Brand

Ira O. Nothstein papers
1919-1962 (bulk 1943-1956)

MSS 106
0.75 linear feet (2 boxes)



Creator:

Nothstein, Ira O. (Ira Oliver), 1874-1962.

Language:

English

Access:

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Access points:

Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.)--Faculty.
Academic Librarians--Illinois.
Archivists--Illinois.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America--Clergy.
Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.). Library.
Augustana Historical Society.  

Finding aid prepared by:

Rebecca Hopman, 2009.

Repository:

Augustana College Special Collections
Thomas Tredway Library
639 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois 61201
309-794-7643
specialcollections@augustana.edu




Acquisition Information
Historical Note
Scope and Content
System of Arrangement
Box List
Related Collections



ACQUISITION INFORMATION

Sylvia of the Birches was donated by Ira O. Nothstein’s daughter Ruth Nothstein on November 8, 1979. The gift included a commentary by Dr. Conrad Bergendoff. Additional collection materials are from an unknown source.

 

HISTORICAL NOTE

Ira O. Nothstein was born on January 16, 1874 in Lehighton, Pennsylvania to Lloyd and Ema Nothstein.  He attended Muhlenberg College and graduated in 1897.  He was ordained on June 8, 1900 by the Augustana Lutheran Church in Philadelphia after graduating from Mount Airy Lutheran Theological Seminary.  Later, in 1928, Nothstein was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Muhlenberg College.  On November 13, 1900, he married Minne Louisa Kuhns in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  They would eventually have five children together.  They travelled west, and Nothstein served as pastor to several churches in St. Paul and St. Peter, Minnesota and in Summit Hill, Pennsylvania.  In 1907, Nothstein became the pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Rock Island, Illinois.

Nothstein was hired as the head librarian at Augustana College in 1918.  He also occasionally took substitute teaching positions in subjects such as church history and pastoral theory.  For several years, he worked both as a librarian and an archivist. He resigned from his post as a librarian in 1940 to become the college’s first official archivist.  Nothstein worked in the archives until he retired in 1959.  That same year, he got a gold key for being a faculty member at Augustana for over 40 years.  Nothstein was the first librarian at Augustana to take an interest in archival materials.  Donations to and purchases for the library during his tenure included several impressive collections. 

Nothstein’s expertise was frequently sought by researchers all over the United States, especially those interested in Swedish or Lutheran topics.  Nothstein himself authored many books on subjects such as the history of the Augustana Synod and Swedish Lutheran settlers in the United States.  Nothstein translated several manuscripts and contributed regularly to a few religious publications.  He founded the Augustana Synod annual, “My Church” in 1915, and was the head editor from 1915-1929.  He also wrote a children’s book called Sylvia of the Birches: A Tale of the Forties, which was about a young Swedish Lutheran immigrant. His manuscript was never published. 

Nothstein was an active member of many groups in the Rock Island community, including the Rock Island Historical Society and the Augustana Historical Society, which he played an important role in organizing.  Due to his deep interest in local history, Nothstein was commissioned to write A History of the Rock Island Arsenal in 1936 by Colonel A. G. Gillsepie, then commander of the Arsenal. 

He was also a member of many other religious and academic groups in the United States, including the Lutheran Library Association, Sons of the American Revolution, the International Mark Twain Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was heavily involved in centennial celebrations for the Swedish Pioneers in America and the Augustana Synod.
Nothstein died on May 1, 1962 after several years of failing health.  He outlived his wife, who had died in 1953, and was survived by a son, three daughters, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

 

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The Ira O. Nothstein papers contain an unpublished handwritten and typed manuscript, Sylvia of the Birches, two photographs of Nothstein, and correspondence he compiled while working as a librarian and archivist at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois (1918-1959).

 

SYSTEM OF ARRANGEMENT

The Ira O. Nothstein papers are arranged into the following series:

Series I. Sylvia of the Birches by Ira O. Nothstein, n.d.

This series contains two copies of the manuscript, one handwritten and one typed.  Both of the manuscripts include illustrations in the form of postcards, and many have handwritten captions.  Also in the series is a handwritten commentary from Dr. Conrad Bergendoff, composed in October 1979.

