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Records of the Evanston Academy

Identifier: 38/8

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Scope and Contents

The records of the Evanston Academy (a preparatory school run by Northwestern University) consist of historical materials, correspondence, catalogs, circulars, bulletins, programs, and brochures.

The historical materials, arranged chronologically, include typed copies and clippings of newspaper and other stories on the history of the Academy spanning the years 1857 to 1967. Of special interest is the anonymous typed manuscript providing a documentary history of the institution from 1857 to 1878.

The correspondence, arranged chronologically from 1867 to 1917, consists of a handful of letters by key administrators of the Academy, notably a letter from the Academy's last principal, E.W. Marcellus, offering an explanation for the school's closing in 1917.

Announcements and brochures consist of small one-page items, arranged chronologically from 1873 to 1914, including postcards, brochures, and calendars that were used to promote the Academy.

The bulk of this series consists of catalogs, circulars and bulletins of the Preparatory School, the Northwestern Academy, and the Evanston Academy, dating from the 1867/68 catalog to the 1916 catalog. Updating the catalogs several times a year were the circulars, later called bulletins, which are interfiled with the catalogs chronologically through seven of the nine folders of catalogs.

The catalogs include basic introductory materials which inform the students about the school, its location, affiliation, requirements for entrance, tuition costs, regulations, and expenses. Each catalog includes the course requirements for each year, and lists all the enrolled students. Some of the catalogs list graduates and faculty members.

The circulars were designed to update the catalogs, but usually included the same general introductory information and listed all the current courses. Of the distinctive content of the circulars, most interesting are the listings of the faculty members, giving their complete educational and career background. Some of the circulars include floor plans of the school buildings.

The bulletins, as are the circulars, were originally designed to update the catalogs, but most of the later examples are nothing more than one-page announcement fliers. Distinctive to the bulletins are the lists of faculty members and their detailed backgrounds, reports of athletic achievements, and news of changes in administration.

The "bulletins: book of views" folder contains two bulletins, from 1905 and 1908, that are essentially photo albums of the campus, buildings, classrooms, surrounding landscapes, students engaged in activities, and athletic teams. Of special interest are the undated photos of President Theodore Roosevelt visiting the Academy.

The anniversary exercises programs are the annual graduation programs of the Academy. They are arranged chronologically and each provides a complete list of graduates, spanning the years 1875 to 1916. After 1911, the name of the program was changed to graduation exercises.

Materials on student life, arranged chronologically, range from a typed register of the first class from 1859-1860, to a student reunion program from 1912 that lists all the graduates of 1887. Also listed are members of each of the classes from the first year of pre-secondary school in 1880-1881). Of particular interest is an anti-tobacco pledge form that Principal Fisk required all students to fill out.

The folder of duplicates contains duplicate material, mostly catalogs, bulletins and circulars that was removed from the other folders and retained for its rarity.


  • 1857-1967


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on use of the materials in the department for research; all patrons must comply with federal copyright regulations.


2.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



The records of the Evanston (Illinois) Academy (a preparatory school run by Northwestern University) consist of historical materials, correspondence, catalogs, circulars, bulletins, programs, and brochures.


The records of the Evanston Academy are organized into: historical materials; correspondence; announcements and brochures; catalogs, bulletins and circulars (arranged by date); anniversary and exercise programs (arranged by date); materials on student life; and duplicates.

Method of Acquisition

The series is composed of materials from the University Archives' General Files.

Separated Materials

Few duplicate and extraneous materials were discarded. Two 1909 issues of the student journal, The Academian, were transferred to series 38/7, The Evanston Academy Academic, Administrative, and Campus Activities Records.

Processing Information

Robert Pruter, March, 2000.

Guide to the Records of the Evanston Academy
Robert Pruter
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US