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RG 5 - Office of the Secretary
Scope and Content

The records of the Office of the Secretary document the duties and functions of the office beginning with the creation of the office in 1899. The records also include documents prior to the organization of the Office of the Secretary. The majority of these records are located in the historical file. The records illustrate the gradual growth of the Office of the Secretary, from an ancillary offshoot of the Office of the Treasurer, to an administrative office overseeing the functions of the faculty councils, the Board of Trustees, alumni affairs, and student life. The records also reflect the gradual loss of power and redistribution of power after the office reached its nadir of power in 1960.

The records of the Office of the Secretary are centered on the tenures of George M. Jones, secretary from 1899 to 1938, and Donald M. Love, his successor who served from 1938 to 1962. These two secretaries shaped the office and influenced the College as a result. Between 1962 and 1980 the Office of the Secretary went through a period of down-sizing and transition. Under the Starr administration, pre-1962 duties were gradually restored to the Office of Secretary.

The Office of the Secretary records are arranged around nine subgroups. The subgroups are representative of the functional responsibility of the Office of the Secretary: I. Administrative Records (General); II. Administrative Records of Departments and Units; III. Board of Trustees Records; IV. Alumni Affairs; V. Athletics and Athletic Associations; VI. Campus Functions and Special Events; VII. Scholarship and Loan Records; VIII. Student Life Records; IX. Historical Files; and X. Miscellaneous Personal and Real Property Records.

The records found in the first two administrative subgroups, Administrative Records (General) and Administrative Records of Departments and Offices, are the most voluminous. These subgroups belie the broad operational base of the Office of the Secretary. The first subgroup, Administrative Records (General) is comprised of records generally reflecting the routine functioning of the office. The accrediting materials offer valuable insight into the operation of the College as an institution. The accrediting records include institutional profiles and self-studies, prepared for the North Central Association, which provide a detailed record of how the college perceived itself and the extent to which it adhered to its mission and kept pace with peer institutions. The subject files offer evidence of the wide supervisory scope exercised by the Office of the Secretary. The files also give evidence of the sensitive relationship between town and gown, such as records of bills owed to merchants by students. It also illustrates the cooperative spirit in which the town and college have shared buildings and facilities. Other items in this subgroup include the secretary’s files of the physical plant, building and grounds and developmental studies. These are general files, and are more modest than the building and grounds records found in record group (6/4/3).

The second administrative subgroup documents the Academic Departments and Administrative Offices. Records of academic departments consist of materials received by the secretary from the departments as well as board and council vote excerpts related to the departments. The records of administrative offices mirror the duties once performed by the secretary. The admissions records contain proceedings from the Committee on Admissions up to 1928 when a director of admissions was hired and the duties transferred from the secretary. Items from the development office include valuable records relating to the bequest of Charles Martin Hall (1863-1914). In addition to background material on Hall and his bequest, the files include correspondence with the college, their lawyers and the executors of the estate, Homer Johnson (1862-1960) and Arthur Vining Davis (1867-1962). The printed testimony of college officials is included as part of the record from the 1940 monopoly litigation of U.S.A. v. ALCOA et al. Included is a run of annual reports submitted to the secretary by various department heads between 1903 and 1951. The annual reports received offers a rich source of information on the curriculum and course offerings. The earlier reports are hand written reports from campus luminaries such as Edward Increase Bosworth (1861-1927) and Hope Hibbard (1893-1988).

The Records of the Board of Trustees in subgroup III represent the core function of the Office of the Secretary. Facilitating Board functions and preserving and indexing their minutes has been the central function of the secretary. This subseries represent a fraction of the extant records of the Board of Trustees. (A more complete run of records is found in record group 1 as well as the records currently administered by the Office of the Secretary in the vault in the Cox Administration Building.) The records found in this subgroup document the election of trustees from the ranks of the alumni, note changes and amendments to the charter and by laws and includes general records of the proceeding of early Board meetings.

Subgroup IV, Alumni Records represents records created and received by the Office of the Secretary between 1900 and 1960. Charged with maintaining the records of alumni and preparing catalogs, the secretary maintained vast indexes of former students, staff and faculty. The master index, a comprehensive record of names from the founding of the college in 1833 was prepared between 1906 and 1979. In 1988 these records were filmed onto microfiche allowing the original documentation to be stored off-site. Other valuable records in this series are the indexes of minority students. An index of negro students from 1835 to 1970 contains individual cards for each student enrolled at Oberlin for that period. It is particularly useful in reconstructing trends in minority student enrollment. Reunion records, dating back to 1856, are also part of this subgroup which includes files on the class of 1894 (Secretary Jones’ class) and the reunion of 1900. In 1964 the alumni records duties were transferred to the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs.