Series II. Correspondence, 1943-1956

This series contains Ira O. Nothstein’s professional and personal correspondence from 1943-1956.  The subject matter of these letters include the Augustana Synod, various anniversary celebrations, Nothstein’s membership in numerous associations, Nothstein’s publications on Lutheran and Swedish immigration history, and personal matters.  There are also many research inquiries that Nothstein received as a librarian and archivist of Augustana College.  These letters were originally bound chronologically by Nothstein into a book labeled “Memories 1943-1956.” Also included is a photocopy of a letter from Nothstein to Dr. Andreen from 1919.

Series III. Ira O. Nothstein’s Publications, 1917-1956

This series contains several copies of Nothstein’s publications, as well as lists of his publications.

Series IV. Photographs of Ira O. Nothstein, n.d.

This series contains two photographs of Ira O. Nothstein at different ages.  One of the photographs is autographed by Nothstein.

Series V. Materials Relating to Ira O. Nothstein, 1962

This series contains materials concerning Nothstein’s death and memorial service in May 1962.

 

CONTAINER LIST

BOX 1

Series I. Sylvia of the Birches by Ira O. Nothstein, n.d.

Handwritten manuscript, n.d.
Manuscript Illustrations
Title page, Chapter I. Discoveries
Chapter II. More Discoveries
Chapter III. Ghosts and Secrets
Chapter IV. Pentecost
Chapter V. Midsummer Day Memories
Chapter VI. Peace Cottage
Chapter VII. Wedding Bells
Chapter VIII. The Autumn Market
Chapter IX. A Farewell Party
Chapter X. Winter Scenes
Chapter XI. Christmas Joys
Chapter XII. Changes
Chapter XIII. Among the Heathen
Chapter XIV. Lights and Shadows
Typed manuscript, n.d.
Title page, Table of Contents, Chapter I. Discoveries
Chapter II. More Discoveries
Chapter III. Ghosts and Secrets
Chapter IV. Pentecost
Chapter V. Midsummer Day Memories
Chapter VI. Peace Cottage
Chapter VII. Wedding Bells
Chapter VIII. The Autumn Market
Chapter IX. A Farewell Party
Chapter X. Winter Scenes
Chapter XI. Christmas Joys
Chapter XII. Changes
Chapter XIII. Among the Heathen
Chapter XIV. Lights and Shadows
Commentary from Dr. Conrad Bergendoff on typed manuscript, October 1979

Series II. Correspondence, 1943-1956

Photocopy of original binding for correspondence           
Correspondence, January 1943-February 1943
Correspondence, February 1943-July 1943                                                    
Correspondence, July 1943-September 1943
Correspondence, September 1943-December 1943
Correspondence, February 1944-June 1944
Correspondence, June 1944-May 1945
Correspondence, June 1945-June 1946
Correspondence, August 1946-November 1946
Correspondence, November 1946-April 1947
Correspondence, April 1947-July 1947
Correspondence, September 1947-October 1947
Correspondence, November 1947-June 1948
Correspondence, September 1948-March 1950
Correspondence, March 1950-June 1950

BOX 2

Correspondence, June 1950-August 1950
Correspondence, August 1950-September 1950
Correspondence, October 1950
Correspondence, January 1951-May 1952
Correspondence, May 1952
Correspondence, May 1952-June 1953
Correspondence, June 1953-October 1953
Correspondence, November 1953-June 1954
Correspondence, October 1954-April 1956
Correspondence, April 1956-November 1956
Photocopy of 1919 letter from Ira O. Nothstein to Dr. Gustav Andreen

Series III. Ira O. Nothstein’s Publications, 1917-1956

Nothstien, Ira O. “Rock Island and the Rock Island Arsenal” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. 33.3 (1940): 304-340.
Nothstein, Ira O. “The Swedish-American Newspaper Collection at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois.” The Swedish Pioneer. 3.2 (1952): 45-55.
Nothstein, Ira O. “The Augustana Archives”
Nothstein, Ira O. “The History of Lutheranism in Illinois: To the Close of 1850.” The Augustana Quarterly. 234-48.
List of Ira O. Nothstein’s Publications Available in Augustana College Library Collections
List of Ira O. Nothstein’s Additional Known Publications
List of Augustana Observer Articles by and about Ira O. Nothstein

Series IV. Photographs of Ira O. Nothstein, n.d.

Series V. Materials Relating to Ira O. Nothstein, 1962

Obituary, May 1, 1962
Memorial Service programs, May 3, 1962

 

RELATED COLLECTIONS

Augustana Historical Society records, MSS 203; Augustana College Library records, MSS 109. 


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