Lewis Faculty group portrait , 1899
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This collection contains records produced by or about the administration, students, faculty, and alumni of the Lewis Institute. The bulk of the material is from 1890-1940, roughly the years of the school’s existence. These records were found in collection and did not have a cohesive original order; the collection also contains some additions from later accessions. The collection’s most comprehensive materials include records on the Lewis Estate and Lewis Institute Building construction, materials on the events surrounding the 1940 merger, and a complete set of the academic catalog serial publication. Less comprehensive are materials related to the academic programs, faculty, and student records. Of particular interest are the Alumni Records, which include correspondence on the Alumni Association, three scrapbooks, and several folders of correspondence from students serving in World War I to the Patriotic League. Also included are three boxes of photographs, though many are unidentified and undated. The collection has been arranged into eight thematic series: Series I contains assorted essays on the history of the Lewis Institute from various sources, and has been artificially constructed. Series II is a fairly complete record of the Lewis Estate before 1896, including property records, legal documentation, and information on the construction of the school building. Property records show the estate’s assets and are mainly for properties in Cook County, but include a few from New York and Connecticut. Many of the properties appear to have been rented out or sold to raise money for the school. The original order of these records are unknown, so they have been arranged in chronological order. Information that appeared on the original storage envelopes has been duplicated on the front of the current folders. There is also a book of minutes from the Estate’s Board of Trustees meeting and limited correspondence. Series III contains administrative records beginning from 1896 when the school was founded. This includes the minutes for Board of Trustees meetings, financial records, and the office records of administrative staff. The papers of Alex D Bailey, Chairmen of the Board of Trustees from 1934 to 1940 and of R.A. Mowat, Controller, are included as two separate subseries; they mostly include correspondence on the circumstances surrounding the merger. Materials specifically related to the merger, including alumni responses, are separated in to subseries 6. Series IV includes student records, student produced materials, and some academic materials. This series is very scattered and not comprehensive. Records include two volumes of student enrollment and some grade reports, academic materials including some student theses and assignments, and student produced materials include programs, flyers, and a newspaper. Related is Series V, the complete purchasing records of the library from 1896 to 1935. Series VI includes records of Lewis Alumni, including significant information on the founding of the alumni association and three substantial scrapbooks put together by that organization. The series also includes several folders of letters from alumni serving in World War I in response to a holiday card from Lewis Institute. Series VII is a complete run of the Academic Catalog, the Lewis Bulletin Newsletter, and Directors reports. The academic catalog was published under several names including the Lewis Bulletin, the Lewis Circular of Information, and the Lewis Annual. This series includes two copies of each catalog: one loose, and one as part of a set of bound volumes. The only exceptions are October 1908, April 1909, 1924 Circular, and 1935 Circular, which only exist as individual copies. The bound volumes contain some supplementary programs from plays, concerts, graduations, and assemblies. Note the Lewis Bulletin Newsletter (Subseries 2) shares a name with the earlier academic catalogs but is a distinct publication. Series VIII contains oversize records. Most are more real estate records, and there is one additional Treasurer’s Report. Series IX contains photographs of Lewis Institute faculty, students, and staff; including several portrait and classroom photographs. These have been arranged topically; Box 33 is oversized. The origin, subject, and dates of many of these photographs are unknown.
From the Collection: 195 linear_feet (30 hollinger boxes, 2 bankers box, 1 oversize box, 5 free standing volumes)