Another early function performed by Secretary George Jones is evidenced in the Athletics and Athletic Association Records. These records organized in subgroup V are largely the result of Jones’ prior interest in athletics as a graduate manager for athletics before his appointment as secretary. Jones served as an officer in several early athletic associations, including the Oberlin Athletic Association and the Ohio Athletic Conference. The records of these associations include minutes, correspondence, and results of athletic events. These records are a valuable source of history on the early years of athletic associations and conferences in Ohio. Early scorebooks and programs are also housed within this series, including one baseball scorebook documenting the play of Moses Fleetwood Walker (1856-1924), the first black player to play in the major leagues. The secretary’s responsibilities for retaining athletic records ended upon the retirement of George M. Jones in 1938.

The organizational duties of the secretary are illustrated in subgroup VI, Campus Functions and Special Events. Included are records of centennials, conferences, presidential inaugurations and commencement ceremonies held at Oberlin. Centennial records include organizational records and publicity from the centennial of the founding of the town and College in 1833, and two scrapbooks from the Centennial of Coeducation in 1937. Documents about Charles Martin Hall and his aluminum discoveries are found along with the records from the semi-centennial and centennial of his discovery. Records of conferences include programs and brochures from early religious conferences held in Oberlin, including the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions and a number of national congregational church conferences. Invitations and responses to invitations comprise the bulk of the records of the inauguration records from the installation of Ernest Hatch Wilkins (1880-1966) and William E. Stevenson (1900-1985) as the seventh and eighth presidents of Oberlin College, respectively. The bulk of the records pertain to commencement ceremonies, ranging from distribution of commencement tickets, to academic processions and program printing. (Other commencement records can be found in the College General record group (0/0).

The Scholarship and Loan Records found in subgroup VII document the secretary’s functions prior to the creation of the Office of Financial Aid. The records include indexes of scholarship and loan funds and the amounts borrowed. Annual reports prepared by the secretary provide the balances and principle available on loans. Auditor’s lists of outstanding loans give account of the number of unpaid loans, listing the loan fund and the borrower. The subgroup also includes several ledgers compiled to record transactions as well as a fragment of scholarship applications for student names beginning with B-J from 1917-26.

The files organized around Student Life Records in subgroup VIII document the secretary’s involvement in coordinating campus activities and student organizations prior to the creation of The Dean of Students position. Included are copies of chapel talks presented by faculty members and guests to campus assemblies in the chapel. These speeches provide a remarkable record of political and social thought at Oberlin for the years 1933 to 1955. Also housed here are records of freshman honor lists compiled from 1905 to 1943 and various lectures and programs presented to and by students. Among the visiting lecturers were Admiral Richard E. Byrd and Will Rogers. General files of student organizations and publications include constitutions and some minutes from student organizations, many of which are now defunct such as the Ladies Board, Oberlin Peace Society and Angels Flight, the women’s R.O.T.C. auxiliary.

The final subgroup, Historical Files, underscores the role played by the secretary as unofficial archivist prior to the appointment of an archivist in 1966. Documents include miscellaneous early historical records dating back to 1833. These miscellaneous records include several important documents such as Adelia Field Johnston’s (1837-1910) report on the Ladies Department from 1871. An index to early historic records references Board of Trustee and Prudential Committee records for the first thirty years of the institution’s existence. Additionally, the subgroup contains reminiscences of early graduates compiled between 1918 and 1920 as well as general files on historical topics and people. The war service and activities series offers a particularly rich source of documentation on Oberlin’s reaction and involvement in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. Records include lists of Oberlin graduates in the service and the records of military training programs on campus, the Student Officer Training Corps (S.A.T.C.) in World War I and the Navy V-12 program in World War II. Records of the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies provides a glimpse of Oberlin on the eve of the Second World War. The subgroup concludes with artifacts. The artifacts consist of the items removed from the Warner Hall cornerstone upon the demolition of the building in 1962. The items were interred in the cornerstone in 1884 and include hymnals, catalogs and newspapers from 1852 to 1884. The materials are in pristine condition, demonstrating the benefits of sealed storage.

