 boxes (2.29 linear feet)

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives at Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language: Majority of materials in English. Some materials in Spanish.

Information for Users

Accessing the Collection:

Most materials are open for research. Materials related to the confidentiality of personnel, student, medical, and other legally protected records are CLOSED to researchers for 70 years from the date of creation. Consult the archivist with any questions or concerns.


Related archival materials can be found in 14/03/01 Department of Languages and Literatures Collection at Special Collections & University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy or similar laws, and the Iowa Open Records Law (see Iowa Code § 22.7). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Northern Iowa assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], in the [Series Title] #[series number], [folder number or title when applicable], [Collection Name], Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

General Use, Reproduction, and Copyright Policies

Many items housed in the Rod Library Special Collections & University Archives, including unpublished images and manuscripts, may be protected by copyright, publication rights, trademarks, or model release rights which the library does not own and for which the library cannot grant permission or licensing. Materials currently under copyright are usually still available for research and limited reproduction under Fair Use laws. However, it is the sole responsibility of the patron to determine whether or not their use of a given material falls within Fair Use guidelines and to obtain permission for said use from the rightful copyright owner. If you are unsure where to begin, please consult the Copyright LibGuide. Please note that it is not the library's responsibility to locate or contact copyright holders for a patron, and neither the library nor library employees are responsible for copyright violations of the materials to which they facilitate research access. Please see our full General Use and Service Policies for more information.

Historical Note

The Department of Modern Languages existed in some form since the Iowa State Normal School (now UNI) was founded in 1876, with language offered in the English Literature Department. The name changed c. 1885 to the Language Department and by 1892, split into the English Language and Literature Department, the Latin Language Department, and the Elocution and Physical Culture Department.

The English Language and Literature and the Elocution and Physical Culture Departments merged in 1896 to form the English Department, which lasted until 1909. Shortly after, the Latin Language Department became the Latin Department (1897 to 1909). In 1900, the German Department started offering courses, also lasting until 1909. The German and French Department existed from 1909 to 1918, when it then split into the German Department and Romance Languages Department.

From 1909 to 1927, the Latin and Greek Department offered courses until merging with the German Department. This department subsequently was called the Latin and Greek-German Department from 1927 to 1929, then the Latin, Greek, and German Department from 1929-1934.

The Languages Department was created in 1934 with the incorporation of the Latin Greek, and German Department and the Romance Languages. In 1954, this department became part of the newly formed Languages, Speech, and Literature Department. Languages and Literature remained together until 1966, when Languages split off to become the Foreign Languages Department, and then, in 1976, the Modern Language Department. By 1979, it was named the Modern Languages Department.

In January 2010, it was announced that the Department of English Language and Literature and the Department of Modern Languages would be combined. The Department of Languages and Literatures has existed since then and is part of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences.


This collection is arranged into the following series:

  • Series 1: Administrative Records
  • Series 2: Programs & Ephemera
  • Series 3: Publications

Scope and Content

Series 1, Administrative Records, contains materials related to the department’s general functioning. Included are faculty records with information about salaries, status, and educational backgrounds; a 1982 departmental self-evaluation; correspondence, proposals, and other items related to the summer institute; and assorted minutes and memos focused on topics such as: position openings; policies; various committee info; affirmative action; course information; the 1992 department strategic plan; enrollment; annual reports; testing procedures; and search committees. The second series, Programs & Ephemera, dating from 1971-2009, contains brochures, fliers, and memos with information about position announcements, course offerings, events, and more. The final series, Publications, includes departmental publications and a magazine. The departmental newsletters contain highlights; faculty achievements; event and conference information; scholarship information; alumni news; and information about UNI language clubs. The Russian & East European (REES) newsletters include information about the program, events, and courses. The series also includes issues of the Micromegas journal, which contains international poetry translated into English. Examples include Chilean, American Indian, Polish, Hungarian, and more.


Box 1

  • Folder 1: Minutes & Memos, 1966; 1991-1992 [Series 1]
  • Folder 2: Minutes & Memos, 1992-1994 [Series 1]
  • Folder 3: Minutes & Memos, 1994-1995 [Series 1]
  • Folder 4: Minutes & Memos, 1995-1997 [Series 1]
  • Folder 5: Minutes & Memos, 1997-1998 [Series 1]
  • Folder 6: Minutes & Memos, 1998-1999 [Series 1]
  • Folder 7: Summer Institute [Series 1]

Box 2

  • Folder 1: Proposal for Bilingual Education Fellowships, 1976 [Series 1]
  • Folder 2: Minutes, 1975-1994 [Series 1]
  • Folder 3: Departmental Self-Evaluation, Spring 1982 [Series 1]
  • Folder 4: Faculty Records [Series 1]
  • Folder 5: Programs & Ephemera, 1971-2009 [Series 2]
  • Folder 6: Summer Study Tours [Series 2]
  • Folder 7: “Culture & Civilization of the German Speaking States,” 1975 [Series 2]
  • Folder 8: Departmental newsletter, 1977; 1979; 1998-2004 [Series 3]
  • Folder 9: REES News - Russian & East European Studies, 1997-2000 [Series 3]
  • Folder 10: Micromegas, Vol. 1, No. 2 - Vol. II, No. 2 [Series 3]

Box 3

  • Folder 1: Micromegas, Vol. II, No. 3 - Vol. III, No. 2 [Series 3]
  • Folder 2: Micromegas, Vol. III, No. 3 [Series 3]
  • Folder 3: Micromegas, Vol. IV, No. 1 - Vol. IV, No. 2 [Series 3]
  • Folder 4: Micromegas, Vol. IV, No. 3 [Series 3]
  • Folder 5: Micromegas. Vol. V, No. 1 - Vol. V, No. 2 [Series 3]

Box 4

  • Folder 1: Micromegas, Vol. V, No. 3 [Series 3]
  • Folder 2: Micromegas, Vol. VI, No. 1 - Vol. VI, No. 2 [Series 3]
  • Folder 3: Micromegas, Vol. VII, No. 1 - Vol. VII, No. 2 [Series 3]
  • Folder 4: Micromegas, Vol. III, No. 1 - Vol. III, No. 2 [Series 3]
  • Folder 5: Micromegas, Vol. IX, No. 1 - Vol. IX, No. 3 [Series 3]

Box 5

  • Folder 1: Micromegas, Vol. X, No. 1 - Vol. XI, No. 1 [Series 3]
  • Folder 2: Micromegas, Vol. XI, No. 1 - Vol. XI, No. 2 [Series 3]
  • Folder 3: Micromegas, Vol. XII, No. 1 - Vol. XIII, No. 1 [Series 3]
  • Folder 4: Micromegas, Vol. XIV; unidentified issue [Series 3]

Box 6

**Please note that the following materials are restricted 70 years from their date of creation or, if undated, 70 years from the date of processing**

  • Folder 1: Minutes & Memos, 1992-1997 [Series 1]
  • Folder 2: Faculty Record, undated [Series 1]
  • Folder 3: Summer Institute, [c. 1990?] [Series 1]


Processing Information

Collection processed and finding aid written and updated by Library Associate Dave Hoing, July 2017, January 2018, and March 2018, April 2018; and Archival Processor Tessa Wakefield, September 2020. Linear feet updated September 16, 2020.