Augustana College printing logo

Arthur Helge Swan papers, 1885-1916

Size: 11 linear feet, 25 boxes

Acquisition: The collection was donated to the Augustana Library by G. N. Swan after the death of his son Arthur Helge Swan in 1916.

Access: The Collection is open for research. A limited amount of photocopies may be requested via mail.

Processed by: Augustana Library staff and Vicky Oliver. The Finding aid was updated January 2005.

Control num.: SSIRC MSS P:5


Biographical sketch

Arthur Helge Swan was born in Sioux City, Iowa City and July 27, 1885 to Gustaf N. Swan and Carolina Samuelsson Swan (mother died in 1888). Swan was raised by his grandmother, Anna Loves Swan. He attended grade school and high school in Sioux City. During the school year 1904-1905, he studied at Augustana College in Rock Island. In 1906, he attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and during the school year 1907-1908, he studied at Columbia University in New York.

During the winter of 1909-1910, Swan went to London and Paris to study Elizabethan Drama and literature. Back in the United States, Swan settled in New York where he lived from 1911-1914, supporting himself as a dramatist, critic, and teacher. In 1915-1916, Swan spent a year in California, but at the end of 1916, he moved back to New York again. Swan published poetry, essays and articles in journals and newspapers such as the Poet Lovethe Bookmanthe Nation, the TheatreSioux City TribuneSioux City JournalSvenska Monitoren, and California Veckoblad. Arthur Helge Swan died from a heart attack on August 3, 1916, at the age of 31. He was buried at Floyd Cemetery in Sioux City on August 5, 1916 by Rev. O.N. Olson.


Scope and Content

Series I

The collection include biographical data and personal papers relating to Swan's education, diplomas from schools, report cards, personal notebooks and journals.

Series II

The correspondence includes 1 box of letters from his father, G.N. Swan, personal letters and postcards, and business related correspondence.

Series III

The manuscripts contain original drafts and bound versions of plays, stories, essays, articles, poetry written by Swan, as well as notes relating to his career as a playwright.

Series IV

Scrapbooks of poetry and other misc. writings, lists of plays and recitals 1907-1913.

Series V

This series include articles, essays written by A.H.S. friends, poetry, and theatre programs, musical and opera programs from New York, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and London.

Series VI

Misc. printed matters, incl. clippings concerning the Swan family 1906-1915, cards, brochures from art events, and various business cards.

Series VII

The material includes postcards arranged by subject.

Series VIII

Photographs

Series IX

Oversized materials


Personal names / Subject/s

Swan, Arthur Helge (1885-1916)
Swan, G.N. (1856-1938)
Swedish-Americans
Sioux City (Iowa)
Correspondence
Theatre
Poetry


Folder Inventory

Series I - Biographical and personal papers

Box 1; folders 1- 13

1. Handwritten Notes and Genealogy Form
2. Baptism and Confirmation Certificates
3. Church Summer School Report Cards
4. List of Playmates and Games
5. Grade School Papers and Drawings
6. Writings and Papers from Sioux City High School
7. Calling Cards and Newspaper Clippings – Photocopies
8. Itinerary from European Trip 1906
9. Financial Documents and Receipts
10. Papers from Columbia University
11. Personal Notebooks and Journals
12. “Reflections on Reformation Day, 1904”
13. Financial Documents

Series I – Letters received from his father G.N. Swan, other family members and non-family.

Box 1; folders 1-7

1. Letters from his father, G.N. Swan 1891, 1893, 1896, 1900, 1904, 1906-1909, 1911-1913
2. Letters from his father G.N. Swan 1914, 1916
3. Postcards from his father, G.N. Swan 1891, 1903, 1905-1908, 1911-1915
4. Letters from various family members, 1906-1914
5. Letters from various family members 1915-1916
6. Postcards from family 1904-1909
7. Postcards from family 1910-1914, 1916, n.d.

Box 2; folders 1-8

1. Personal letters from non-family, 1904-1909
2. Personal letters from non-family 1910-1911
3. Personal letters from non-family 1912
4. Personal letters from non-family 1913-1914
5. Personal letters from non-family 1915-1916
6. Letters from Eileen E. Sward 1912-?
7. Letter fragments n.d.
8. Personal letters from non-family 1905-1907

Box 3; Folder 1-11

1. Postcards; personal from non-family 1908-1910
2. Postcards; personal from non-family 1911-1916, 1918, n.d. and unidentified senders, 1906-1909, 1912
3. Business correspondence 1903, 1905, 1907-1909
4. Business correspondence 1910
5. Business correspondence 1911
6. Business correspondence 1912
7. Business correspondence concerning “Julie” 1909-1911, and 1914
8. Business correspondence 1913-1914
9. Business correspondence 1915
10. Business correspondence 1916, n.d.
11. Postcards; business 1909-1912

Series III – Plays, Stories, Essays, Articles, Poetry, and notes by Helge Swan

Box 1; folders 1-9

1. Play; “Alimony” 1915
2. Play; “The Art Drama Movement” and “The Art Drama Society” 1915
3. Play; “Art and Success” and “At the Foot of the Account”
4. Play; “Betrothal” 1916
5. Plays; “Betrothal and Other Plays” Bound
6. Play; “Cheryl” Notes, 1913
7. Play; “Cheryl” 1913
8. Play; “Cheryl” 1913
9. Play; “Cheryl” 1913

