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Sigma Delta Chi Northwestern University Chapter Records

Identifier: 31/6/4

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Scope and Contents

Description: Boxes 1-4

This series consists of four boxes of records of the Northwestern University Chapter of Sigma Delta Chi Fraternity. The records, 1924-1953, include correspondence, financial records, membership listings, and four disassembled scrapbooks of materials pertaining to chapter activities.

Box 1 contains copies of the fraternity's constitutions and by-laws, including changes made between 1947 and 1952; and a folder of meeting minutes from October 5, 1952 to April 28, 1953, which record meetings with professional journalists as well as other chapter business. Also enclosed in Box 1 are meeting minutes from October 8, 1945, agenda for two meetings in 1947, and a folder of correspondence, 1937-1951. The correspondence, often between Sigma Delta Chi members, usually concerns forthcoming activities, but also includes exchanges between the chapter advisor, professional members, and the national organization of Sigma Delta Chi. Although most of the correspondence documents the chapter's functions, the file includes a copy of "The California Plan," a 1937 proposal for reorganizing the national fraternity.

A folder of treasurer's reports includes the series' earliest dated document. These reports span the period April 1924 to October 1949 and record, in general categories, the fraternity's sources of income and nature of expenditures. They reflect a gradual increase in the fraternity's financial base during the years 1924-1949.

Also included in Box 1 are eighteen voucher books, 1937-1950, which record the fraternity's expenses in detail. Eleven receipt books, 1940-1950, which record primarily payments of pledging and initiation fees are also included.

Box 2 includes three ledger books recording income and expenses from 1934-1948. Although these ledgers are not as elaborate as the vouchers, they include more substantial information than the treasurer's reports. A folder of miscellany contains additional vouchers, 1937, 1946-1947, and deposit slips, 1943-1949.

Box 2 also contains six books and one folder of enrollment and remittance forms, 1936-1953, which record names, addresses, and birth dates of undergraduate and professional initiates. Another folder includes notices of chapter enrollment, 1933-1948, which the national fraternity office sent to the local chapter to acknowledge the membership applications of new initiates.

Box 3 includes additional membership lists of which one book records names of new initiates and amount of fees paid, 1930-1934. A "Chapter Secretary's Certificate" book records names, addresses, and birth dates of initiates, 1930-1934. "Pledge Certificates," 1948 and 1952, record the same information about new pledges. Additional material includes lists of names and work experiences of individuals who appear to be candidates for Sigma Delta Chi membership; news releases concerning new members; a list of members and their respective occupations, 1944-1949; lists of students (one dated October 1952) eligible for Sigma Delta Chi membership which enumerate their journalistic experience; and ballots.

The folder entitled "Professional Members" contains undated forms for nominating candidates for professional membership; a twenty-five page report summarizing the qualifications of prospective member Richard J. Finnegan, executive vice president and editor of the Chicago Sun-Times; and data on other candidates and professional members.

Also included are "Reports of Condition" submitted semi-annually by the chapter to Sigma Delta Chi's national office, October 1930-October 1949. These reports list active and alumni members' names and chapter activities. "Chapter Efficiency Contest" entry blanks, 1948 and 1949, also list members and activities and provide information on the chapter's procedures record-keeping and budget.

The Northwestern University Chapter of Sigma Delta Chi produced at least three distinct publications of which this series includes copies of: Purple (November 12, 1939 and January 21, 1940); SDX-RAY (April 28, 1949); and Galley Proof (October 13, 1949, November 17, 1949, March 10, 1950, June 1, 1950, and January 30, 1951).

Material pertaining to the Sigma Delta Chi-sponsored Gridiron Shows, 1949-1952, includes programs, scripts, and related items.

Material relating to Alberto Gainza Paz's visit to Northwestern University include two news articles about his visit; the program for the convocation ceremony at which he received an honorary degree (October 1, 1951); Northwestern University Information (September 24, 1951); The Quill (July 1951); and Gainza Paz's address at Northwestern reprinted in The Quill (November 1951).

The folder of miscellany includes: "A Manual and Guide for Efficient Undergraduate Chapter Operation" (October 1948); a "Visitor's Report" (an observation of the Northwestern University Chapter, October 27, 1949); "Memorandum to Sigma Delta Chi Structure Committee" (n.d.); a "Summary of Sigma Delta Chi Chapter Activities, 1947"; a financial statement for the 1939 Medill Press Conference (June 1, 1939); copies of the Daily Northwestern (April 30, 1937 and April 29, 1938); and programs of the 1950 and 1951 Sigma Delta Chi National Conventions.

Box 4 contains four folders of disassembled scrapbooks documenting many activities held between 1933 and 1951. Scrapbook #1 includes many undated newspaper articles, ca. 1933-1937, which report various Sigma Delta Chi-sponsored social events including the annual "Press Conference" for high school students.

Scrapbook #2, "Northwestern Chapter Professional Program," 1947-1948, includes material concerning the annual typography and photography competition, information on newly-initiated professional members, and correspondence with representatives of some of the newspapers receiving awards in the competition.

Scrapbook #3, "Chapter Activities for the Year 1949-1950," includes a potpuorri of material pertaining to various campus publications; the Sigma Delta Chi annual convention; the typography and photography competition; the Gridiron Show; the intramural baseball team; and professional members, including, most notably, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times.

Scrapbook #4 contains material relating to the 1952 typography and photography competition and news articles written by Sigma Delta Chi members.


  • 1924-1953


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


5 Boxes

Language of Materials



This series consists of four boxes of records of the Northwestern University Chapter of Sigma Delta Chi Fraternity. The records, covering the years 1924-1953, include correspondence, financial records, membership listings, and four disassembled scrapbooks of materials pertaining to chapter activities.

Processing Information

K. Crews, August 1976

Guide to the Sigma Delta Chi Northwestern University Chapter Records
K. Crews
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