The George A. Coe Papers, filling one box, are comprised primarily of correspondence arranged chronologically by date. The papers span the periods between 1850-1858 and 1904-1974. Included is one folder of biographical material, which contains a copy of Coe's will; genealogical materials relating to Coe's mother, Harriet Van Voorhis; correspondence; and a folder of some of Coe's brief publications.
The bulk of the correspondence spans the years 1929-1951, and consists of letters Coe wrote to his close friends the McEwens, Dr. Mary (or May), mother of Ernest McEwen (or Aac), Ernest's wife Gretchen and their young daughter Mary. The correspondence falls into four major categories: 1) letters to May while on her travels around the world, 2) letters written from Coe's summer camp in Ontario, 3) letters pertaining to World War II and 4) letters written during Coe's fatal illness. Other material and correspondence relates to Coe's wife Sadie Knowland Coe, the Sadie Knowland Coe Music Collection at the Evanston Public Library and Coe's involvement with the Illinois Writers' Project.
One folder of correspondence, mainly between George A. Coe and James C. Bonbright and dating from 1911 to 1951 has been interfiled within this series. The early letters concern the death of Bonbright's father, Daniel, a longtime Northwestern University faculty member and the University's acting president between 1900 and 1902. Later correspondence pertains, for the most part, to visits between Coe and James Bonbright and frequently includes commentaries on literary matters and contemporary politics. A copy of Coe's statement, "My Search for What Is Most Worthwhile," has been added to the series' folder of biographical materials.
The addition consists of volume 47 number 2 of Religious Education, a memorial issue to George Albert Coe. The issue contains articles written by colleagues regarding Coe's contributions to the field, a bibliography of Coe's publications, and many reprinted articles authored by Coe. The issue was published during March/April, 1952.