The records are arranged as follows:

    Subgroup I. Administrative Records (General)
    Series 1. Account Books and Datebooks
    Series 2. Accreditation and Accrediting Bodies
    Series 3. Buildings and Grounds Records
    Series 4. Committee Files
    Series 5. Faculty and Personnel Records
    Series 6. Subject Files
    Subgroup II. Administrative Records of Departments and Offices
    Series 1. Academic Departments and Programs
    Series 2. Administrative Offices
    Series 3. Annual Reports Received of Departments
    Series 4. Microfilm (* some files restricted)
    Subgroup III. Records of the Board of Trustees
    Series 1. Alumni Trustee Elections
    Series 2. Attendance Rosters
    Series 3. Charter and By-Laws
    Series 4. Committee Files
    Series 5. Financial Records
    Series 6. Individual Trustee Files
    Series 7. Trustee Meeting Records
    Subgroup IV. Alumni Records
    Series 1. Alumni Catalog Records
    Series 2. General Files
    Series 3. Minority Student Records
    Series 4. Necrology Files
    Series 5. Reunion and Class Records
    Subgroup V. Athletics and Athletic Association Records
    Series 1. Athletic Associations
    Series 2. General Records
    Series 3. Programs and Scorebooks
    Series 4. Scrapbooks and Clippings
    Subgroup VI. Campus Functions and Special Events
    Series 1. Centennials
    Series 2. Conferences in Oberlin
    Series 3. Commencement Records
    Series 4. Presidential Inaugurations
    Subgroup VII. Scholarship and Loan Records
    Series 1. Annual Reports
    Series 2. Auditor’s Lists
    Series 3. Index and Record of Loans
    Series 4. Scholarship Applications
    Series 5. Scholarships and Loans
    Series 6. Scholarship Funds
    Series 7. Scholarship Ledgers
    Series 8. Scholarship Cards
    Subgroup VIII. Student Life Records
    Series 1. Chapel Files
    Series 2. Honors and Honors Day Records
    Series 3. Student Organization Files
    Series 4. Student Publications Files
    Series 5. Subject Files (* some files restricted)
    Subgroup IX. Historical File
    Series 1. Early Miscellaneous Records
    Series 2. Index to Early College Records
    Series 3. Reminiscences
    Series 4. Scrapbooks and Clippings
    Series 5. Topical Files
    Series 6. War Service and Activities
    Series 7. Artifacts
    Subgroup X. Miscellaneous Personal and Real Property Records
    Series 1. Files Relating to Agreements, Contracts, and Leases
    Series 2. Files Relating to Bequests, Donations, Endowments, Estates, Funds, Gifts, and Scholarships
    Series 3. Deeds and Property Files
    Series 4. Gifts (Personalty and Realty) to Oberlin College (card file)
    Series 5. Mortgage Gift Files.
Series Descriptions
Subgroup I. Administrative Records (General), 1833-1998, n.d. (28.6 lin. ft.)

Subgroup I contains the general administrative records pertaining to the routine operation of the College as performed by the Office of the Secretary. The subgroup is arranged alphabetically into six series: 1. account books and datebooks; 2. accreditation and accrediting bodies; 3. buildings and grounds; 4. committee files; 5. faculty and personnel; and 6. subject files.

    Series 1. Account Books and Datebooks, 1836-96, 1910-66 (1.2 lin. ft.)

    Consists of 21 account books for general bookkeeping in the Office of the Secretary, account ledgers of office payroll and supply expenditures, and three ledger calendars which record chapel rental and campus event. The materials follow a general chronological arrangement.

    Series 2. Accrediting and Accrediting Bodies, 1898-1988 (2.25 lin. ft.)

    Contains the records of agencies involved in certification and accrediting, including the North Central Association which first visited Oberlin in 1913. The accrediting bodies are arranged alphabetically as a subseries, and the accrediting reports and related materials are arranged chronologically by date of the on-site visit. See also the papers of Nancy S. Dye (2/13) for accreditation reports, 1998-

    Series 3. Buildings and Grounds, 1886-1968 (4.6 lin. ft.)

    Comprised of records relating to the physical plant of Oberlin College, the records are divided into two subseries. The first subseries contains files on buildings and grounds owned and operated by Oberlin College. The records are arranged alphabetically by building or property. The second subseries, general records, includes building surveys and studies, campus development plans, and fire insurance surveys. The files are arranged alphabetically.

    Series 4. Committee Files, 1894-1976 (4.95 lin. ft.)

    The committee files series consists of records of college-wide committees maintained by the Office of the Secretary. The records include excerpts from Board of Trustees decisions relating to the committees as well as committee minutes and reports. The records are arranged alphabetically by committee.

    Series 5. Faculty and Personnel, 1833-1998 (9.0 lin. ft.)

    Containing both general records relating to faculty and personnel, and salary and benefits, the series is further subdivided into 5 subseries: 1. faculty; 2. personnel; 3. pensions and benefits; 4. salary; and 5. individual faculty/staff files . The records are arranged alphabetically.

