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Elisabeth Koffka Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: LU-MS-199
This collection contains papers documenting the teaching and creative writing of Elisabeth Koffka, professor of history at Lawrence University from 1961 to 1971. The bulk of the collection consists of poetry and prose written by Koffka dating from the 1930s to the 1980s. Materials documenting her teaching of Freshman Studies, German, and history at Lawrence and her teaching activities at Smith College are also included. Records include notebooks, lecture notes, speeches, publications, cassette tape recordings, student coursework, personal correspondence and memorabilia, and photographs. Materials date from 1918 to 1994.


  • 1918-1994


Conditions Governing Access

Student papers or other materials reflecting individual students' academic work are closed for 75 years beyond the date of creation. The remainder of the collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Lawrence University does not hold the copyright for all materials in this collection. Uses beyond those allowed for fair use under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) require the researcher to secure permission from the copyright holder.


11.60 Linear Feet (11 boxes)

Biographical or Historical Information

Dr. Elisabeth Koffka, Lawrence professor of history and, later, professor of history emerita, specialized in European intellectual history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and taught western civilization and Freshman Studies. The German native taught at Lawrence from 1961 to 1971 after making her way to Appleton under the auspices of a New York Foundation Visiting Professorship from the John Hay Whitney Foundation. She came after spending thirty years at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She and her husband, Dr. Kurt Koffka, came to America in 1928 after leaving the University of Giessen, Germany, where  Koffka received her Ph.D. Both taught at Smith College. Mr. Koffka died in 1941. Elisabeth Koffka died on April 15, 1994, at the age of 97. [Adapted from memorial printed in Lawrence Today, fall 1994]

Method of Acquisition

Acquired prior to July 2005. The exact date, source, and method of acquisition are unknown.

Processing Information

Minimally processed by Erin Dix, 2016.
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Repository Details

Part of the Lawrence University Archives Repository

Seeley G. Mudd Library
113 South Lawe Street
Appleton WI 54911 US
(920) 832-6753