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August Charles Krey Papers

Identifier: ua-00973

Scope and Content

This extensive collection consists of the correspondence and papers of August Charles Krey beginning a few years before he came to the University of Minnesota and continuing through his years of service as a professor, and later, head of the Department of History. Also included is material that shows Krey’s leadership in the activities of national and state organizations such as the American Association of University Professors, American Historical Association, Minnesota Historical Society, National Council for the Social Studies and others. Of archival significance, aside from papers pertinent to the university of Minnesota are those dealing with the investigation of the American Historical Association Commission on the Investigation of Social Studies in the Schools, 1929-34. This section of the collection is valuable both because of its subject matter and for its far reaching investigation in educational research, possible the most thorough going investigation ever undertaken. The correspondence portrays the thinking of the leading educators, social scientists and historians of the nation during the period represented. A list of Krey’s publications is included among miscellaneous papers in folder 253. Correspondence regarding his publications may be found in the year immediately preceding and following their publication dates. Significant correspondence re translation of William of Tyre (1944) is mentioned as early as 1939. Krey’s interest in his students and his influence as an adviser is demonstrated by his prolific correspondence with his former students and by his correspondence in their behalf. Many of these letters have be retained. Since many of his students distinguished themselves, the correspondence is valuable for its biographical content. Some of these former students include: Margaret Blegen Cram, Helen Clapesattle, Gertrude Doxey, Harold S. Fink, Franklin L. Ford, Orville Freeman, Winifred Holmes and Faith Thomson. Krey’s mentor and academic adviser, Dana C. Munro, was a major correspondent. Correspondence begins in 1910 and extends until Munro’s death in 1933. Munro was influential in persuading the Carnegie foundation to make a survey of the teaching of the social sciences in the schools. In 1928, Krey cooperated in compiling a memorial volume for Munro. After Munro’s death, Krey continued the correspondence with Munro’s wife, Alice B. Munro and his son, Dana G. Munro. Krey’s wife, Laura Lettie Krey, was a novelist. Frequent mention is made of her particularly at the time of the publication of And Tell of Time. This novel was written under her name but information re her pen name, Mary Everett, the name of her great grandmother) is noted in a letter of Feb. 18, 1937, Frey to J. Kramm, H.W. Wilson Company (folder 143). In the detailed description of the contents of the collection the A.H.A. Commission on the Investigation of Social Studies in the Schools is referred to as the commission.


  • Creation: 1887-1961

Language of Materials


Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Requests for permission to quote the August Charles Krey Papers should be arranged with head of University of Minnesota Archives.

Biographical/Historical Note

August Charles Krey was born in Germany on June 29, 1887. At an early age, his family immigrated to Wisconsin. All of his degrees were earned from the University of Wisconsin between 1907 and 1914. In the same period, he taught high school in Milwaukee. In 1910 he was an instructor at the University of Texas and in 1912 he took an appointment at the University of Illinois. In 1913 he came to the University of Minnesota where he spent the remainder of his career teaching history. In 1915 he became an assistant professor. Subsequent promotion occurred in 1917 and 1925. He was appointed chairman of the Department of History in 1944. As a student at the University of Wisconsin Krey studied under Frederick Jackson Turner, Dane Carleton Munro and George Clarke Sellery. Influenced by Munro, Krey developed an interest in the Crusades and most specifically William of Tyre whose writings Krey edited and published. His text, The First Crusade, was widely used and he participated in the compilation of History of the Crusades published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. Sellery’s influence led to a later interest in the Renaissance leading to a study of Florence, Italy, and his book, The City That Art Built (1936). Interest in the teaching of history is demonstrated in a collection of essays by Krey entitled History and the Social Web (1955). In 1925 he was named chairman of the Committee of the American Historical Association on History in the Schools, a post he held until 1929 when he became chair of the American Historical Association Commission on the Investigation of Social Studies in the Schools. His interest in teaching was manifested in the methods course on history in the University of Minnesota’s College of Education. Krey held a number of summer appointments at a number of colleges and universities. He was active in a number of professional organizations. He served a number of terms as the editor of the American Historical Review, was a member of the Council of the American Historical Association. He was president of the Folk Arts Foundation in 1946, vice president of the Minnesota Historical Society. He also was a member of the Medieval Academy and the American Association of University Professors. Krey was married on August 20, 1913 to Laura Lettie Smith. They had two children, Frances Letitia Bosford and Terry Fort Krey. Krey died at Houston, Texas, on July 28, 1961.


16.8 Linear Feet


A.C. Krey’s papers, accumulated throughout his career as a historian at the University of Minnesota, contain correspondence by and about the leading contemporary historians in the U.S. Krey’s leadership in national and state historical organizations such as the American Association of University Professors, American Historical Association especially its Commission on the Investigation of Social Studies in the Schools, Minnesota Historical Society. and the National Council for the Social Studies.


Finding aid created by, Alma O. Scott, January 27, 1956. Revised by Penelope Krosch, January 15, 2002. As an experiment in 1956, outgoing correspondence was arranged in chronological order and incoming mail was arranged alphabetically by source and chronologically under correspondent. Separate folders were used whenever correspondence was extensive or important enough to warrant it. Folders are arranged alphabetically by name following correspondence filed in general folders, i.e. A, B. C etc. The Commission on the Investigation of Social Sciences in the Schools was preserved in Krey’s original order as it was received by University Archives.

Source of acquisition

Donated to University of Minnesota Archives by August C. Krey from 1948 to 1955. Part of the collection relating to the American Historical Association dealing with the investigation of he Commission on the Social Studies in the Schools, 1929-34 are officially the property of the A.H.A. and were deposited in University Archives per an agreement between F.K. Walter, former University Librarian, and A.C. Krey. See letter of December 22, 1934, F.K. Walter to A.C. Krey and February 8, 1935, A.C. Krey to F.K. Walter, both in folder 81. Permission to view the commission papers must be sought from the current Head of the Department of History, University of Minnesota.

Related Material

A microfilm of the incoming letters of the American Historical Association Commission on Investigation of Social Studies for the years 1928 to 1939 is available of the originals in the Krey papers. Papers of Guy Stanton Ford, University of Minnesota Archives. Earlier version of finding aid available in University of Minnesota Archives.


August Charles Krey papers, 1887-1961
Penelope Krosch
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

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