Skip to main content

Eric L. Kohler (1892-1976) Papers

Identifier: 12/1/9

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Eric L. Kohler Papers fill 15 boxes and are arranged in six subseries: correspondence, teaching files, consulting files, professional organization files, speeches, and publications.

At the beginning of the series are nine folders of biographical materials. These include vitae, lists of publications, clippings, checking account records and travel invoices, programs, obituaries, material pertinent to Kohler's selection to the Accounting Hall of Fame, and an informative interview with him conducted in 1972.

The correspondence deals primarily with education and standards for accountants and accounting, and Kohler's many talks, trips, and publications.

The consulting files provide evidence of Kohler's manifold consulting activities. They reflect his work for federal, state, and city governments, businesses, and charitable groups. The files mainly include correspondence, notes, reports, and supporting documents. Three folders include material of special interest: Kohler's daily log at the Petrol Administration for War (March 30 - August 13, 1942); three interviews (1971) conducted by the Memphis State University Oral History Research Office Project on the Tennessee Valley Authority; and material documenting Kohler's work for the State of Illinois regarding auditing procedures, laws, and policies after the dismissal in 1956 of Orville E. Hodge as State Auditor of Public Accounts.

The professional organization files contain correspondence, notes, and records, much of which relates to Kohler's interests in accounting procedures and terminology.

The speech files also include correspondence and notes on and drafts of speeches given before a variety of professional, governmental, and lay groups. If a speech was published all of the related materials will be found with the publications files.

The publications files occupy ten boxes, approximately six of which contain drafts, notes, correspondence, and other materials related to Kohler's Dictionary for Accountants. Most material relates to the first edition, a small amount to the fifth edition, and one folder each to the second and fourth editions. Reprints are filed with supporting documentation if it is present.


  • 1909 - 1981


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.


15.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



Eric L. Kohler was a professor of accounting at Northwestern University, author of Dictionary for Accountants, longtime editor of Accounting Review, and originator of the concept of activity accounting. The Eric L. Kohler Papers fill 15 boxes and are arranged in six subseries: correspondence, teaching files, consulting files, professional organization files, speeches, and publications.

Arrangement Note

The biographical materials are arranged by subject.

The correspondence is arranged chronologically, followed by a group of correspondence to institutions arranged alphabetically.

The teaching files, the consulting files, and the professional organization files are each arranged alphabetically by subject or institution.

The speech files are arranged alphabetically by title or topic.

The publications files distinguish books from articles, and files within each are arranged alphabetically by title.

Method of Acquisition

The Eric L. Kohler Papers were transferred to the Northwestern University Archives by Theresa Bonk, Departmental Assistant in the Accounting Information Systems Department of the JL Kellog Graduate School of Management, on September 19, 1986 (Accession #86-182).

Separated Materials

Two plaques were transferred to the Archives Artifacts Collection; 10 documents and awards to the Oversized Collection; a book to the Archives Photograph Collection. Approximately 30 linear inches of material not pertinent to Kohler or Northwestern and 20 linear inches of duplicate material were discarded. A half box of correspondence and business records (1953-1957) pertaining to Kohler's soft ice cream and luncheonette business, known as “Freezo,” in Homestead, Florida, was removed and processed as Series 55/17.

Processing Information

William K. Beatty, December, 1986 - February, 1987.

Guide to the Eric L. Kohler (1892-1976) Papers
William K. Beatty
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