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Eric Oldberg (1901-1986) Papers

Identifier: 55/30
The Oldberg papers are arranged in four boxes and relate to his activities with and on behalf of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestral Association. The papers are organized into two major categories: general correspondence and subject files.

General correspondence dates from 1940 through 1972, with the bulk of the correspondence dating between 1947 and 1963. The correspondence includes both incoming and copies of outgoing items and largely reflects Oldberg's efforts to garner financial support for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from individuals and corporations.

Subject files, consisting mainly of correspondence, memoranda, reports, and similar materials, reflect administrative and policy concerns, and the orchestra's relations with conductors, musicians, and representatives of the Chicago Federation of Musicians. The orchestra's engagement of conductors is documented by files identified with the names of pertinent individuals. Within folders materials are arranged in chronological order.

Addition: The addition consists of commencement correspondence regarding an honorary degree Eric Oldberg received in June 1961, letters from Eric’s wife, Mary Swissler regarding the donation of her husband’s papers, as well as newspaper clippings and various awards including diploma of the Degree of Doctor of Laws. The commencement correspondence has been merged into the General Correspondence folders. New folders have been made for the letters from Mary Swissler, for the newspaper clippings, and for the awards.

Addition: This addition consists of photographs of Eric Oldberg and correspondence regarding the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The photograph additions can be found in Eric Oldberg’s photo file. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra correspondence can be found in the addition Box 6 Folder 1.


  • 1940-1986


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires 48 hours advance notice for retrieval. Please contact us at or 847-491-3635 to schedule an appointment to view the collection.\\n\\nUntil October 7, 2007, the papers may not be used without the written permission of Mary Swissler Oldberg. In the event of her death or incapacitation conditions on access to the papers will be determined by the University Archivist.


4.00 Boxes


The papers of Eric Oldberg (neurosurgeon and Chicago civic leader) relate to his activities with and on behalf of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestral Association. The papers consist of general correspondence (1940-1972) and subject files.


The general correspondence is arranged chronologically. The subject files are arranged alphabetically.

Method of Acquisition

Mary Swissler Oldberg donated the papers to the University Archives on October 7, 1987 (Accession #87-236).

Addition: The additions have been separated from papers from Arne Oldberg (Accession #: 06-69) donated to University Archives by Ellen Schantz on June 20, 2006.

Addition: The additions have been separated from papers from Oscar and Arne Oldberg (Accession #: 10-20) donated to University Archives by Anita Kimmerle on February 11, 2010.

Related Materials

University Archives Series 19/3/3, Arne Oldberg papers.

Separated Materials

Addition: Certificates for Eric Oldberg from Society of American Surgeons, 1940, and Certificate of Appreciation to Eric Oldberg from the President of the United States of America on May 18th, 1962, have been added to Certificates and Diplomas Collection.

Processing Information

Margaret Faverty; June 10, 1991.

Addition: Katherine Oldberg; November 11, 2011
Guide to the Eric Oldberg (1901-1986) Papers
Margaret Faverty
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

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