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Eleanor F. Lewis (1882-1961) Papers

Identifier: 9/3/1

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  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The collection spans the years 1900-1977; the bulk of the materials relate to Eleanor F. Lewis' retirement from Northwestern University Library in 1948. Materials in this collection 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.


  • 1900-1977


Language of Materials


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.


1.00 Boxes


The papers of Eleanor F. Lewis (1882-1861) document her life and career at Northwestern University Library. The collection spans the years 1900-1977; the bulk of the materials relate to her retirement in 1948. Materials in this collection include: biographical materials; correspondence; articles; bibliographies; and a speech.


The papers of Eleanor F. Lewis are contained a series of folders which form the following groups: biographical materials (general materials; clippings); correspondence (general; and with Col. John McRae); writings (speech; articles; bibliogrpahies; "An historical pageant of Northwestern University"; Beads of jade)

Acquisition Information

The Eleanor F. Lewis Papers are comprised of materials from the Faculty Biographical Files and the Alumni Biographical Files, Northwestern University Archives.

Related Materials

Alumni Biographical Files, Series 51/2: Spencer Lewis (Box 3), Esther Bilbie Lewis (Box 4) and Eleanor Frances Lewis (Box 17); Records of the Evanston Academy, Series 38/3 (Box 17).

Separated Materials

One photograph was transferred to the University Archives Photographic Collection.

Processing Information

Janet C. Olson, November 2001.

Guide to the Eleanor F. Lewis (1882-1961) Papers
Finding Aid Authors: Janet C. Olson.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

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