    Series 6. Subject Files, 1890-1992, n.d. (6.6 lin. ft.)

    Subject files consist of general files maintained by the secretary. The files are comprised of excerpts from the Board of Trustee minutes, clippings, correspondence and printed material. The topics are broadly based and include subjects ranging from academic freedom to zoning ordinances. The files are arranged alphabetically by subject, with personal name files arranged after topical files.

Subgroup II. Administrative Records of Departments and Offices, 1862-1994, n.d. (19.4 lin. ft.)

Less general than subgroup I, the records in subgroup II consist of records of the academic departments and programs, administrative offices and units, and annual reports submitted to the Office of the Secretary by department heads. The records are arranged alphabetically in three series: 1. academic departments and programs; 2. administrative offices; and 3. annual reports received.

    Series 1. Academic Departments and Programs, 1889-1992, n.d. (1.6 lin. ft.)

    Contains the records of the academic departments as received and compiled by the Office of the Secretary. The records are arranged in four subseries by division: 1. College of Arts and Sciences; 2. Conservatory of Music; 3. Graduate School of Theology; and 4. Schauffler College. Both departments and programs are represented in this series. The records are arranged alphabetically by department or program.

    Series 2. Administrative Offices, 1862-1974, 1984-94 (8.2 lin. ft.)

    This series contains the records of administrative offices. The records are arranged alphabetically by office. Quantity-wise, the bulk of the records are found in offices which were once under the auspices of the Office of the Secretary. The largest units are admissions, development, and Oberlin College News Bureau (predecessor of public relations and later the Office of Communications). The development records contain valuable material relating to Charles Martin Hall (1863-1914) and the ongoing struggle over his bequest to Oberlin College. Also found here is the testimony from the 1940 trial U.S.A. vs. ALCOA et al.

    Series 3. Annual Reports Received, 1903-51 (9.2 lin. ft.)

    Consists of annual reports received by the Office of the Secretary. The reports were prepared by the heads of the academic departments and administrative units for the president. The reports are generally filed alphabetically within each year by the report author’s name although in a few instances the reports are filed under the department or office name when the report is unsigned. The reports detail the curriculum and activities of each department or office.

    Series 4. Microfilm, c.1890s-1966 (0.4 l.f.; 33 rolls)
      (* Some files restricted due to confidential information)

    This series consists of microfilm of financial ledgers (1937-57) and academic records (c.1890s-1966) for the College of Arts and Sciences, Conservatory of Music, and Graduate School of Theology. Academic records are restricted; permission of the Archivist is required.

Subgroup III. Records of the Board of Trustees, 1834-1971, 1991 (8.8 lin. ft.)

The history of the Office of the Secretary is centered around the records of the Board of Trustees and the Prudential Committee because this officer is secretary of the corporation. The records are arranged into seven series: 1. alumni trustee elections; 2. attendance rosters; 3. charter and by laws; 4. committees; 5. financial records; 6. individual trustee files; 7. trustee meeting files. The series are arranged alphabetically. For more complete trustee records the researcher is advised to consult Record Group 1.

    Series 1. Alumni Trustee Elections, 1870-1968 (1.0 lin. ft.)

    This series consists of records from the annual alumni trustee elections in which an alumnus is elected for a term on the Board of Trustees. The records consist of preliminary ballots, vote tallies and final results. The records are arranged chronologically.

    Series 2. Attendance Registers, 1834-1969 (1.4 lin. ft.)

    Consists of registers of trustee attendance at meetings. The series contains two oversized ledgers with entries for each trustee and meeting dates, and a register of attendance from 1834 to 1969.

    Series 3. Charter and By Laws, 1892-1968 (1.8 lin. ft.)

    Contains printed copies and revisions of the charter and by laws of Oberlin College as administered and approved by the Board of Trustees. Copies of the charter and by laws as amended from 1892 to 1968 are present in the series and are arranged chronologically.

    Series 4. Committee Files, 1903-63 (0.4 lin. ft.)

    Includes the records of trustee committees. Committees include the Trustee Committee on Location, Plans, and Construction of College Buildings and the Special Trustee Committee on Oberlin Shansi Relations. The committees are arranged alphabetically.

    Series 5. Financial Records, 1928-63 (0.6 lin. ft.)

    Financial records consist of financial reports and auditor’s reports submitted to the Board of Trustees by Ernst & Ernst and by Arthur Anderson & Company of Cleveland. The reports are arranged chronologically.

