Using the Archives Contact Us Search Site Index -
College Archives
Published Resources
Teaching Resources
Records Management
Outside Links
About the Archives
library links
RG 23 - Oberlin Academy
Scope and Content

Student admissions records (1904-16) and a variety of printed materials (1850-1916) comprise the records of the Oberlin Academy (1833-1916). Documentation for the years from 1833 to 1892, when the school was known as the Preparatory Department, is limited to printed material (found in Series II) dated 1850-92 and a small number of grade certificates from 1855-56. There are no records for the years 1833-49. The bulk of Series I, Operating Records, provides a fairly detailed and consecutive record of Academy operations from 1904 to 1916. During this period, a number of strategies were employed to increase enrollment and prevent the Academy from closing. A series of bound committee reports (1901-09), commissioned by the Board of Trustees of Oberlin College, provides an account of the Academy's self-assessment during the final years of its operation. Of special interest in Series II, is a Report of the Secretary of the Academy (1912), housed with "Academy Publications," and the Descriptive Pamphlet of Oberlin Academy (1912), a special pamphlet brought out to publicize the recent Charles Martin Hall donation. Programs include senior class exhibitions (1850-1916), commencement (1902-16), and debates and declamation contests (1898-1914).

Series Descriptions

Series I. Operating Records, 1855-56, 1901-16 (5 lin.ft.)

Nine boxes of alphabetically arranged student applications for admission (1904-16) and related documentation constitute the bulk of Series I. Permission of the Archivist must be secured before consulting these records. Other materials include two volumes of attendance ledgers (1907-16) and a bound typescript with clippings pasted in entitled Papers Relating to Oberlin Academy (1901-09). Foldered with this item are two loose committee reports (1904, 1915) and a 1915 graph showing attendance rates at Oberlin College. Also filed here is a small sample of grade reports or certificates; these certificates, from 1855-56, report the work of Elihu C. Barnard (A.B. 1860).

Series II. Printed Material, 1850-1916, n.d. (1 lin.ft.)

Includes a run of the annual Oberlin Academy Calendar (1904-16) and two volumes (1914, 1915) of the Academy yearbook, The Etean. Additional materials include two copies of the Oberlin Academy Newsletter, Vol. 1 No. 2 for June 1913, promotional leaflets, programs, class schedules, and commencement memorabilia. The programs include Senior Class Exhibitions and Commencement (1850-1916), debates, and declamation contests.


The records of the Oberlin Academy were transferred to the College Archives in four separate accessions. The Academy catalogs (Oberlin Academy Calendar), attendance ledgers, and bound committee reports were received from the Secretary's Office in 1967. The typescript Papers Relating to Oberlin Academy was received from the President's Office in 1970. Student admissions records were transferred from the Registrar's Office came in 1981. Additional material was transferred from the Oberlin College Library, Special Collections, in 2001. ;

Related Materials

See RG 19/3/4 for material related to the Acme and Cadmean literary societies and RG 19/3/3 for the Academy Glee Club. Also, consult the Alumni Magazine Index, located in the Special Collections card file, for issues relevant to Oberlin Academy. A report on the Preparatory Department to the Alumni, 1887, by Principal George H. White, is filed in the James H. Fairchild Papers, 2/3/1, Box 30.

Oberlin College Seal -