Wennerberg Chorus records

MSS 232
approximately 2 linear feet


Augustana College and Theological Seminary(Rock Island, Ill.). Wennerberg Chorus.
Ryden, George Herbert, 1884-1941.
Kempe, Andrew


English, Swedish


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection

Access points:

Augustana College and Theological Seminary (Rock Island, Ill.). Wennerberg Chorus.
Men's choral societies--Illinois--Rock Island.
Choral societies--Illinois--Rock Island.
Music in universities and colleges--Illinois--Rock Island.

Finding aid prepared by:

Emily Hughes Dominick, 2007. Updated by Rebecca Hopman, 2011, and Samantha Crisp, June 2014.

Preferred citation:

[identification of item], in MSS 232 Wennerberg Chorus records, Special Collections, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois.


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

Custodial History
Historical Note
Scope and Content
System of Arrangement
Container List
Related Collections


Most of the history of the acquisition of this collection is unknown. Former member of the chorus, George H. Ryden, donated the original secretary's book in 1933.



The Wennerberg Male Chorus was formed at a meeting called by A. S. Hamilton on October 21, 1901. Gustav Andreen, then president of Augustana College, had requested that a male chorus be organized to participate in the Gunnar Wennerberg Festival to be held the following December. At this formative meeting, officers were elected, the name was agreed upon, and rehearsals twice a week were fixed. Once formed, the group was called on to perform at receptions and meetings on campus and soon became a campus fixture. Membership of the chorus was fairly constant at around 20 growing to as many as 35 or 40 in its later years.

The Chorus was led by a variety of directors including A. S. Hamilton (1901-1905), Emil Larson (1905-1908) Peter Johnson (1908-1912), J. Victor Bergquist (1912-1918), Otto Bostrom (1918-1920), L. W. Kling (1920-1923), A. Cyril Graham (1923-1927), and finally Henry Veld (1928-1933). The Wennerberg Male Chorus began to perform jointly with the Oriole Chorus under the direction of Henry Veld in 1931. When joining forces, the men and women became known as the Augustana Choir. Each entity maintained its identity for several years, but ostensibly became known solely as Augustana Choir in the late 1930s.



This collection contains records spanning most of the existence of the Wennerberg Chorus and includes meeting minutes, membership lists, correspondence, receipts, treasury books, programs, photos, and clippings.



This collection has been organized into 5 series: Administration, Financial records, Programs, Newspaper clippings, and Photographs.

The records in the Administration (1901-1926 and undated) series include meeting minutes, membership lists, and correspondence. The minutes are especially instructive about the formation and early identity of the group.

The Financial records (1902-1922) series contains receipts and other records of financial transactions as well as financial reports and audits.

The Programs (1902-1933) series contains event programs and tour schedules. In some cases, the programs are for larger events where the Wennerberg Chorus is one of many groups performing.

The Newspaper clippings (1903-1933, scattered) series is primarily made up of clippings that were saved and pasted into a page of a scrapbook. It is unknown to whom the scrapbook belonged. Due to the preservation challenges involved in preserving the clippings, the originals were photocopied onto acid-free paper and then discarded.

The Photographs (1903-1917) series contains seven different group photos that were take of the Wennerberg Chorus. One of the pictures is a half-tone copper plate positive image that was likely used to make multiple copies.

The 1917 Wennerberg Chorus tour (1916-1917) series is composed of correspondence about the tour and schedules and itineraries for the tour.



Box 1
      Series I. Administration, 1901-1926 and undated
            Secretary book, 1901-1904
            Secretary book, 1924-1926
            Minutes and roll, 1909-1914
            Membership lists, 1901-1912
            Correspondence, 1906-1916 and undated
            Manager's report, 1915

      Series II. Financial records, 1902-1922
            Financial reports and receipts, 1902-1914, 1922 [10 folders]
            Treasury book, 1906

Box 2
            Accounts book, 1908-1911
            Treasurer's cash book, 1917-1918

      Series III. Programs, 1902-1933

      Series IV. Newspaper clippings, 1903-1933
            1903, 1906, 1933 and undated

Box 3
      Series V. Photographs, 1903-1917
            Group photos, 1904-1906
            Posters of a performance and a tour, 1907-1917 [oversize]
            Half-tone copper plate positive image, circa 1912

Box 4
      Series VI. 1917 Wennerberg Chorus tour, 1916-1917
            Correspondence, 1916-1917
            Travel materials
OPF-232/1 [formerly box 5]
      Series V. Photographs, 1903-1917
            Posters of a performance and a tour, 1907-1917



MSS 234 Augustana Choir records
MSS 233 Oriole Chorus records
MSS 30 Collection on Henry Veld
MSS 23 J. Victor Bergquist sheet music

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