    Series 6. Individual Trustee Files, 1900-1969 (2.4 lin. ft.)

    Included in this series are files of trustees who served between 1900 and 1913 and Trustee-Secretary correspondence files from 1900 to 1960. The files contain correspondence primarily regarding attendance and announcement of meetings. A file of index cards also exists containing biographical information on several early trustees and others from the late 1960s. The records are arranged alphabetically by trustee.

    Series 7. Trustee Records, 1859-1971, 1991 (1.2 lin. ft.)

    Trustee records consist of correspondence, reports, and records of meetings. Included in the records are items on the Avery Fund from 1859 to 1892. The bulk of the records date from 1900 to 1938, although records from a 1971 meeting are included as part of the series.

Subgroup IV. Alumni Records, 1834-1979 (10.0 lin. ft.)

Subgroup IV, Alumni Records, reflects the duties performed by the Office of the Secretary from its inception through 1960. The secretary was responsible for handling alumni relations and producing catalogues and directories of alumni. The office also handled necrology records and class reunions. The five series reflect the secretary’s duties: 1. alumni catalog records; 2. general files; 3. minority student records; 4. necrology; and 5. reunion and class records.

    Series 1. Alumni Catalog Records, 1834-1979 (4.4 lin. ft.)

    Alumni catalog records primarily consist of the records created and complied during the preparation of alumni registers. Items include day books of graduates arranged by class year and annotated with changes in address or class year, and microfiche records of nearly 100,000 files from the master index of faculty(?), staff(?), and students compiled from 1906 to 1979. Also includes ledgers listing graduates with associated alumni catalog entries. The material is arranged alphabetically.

    Series 2. General Files, 1837-1967 (0.8 lin. ft.)

    Comprised of general subject files pertaining to alumni and and alumni associations, the records contain several interesting and unusual items such as alumni impersonators and the oldest alumni. The records are arranged alphabetically.

    Series 3. Minority Student Records, 1834-1973 (1.6 lin. ft.)

    Consists of records maintained on minority students at Oberlin College from 1834 to 1973. The records mainly relate to “negro” students, and include an index of names from 1834 to 1970 compiled on 3x5 index cards. Also includes index cards of Chinese students, 1885 to 1955. The records are arranged alphabetically.

    Series 4. Necrology Files, 1892-1967 (1.6 lin. ft.)

    The necrology series consists of material used to generate the printed record of deceased alumni, as well as the printed copy of the document. The necrology records are arranged by year and alphabetically within the year.

    Series 5. Reunion and Class Records, 1856-1944 (1.6 lin. ft.)

    Reunion and class records include registers from 1856 to 1900, as well as correspondence from members of classes 1838 through 1900. The majority of the records focus on the turn-of-the-century reunion of 1900. These records are arranged chronologically. A file of class records for the class of 1894 was maintained by the first secretary, George M. Jones, a member of the class of 1894. The file consists of individual folders for each class member arranged alphabetically.

Subgroup V. Athletic and Athletic Association Records, 1881-1937 (5.6 lin. ft.)

Subgroup V, Athletic Records, documents the earlier functions of the secretary in this area. George M. Jones, the first secretary served as graduate manager for athletic teams at Oberlin during the 1890s and 1910s. Jones also served as the secretary to several athletic associations both internal and external, and his office compiled records of these associations as well as scrapbooks of clippings on Oberlin athletics. The subgroup is arranged in four series: 1. athletic associations; 2. general records; 3. programs and scorebooks; and 4. scrapbooks and clippings.

    Series 1. Athletic Associations, 1889-1936 (3.0 lin. ft.)

    Consists of records of the athletic associations formed at Oberlin and those associations to which Oberlin College was a member. Many of the records are the result of George M. Jones’ work as an officer in these organizations. Records include correspondence from other colleges, ledgers and financial accounts, and results of several athletic contests and meets. The athletic associations are arranged alphabetically in three subseries: 1. Oberlin College Athletic Association; 2. Ohio Athletic Conference; and 3. Ohio Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

    Series 2. General Records, 1894-1937 (0.8 lin. ft.)

    General records include documents on the advisory board of athletics, the design of the Oberlin “O” and construction of the new athletic field and stadium in 1924 and 1925. The records are arranged alphabetically.

    Series 3. Programs and Scorebooks, 1881-1929 (0.4 lin. ft.)

    Contains athletic programs and scorebooks retained by the secretary. The records are arranged chronologically. An early baseball scorebook which includes box scores of games played by catcher Moses Fleetwood Walker in 1881 is significant.

    Series 4. Scrapbooks and Clippings, 1900-25 (1.4 lin. ft.)

