The Eleanor F. Lewis Papers document Lewis's life and career at Northwestern University Library, spanning the years 1900-1977; the bulk of the materials relate to her retirement in 1948. Materials include: biographical materials; correspondence; articles; bibliographies; and a speech.
Biographical materials include forms completed for the University Alumni Office by Lewis, tributes written after her death, and a transcript of a brief memoir of Lewis, by her friend Mrs. Harold Lueth, taken down by Rolf Erickson (Head Librarian) in 1977. Photocopies from an unidentified scrapbook are filed at the end of the folder. Newspaper and magazine articles that appeared on the occasion of Lewis's retirement in 1948, and obituaries published after her death in 1961, are included in the Clippings file, which also contains mentions of Lewis in various issues of Xi Foam, the newsletter of her sorority. Tributes, clippings and obituaries relating to Spencer and Esther Bilbie Lewis are contained in a separate folder.
The Correspondence file includes incoming and outgoing correspondence. Many of the letters exist only as photocopies. Most of the correspondence is between Lewis and Northwestern University administrators and Library staff members. Christmas cards sent by Lewis, featuring her poetry or photographs of her, are filed at the end of the folder. A separate folder holds photocopies of transcripts of letters Lewis received between 1913 and 1918 from Colonel John McRae, the author of the poignant World War I poem “In Flanders' Fields.” Apparently Lewis met McRae on shipboard during one of her trips abroad.
Lewis's busy writing career is documented in a speech given at the Chi Omega 50th Anniversary Dinner in 1945, articles on library matters and memoirs of her college life that appeared in such publications as Independent Education and the Northwestern University Alumni News (including a typescript history of Deering Library), a selection of bibliographies (including one on sources for Women in the War Effort), a typescript and accompanying correspondence relating to “An Historical Pageant of Northwestern University” that Lewis wrote and submitted, without success, to Dean Ralph Dennis and President Walter Dill Scott, and reviews and a jacket cover from Beads of Jade , her memoir of her childhood in China.
A final folder holds duplicate photocopies of some of the correspondence, made on plain paper (rather than thermal paper) at some undetermined time.