The Lyceum records

MSS 208
approximately 2 linear feet


Augustana College and Theological Seminary (Rock Island, Ill.). Lyceum.


English, Swedish


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection

Access points:

Literature--Societies, etc.
Lyceums--United States--History.
Augustana College and Theological Seminary (Rock Island, Ill.). Lyceum.

Finding aid prepared by:

Marjorie Mason, 1975. Revised by Emily Hughes Dominick, 2007. Updated by Sarah Horowitz, 2011.


Augustana College Special Collections
Thomas Tredway Library
639 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois 61201

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


The papers pertaining to the Lyceum were created as a natural outgrowth of the organization within the confines of the academic institution. It is unknown when and by whom these records were deposited in the Archives and Special Collections.



The Lyceum was formed by the rival literary groups on campus, the Adelphic and Phrenokosmian societies, in order to create a lecture and concert course. The first recorded minutes of the Board of the Lyceum of Augustana College and Theological Seminary are dated September 26, 1892 but there is evidence that the group had formed at least by 1890. The Lyceum published a literary annual, Balder from 1890-1892 and Lyceum Annual from 1892-1894. These periodicals included "contest orations plus other valuable material composed by members," as stated in the 1891-1892 Augustana College catalog. Half of the articles in the annual were in Swedish and the other half in English. In 1892, 4,000 copies of the annual were printed.

The purpose of the Lyceum was to promote the literary and oratorical interests of its members. In the beginning, a free concert and lecture course was presented during the academic years in the chapel for members of the institution as well as local citizens. In addition to the public lectures and concerts, the Lyceum also presented a program at the closing exercises for the fall and spring semesters, held debates between the Adelphic and Phrenokosmian societies, and held oratorical contests for its members. During its existence, the Lyceum brought many notable speakers and performers to campus. These events offered not only cultural and academic enrichment but were also social highlights of the year.

In 1902, the Lyceum submitted a petition to President Andreen for permission to start a college paper. With approval of Andreen and the faculty, the Augustana Observer was created. Thereafter, the Observer came under the supervision of the Lyceum.

The Lyceum's slate of programs was directed by a student manager under the supervision of the Board of Control of Student Activities. In 1931, the Adelphic and Phrenokosmian societies had faded away, so the management of the Lyceum was taken over by the Board of Student Activities. At the end of the fall term 1931, the Lyceum was replaced by the Augustana Lecture Series.



This collection has been organized into four series: Lyceum general body; Lyceum Board of Directors; and Programs, tickets and flyers.

The Lyceum general body series contains meeting minutes as well as treasurer's reports and other financial records.

The Lyceum Board of Directors series includes meeting minutes, annual reports, constitutional amendments, and correspondence.

The Miscellaneous series primarily consists of programs to the various Lyceum events. There are also some flyers, one set of tickets, and one poem on letterhead. Some of the programs indicate that the events were booked through the Central Lyceum Bureau and Slayton Lyceum Bureau (both of Chicago).



Generally arranged chronologically within each series.



Box 1
      Lyceum general body
            Meeting minutes, 1904-1917
            Vouchers book, 1892-1903
            Lyceum and Observer expense account book, 1892-1903 [oversize: in box 3]
            Lyceum expense account book, 1892-1918 [oversize: in box 3]
            Lyceum entertainment course receipts, 1902-1903
            Lyceum entertainment course receipts and lists of expenditures, 1901-1905, 1912, 1929
            Manager reports, 1895, 1910-1915
            Auditing committee reports, 1904, 1912-1916
            Treasurer's reports, 1930-1932
            Bills, cancelled checks, receipts, 1898-1931 scattered

      Lyceum Board of Directors
            Meeting minutes book, 1892-1898, 1907-1915
            Meeting minutes book, 1916-1930
            Meeting minutes, loose, 1900-1930 scattered

Box 2
      Lyceum Board of Directors (continued)
            Annual reports, 1912-1915
            Constitutional amendments, 1909 and undated
            Correspondence, 1913-1930

            Programs, tickets, flyers, poem, 1892-1917 and undated

Box 3 [oversize]
      General body
            Lyceum and Observer expense account book, 1892-1903
            Lyceum expense account book, 1892-1918



Phrenokosmian Society records, MSS 214; Adelphic Society records, MSS 206


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