    Comprised of newspaper clippings of athletic events mounted scrapbook style, the documents are arranged chronologically. All sports are covered from 1900 through 1925.Some sports are arranged in separate scrapbooks for particular years.

Subgroup VI. Campus Functions and Special Events, 1900-73 (6.0 lin. ft.)

Subgroup VI is made up of records representing the functional duties of the secretary in regard to organizing special events such as centennials, presidential inaugurations, and annual events like commencement. The bulk of the records relate to commencement activities and organization. The subgroup is divided into four series: 1. centennials; 2. conferences in Oberlin; 3. commencement records; and 4. presidential inaugurations. The series are alphabetically arranged.

    Series 1. Centennial Celebrations, 1928-1986 (1.4 lin. ft.)

    Centennials and semi-centennials celebrated in Oberlin’s history include the following: the centennial of the founding of the college and town in 1933, the centennial of coeducation in 1937, and various anniversaries and centennials of Charles Martin Hall’s discoveries in the aluminum field. Records from these celebrations include planning materials, correspondence, and printed publicity. Two scrapbooks from the 1933 centennial are found within the series. The records are arranged alphabetically.

    Series 2. Conferences in Oberlin, 1902-63 (0.4 lin. ft.)

    Oberlin has been the scene of several conferences on education, peace and religion. Records of these conferences held on the Oberlin College Campus include the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in 1902, and various Congregational conferences. The records are arranged alphabetically by conference.

    Series 3. Commencement Records, 1900-73 (3.4 lin. ft.)

    Commencement records illustrate the organization and planning entailed in the commencement ceremony. Items include academic procession lists, seating plans, ticket distribution, and the awarding of degrees. Also included are commencement registers signed by alumni from 1905-46, and a special “golden register” signed by alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago. The series is arranged in five subseries: 1. academic procession lists; 2. commencement files; 3. commencement registers; 4. commencement ticket distribution; and 5. degrees and diplomas. The records are arranged chronologically.

    Series 4. Presidential Inaugurations, 1927-47 (0.8 lin. ft.)

    Consists of records from the inauguration ceremonies held for Ernest Hatch Wilkins in 1927, and his successor William Edward Stevenson in 1946. The documents are primarily correspondence accepting or rejecting invitations to attend the ceremonies. The records are arranged in alphabetical order.

Subgroup VII. Scholarship and Loan Records, 1853-1867, 1880-1967 (9.1 lin. ft.)

Subgroup VII, Scholarship and Loan Records, contain records of transactions presently performed by the Office of Financial Aid under current organizational charts. Administering scholarship funds was another of the early secretary’s myriad duties. The records in this subgroup contain annual reports of student loan funds, ledgers of loan transactions and balances, scholarship applications and general records. The subgroup is formed around seven series: 1. annual reports of student loan funds; 2. auditor’s lists of outstanding loans; 3. index and record of loans; 4. scholarship applications; 5. scholarships and loans; 6. scholarship funds; and 7. scholarship ledgers.

    Series 1. Annual Reports of Student Loan Funds, 1942-61 (0.2 lin. ft.)

    Consists of annual reports of loan balances as prepared by the secretary. The reports are arranged chronologically.

    Series 2. Auditor’s Lists of Outstanding Loans, 1939-42 (0.2 lin. ft.)

    Contains a listing of outstanding and delinquent loans organized by loan fund name and borrower. The reports are arranged chronologically.

    Series 3. Index and Record of Loans, 1853-1867, 1880-1950 (0.4 lin. ft.)

    Index cards prepared by the Office of the Secretary. The index cards are alphabetically arranged by loan fund and include the amounts loaned from 1880 to 1950. Also includes bound volume entitled “Loan Register,” 1853-67. (Acc. 1995/121) See also the Records of the Office of the Treasurer (RG 7) for a student loan ledger, 1952-58.

    Series 4. Scholarship Applications, 1917-26 (1.2 lin. ft.)

    Consists of scholarship application from 1917-26. The applications are arranged alphabetically although only records for the letters B-J are present. The other records are apparently missing.

    Series 5. Scholarships and Loans, 1903-67 (1.4 lin. ft.)

    Primarily comprised of general files on scholarships and loans. Materials include correspondence, loan guidelines and loan summaries. Also includes a volume titled “Scholarship Decisions” listing students awarded scholarships, 1951-61. Material regarding outside scholarships awarded to Oberlin students represents a sampling of these files. Items are arranged chronologically.

    Series 6. Scholarship Funds, 1950-62 (2.8 lin. ft.)

