Roy R. Behrens Papers

Collection Overview

Title: Roy R. Behrens Papers

Record Series: 14/04/02/01

Creator: Behrens, Roy R.

Date: 1985-2006

Extent: 3 boxes (2.42 linear feet)

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

Language: This material is entirely in English.

Access and Use

Accessing the Collection:

No restrictions. Materials are open for research.

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.

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Historical Note

Roy R. Behrens was born in 1946 and grew up in northeastern Iowa. He served as a sergeant in the US Marine Corps during the Vietnam War before earning a graduate degree from the Rhode Island School of Design. Dr. Behrens spent his career as a writer, designer, and artist, teaching at the University of Northern Iowa as an instructor from 1972-1977 before returning in 1990. He taught classes in graphic design, illustration, and design history until his retirement in 2018. Additionally, he taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Art Academy of Cincinnati, among other schools.

Dr. Behrens contributed to publications such as the Journal of Creative Behavior, the New Art Examiner, and the Gestalt Theory, writing numerous articles and reviews about art, design, and camouflage. He also served as the art director of the North American Review, illustrating books, short stories, and poetry. He is also the founder of the Ballast Quarterly Review, a "periodical commonplace book."

For more information, please visit this website.


  • Series 1: Conferences
  • Series 2: Ballast Quarterly Review

Scope and Content

The Roy R. Behrens Papers are arranged into two series. The first, Conferences, 2005-2006, contains materials related to two different events. The first is a schedule of events for the April 2005 "The Bauhaus and Beyond 1919-2005: The Shape of Design Education" event, whose audience was art and design teachers at the high school and college levels. The conference was sponsored by the Department of Art. The second event was "Camouflage: Art, Science and Popular Culture," which was held in April 2006, and focused on the use of camouflage in various ways. Included is a schedule of events printed on foam board as well as an event poster, which is located in Box 3.

The second series, Ballast Quarterly Review, contains issues of the publication dating from 1985 to 2006. "Ballast" is an acronym for Books Arts Logic Language Ambiguity Science and Teaching. The publication was founded in 1985 when Behrens was teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It was a free subscription as long as people provided their own stamps for mailing. Its average subscription count during its publication run was roughly 400 people.



Box 1

  • Folder 1: “The Bauhaus & Beyond 1919-2005: The Shape of Design Education, April 2005 [Series 1]

  • Folder 2: “Camouflage: Art, Science & Popular Culture,” April 2006 [Series 1]

  • Folder 3: “Camouflage: Art, Science & Popular Culture,” April 2006 [Series 1]

  • Folder 4: Ballast Quarterly Review, Autumn 1985-Spring 1991 [Series 2]

  • Folder 5: Ballast Quarterly Review, Summer 1991-Autumn 1992 [Series 2]

  • Folder 6: Ballast Quarterly Review, Winter 1992-Winter 1993 [Series 2]

  • Folder 7: Ballast Quarterly Review, Spring 1994-Summer 1995 [Series 2]

  • Folder 8: Ballast Quarterly Review, Autumn 1995-Summer 1997 [Series 2]

Box 2

  • Folder 1: Ballast Quarterly Review, Autumn 1997-Summer 2000 [Series 2]

  • Folder 2: Ballast Quarterly Review, Autumn 2000-Spring 2002 [Series 2]

  • Folder 3: Ballast Quarterly Review, Summer 2002-Autumn 2003 [Series 2]

  • Folder 4: Ballast Quarterly Review, Winter 2003-August 2004 [Series 2]

  • Folder 5: Ballast Quarterly Review, Winter 2004-Summer 2006 [Series 2]

Box 3:

  • “Camouflage: Art, Science & Popular Culture” poster

Processing Information

Collection processed and finding aid written by Archival Processor Tessa Wakefield, August 2019.


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