    Consists of general records of scholarship funds. Items include correspondence and account balances. Among the specific funds are the Miller Loan Funds (both Etta Frazer Miller and Amos and Jennine Miller loan funds), and the LaVerne Noyes Scholarship for descendants of World War I veterans. The records are arranged chronologically.

    Series 7. Scholarship Ledgers, 1902-63 (2.8 lin. ft.)

    Consists of ledgers maintained by the secretary. The ledgers include transfer balances, interest, principle statements and records of transactions. Generally chronological.

    Series 8. Scholarship Cards, c. 1915 (0.1 lin. ft.)

    Series consists of index cards (3" x 5") which individually list the scholarships available to students. Each card details the name of the scholarship, its value, how it was founded, and eligibility requirements for applicants. Arrangement is alphabetical by scholarship name.

Subgroup VIII. Student Life Files, 1897-1995, n.d. (6.6 lin. ft.)

Subgroup VII, student life is made up of the records relating to student life at Oberlin. Material in this subgroup includes files of student organizations, student activities, and programs and events designed for students. The subgroup is arranged in five series: 1. chapel files; 2. honors and Honors Day; 3. student organizations; 4. student publications; and 5. subject files.

    Series 1. Chapel Files, 1909, 1933-66 (2.8 lin. ft.)
      Subseries 1. Chapel Attendance Ledgers, 1909, 1935-40 (2v)

      Ledgers detail student attendance to chapel talks and worship services. Students are listed alphabetically by name. Ledgers are arranged chronologically.

      Subseries 2. Chapel Talks, 1933-55, 1960, 1966 (1.2 lin. ft.)

      This series contains the printed copies of speeches and talks given to student assemblies in the college chapel. The presentations range from religion to science and address topics of the day including several presentations on neutrality and the impending Second World War. The talks are arranged chronologically, and a listing of the talks and speakers has been prepared.

    Series 2. Honors and Honors Day, 1905-62 (0.6 lin. ft.)

    Consists of freshman honors lists from 1905 to 1943, and the organization of Honors Day from 1939 to 1962. The documents are arranged chronologically.

    Series 3. Student Organization Files, 1897-1974, n.d. (0.8 lin. ft.)

    Includes files of student organizations on campus, including the Oberlin Peace Society, Progressive Student League, and Seminary Union. The majority of these organizations are now defunct. The records consist of excerpts from Board of Trustee minutes, correspondence, and several organizational constitutions. The files are arranged alphabetically.

    Series 4. Student Publications: Files Related to, 1929-63, n.d. (0.2 lin. ft.)

    General files about student publications as retained by the secretary. The records include excerpts of Board of Trustee minutes and correspondence. The files are arranged alphabetically by publication.

    Series 5. Subject Files, 1914-95, n.d. (2.2 lin. ft.)
      (* some files restricted due to confidential information)

    Contains general records relating to student life and campus activities. Among the topics represented are visiting lecturers and programs, and mock conventions. The files are arranged alphabetically. Subject files received in accession 2000/61 were not interfiled and are arranged alphabetically at the end. Some of these files are restricted as noted on the inventory, and permission of the Archivist is required.

Subgroup IX. Historical File, 1833-1970 (10.6 lin. ft.)

This subgroup is comprised of historical records and historical files. The records are the result of the secretary’s early duties as unofficial archivist and preserver of the institutional “memory”. Items include early college records, indexes to college records from 1833 to 1866, general subject files on Oberlin history and artifacts. The subgroup is arranged in seven series: 1. index to early college records; 2 miscellaneous early records; 3. reminiscences; 4. scrapbooks and clippings; 5. subject files; 6. war service and activities; and 7. artifacts.

    Series 1. Index to Early College Records, 1833-1905 (1.2 lin. ft.)

    Consists of index cards prepared by secretary George M. Jones. The cards primarily cover the first thirty years of the college from 1833 to 1866. Originally there were over 11,300 cards made, but many were redistributed or destroyed in the mid 1950s. These remaining cards cover buildings, faculty, and funds as referenced in the Board of Trustees and Prudential Committee minutes and other early sources. The index cards are arranged alphabetically.

    Series 2. Miscellaneous Early Records, 1833-93 (0.4 lin. ft.)

    A list has been prepared for this series which includes a variety of early college records. Among the papers are a lease for land rented by Oberlin’s first president, Asa Mahan, various agreements, manual labor chits, and a report from Adelia Field Johnston on the Ladies Department in 1871. The records follow a rough chronological arrangement.

    Series 3. Reminiscences, 1918-20 (0.2 lin. ft.)

    Comprised of reminiscences of alumni contacted by Philip D. Sherman, English professor as he worked to gather material for a history of Oberlin College. The reminiscences were written between 1918 and 1920, and include the reminiscences of students as far back as the 1850s. Both originals and transcripts exist for the reminiscences.

    Series 4. Scrapbooks and Clippings, 1900-20 (2.4 lin. ft.)

    Mounted clippings make up this series which includes items of general historical interest. The series also includes printed works from the college mounted in scrapbooks. The items are filed chronologically.

    Series 5. Subject Files, 1861-1966 (2.4 lin. ft.)

    Consist of subject files on historical topics as maintained by the secretary. Subjects include biographical material on John Frederic Oberlin, First Church in Oberlin, coeducation, and public schools. A chronological outline of Oberlin history is also located here. Files are alphabetically arranged.

    Series 6. War Service and College Activities, 1916-57 (3.6 lin. ft.)

    Documents relating to the First and Second World Wars at Oberlin comprise this series. The series illustrates the impact of war on Oberlin. The series is further subdivided into three subseries: 1. World War I; 2. World War II; and 3. Korean War. The World War I material includes the records of the Student Army Training Corps (S.A.T.C.), the ambulance corps and the Oberlin War Chest Association. World War II records include files from the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies (C.D.A.) of which secretary Donald Love was an officer. Records of the Navy V-12 program at Oberlin are also found here. Korean War material consists of index cards listing Oberlin alumni who served in the war. General chronology.

    Series 7. Artifacts, 1852-84 (0.4 lin. ft.)

    The artifacts in this series are the items that were sealed in the cornerstone of Warner Hall in 1884. The items were removed in 1964. Items include hymnals, catalogues and campus publications. A listing of cornerstone contents is housed along with the documents.

Subgroup X. Miscellaneous Personal and Real Property Records, 1835-1970, n.d. (6.8 l.f.)

Subgroup X contains documents received under accession #1995/121. The triangular relationship between the corporate secretary, the board of trustees, and the treasurer is evident in this series comprised of financial and property-related records. Transactions are authorized by the board, and recorded by the secretary. This subgroup is arranged in three series: 1. agreements, contracts, and leases; 2. bequests, donations, endowments, estates, funds, gifts, scholarships; 3. deeds and property files.

    Series 1. Files Relating to Agreements, Contracts, and Leases, 1864-1964 (1.2 lin. ft.)

    Spanning a century, this series contains agreements, contracts, and leases for building projects, maintenance, utilities, rent collection, purchases, and services. Folders are arranged alphabetically by folder title.

    Series 2. Files Relating to Bequests, Donations, Endowments, Estates, Funds, Gifts, and Scholarships, 1844-1970, n.d. (2.4 lin. ft.)

    Consisting of papers relating to bequests, donations, endowments, estates, funds, gifts, and scholarships, this series of records is arranged alphabetically by folder title, and is often therefore under the donor’s last name.

    Series 3. Deeds and Property Files, 1835-1967, n.d. (2.4 lin.ft.)

    The purchase and sale of properties by Oberlin College was authorized by the Prudential Committee of the Board of Trustees until 1962. This series contains the abstracts, correspondence, deeds, and titles associated with these properties. As documented by the secretary, the treasurer and the president were participants in these property transactions. Alphabetically arranged, this series documents the ownership history of numerous houses and building sites in Oberlin, Ohio.

    Series 4. Gifts (personalty and realty) to Oberlin College (card file), c. 1901-1918 (0.4 lin. ft.)

    Series consists of printed index cards (5" x 8") which detail gifts (personalty and realty) to Oberlin College. Mortgage information, interest increases, and moneys accrued from stocks and bonds are recorded here. Cards are arranged alphabetically by name.

    Series 5. Mortgage Gift Files, 1927-30 (0.4 lin. ft.)

    Mortgage slips as issued by the Chicago Title and Trust Company document mortgages placed in trust with Oberlin College. Slips identify name of the mortgagor, the financial value of the mortgage, accrued funds, and a description of mortgaged property. Arrangement is alphabetical by mortgagor.

The records of the Office of the Secretary were received in twenty separate lots since 1967. The most significant accessions occurred in 1967 (over 100 boxes) and 1978 (48 boxes).
Related Materials
For related materials the researcher is advised to consult the following collections in the Oberlin College Archives: Board of Trustees (1); Presidential Papers, (2/5-2/12); Business and Finance (6); Buildings and Grounds (6/4/3); Office of the Treasurer (7); Library (16); Alumni Records (28/3); and the personal papers of secretary Donald M. Love (30/91).
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