Box 2; folders 1-6

1. Play; “The Consequence” Draft 1914
2. Play; “The Consequence” Draft 1914
3. Play; “The Consequence” Typed 1914
4. Play; “The Consequence” Bound 1914
5. Play; “The Consequence” Bound 1914
6. Play; “A Custom” 1915

Box 3; folders 1-6

1. Play; “Feminism” Draft 1913-1914
2. Play; “Feminism” Draft 1913-1914
3. Play; “Feminism” Typed 1913-1914
4. Play; “Feminism” Bound 1913-1914
5. Play; “Finale: A Play of Youth” Draft Copies 1911
6. Play; “Finale: A Play of Youth” Originally titled: “Mrs. Mari and Company” 1911

Box 4; folders 1-11

1. Play; “Happy Birthday” 1915
2. Play; “Marriage Postponed”
3. Play; “Hard Times” 1915
4. Play; “Hard Times” 1915-1916
5. Play; “Home or Flat Life in New York” 1915
6. Play; “In the Green Room” 1912
7. Plays; “Mating Time” 1915 “A Message from Town” 1908
8. Play; “Marriage Postponed”
9. Plays; “Nightfall: A Tragedy of Old Age” 1914-1915 and “The Play Peddler” n.d
10. Play; “The Romance that Failed” Draft and Typed 1916
11. Play; “The Scalped” Originally titled: “A Morning in Spring” 1911
12. Play, "A Satisfactory Arrangement," n.d. and "In Reverse Order," n.d.

Box 5; folders 1-7

1. Play; “The Second Start” Draft in Bound Diary 1913
2. Play; “The Second Start” 1913
3. Plays; “The Tonsorial Art” 1915 “Town and Country” 1911
4. Play; “Two Letters” 1915
5. Play; “The Vegetarians” 1914
6. Play; “When the Reaper Comes” 1913, 1915
7. Play; “Without Alibi” Two Drafts and One Alibi 1914

Box 6; folders 1-7

1. Play; “A Woman’s Right” 1914
2. Play; “A Woman’s Right” 1914
3. Notebook of Plays from the Elsinore Dramatic Club, Augustana College 1904-1905
4. Translation of August Strindberg’s “Julie” 1910
5. Short Dramas, various titles 1903
6. Translation of August Strindberg's “Mother's Love” 1910
7. Notes to Untitled Plays Along with other Notes 1904?

Box 7; folders 1-21

1. Play Arranged by A. Swan: “The Twelve-Pound Look” by James Matthew Barrie 1916
2. Play Arranged by A. Swan: “The Lost Silk Hat” by Lord Dunsany 1916
3. Play Arranged by A. Swan: “Hamlet” 1902
4. Diverse Notebooks of Plays 1902
5. Stories; “Child, Mother, Father, Love” 1911 “The Curtis Criterion” 1907
6. Stories; “A Good Word” 1911 “A Grocery Store Vacation” n.d. “A Group of Letters” 1911
7. Story; “The Leading Note; or a Christmas and a Midsummer” 1908
8. Story; “Professorns Drömmerier” 1913
9. Story; “A Recital in Nebraska” n.d.
10. Stories; “Street Meetings” n.d. “Theory and Fact” 1907
11. Stories; “A True Story” n.d. “The Unworthy Heroes” n.d. ca 1910?
12. Story; “The Wages of Sin” 1907
13. List of Stories by Arthur Helge Swan in The Young Lutheran’s Companion 1907-1908
14. Essays; “An American Playgoer in London” 1912
15. Various essays beginning with the letters A-C 1910, 1912
16. Various essays beginning with the letter D 1910, 1912
17. Various essays beginning with the letters F-G 1910-1911, 1914, 1916
18. Various essays beginning with the letters H-J 1911-1912, 1916
19. Essay; “The Jew that Marlowe Drew” 1911
20. Various essays beginning with the letters M-N 1912, 1915-1916, n.d.
21. Various essays beginning with the letters O-P 1911-1912, 1915-1916, n.d.

Box 8; folders 1-13

1. Various Essays Beginning with the Letters R-S 1911, 1914-1916
2. Various Essays Beginning with the Letters T-W 1911-1912, 1915-1916, n.d.
3. Essay Fragment n.d.
4. Critique as a Letter to the Editor and Reply 1915
5. Notebook of Essays 1908-1909
6. Translation from August Strindberg 1907, 1912, n.d.
7. Poetry 1906, 1910, 1914, n.d. ca 1915
8. Notes of Writings 1910-1911
9. Notes; Theatres
10. Misc. Notes
11. Notebooks; Dramatics and Plays 1906-1910
12. Notebooks; General and for Literary Use 1915-1916, n.d.
13. Notebooks; Lecture Notes 1908-1912

Series IV – Scrapbooks of poetry and other misc. writings, Lists of plays and recitals 1907-1913

Box 1; folders 1-3

1. Repertoire and A.H.S. comments and notes, 1905-1907
2. Repertoire 1907 (list of plays?)
3. Repertoire for Recitals 1910-1913

Series V – Printed Matters: Articles not by A. H. Swan, play programs, handbills, concerts, etc.

Box 1; folders 1-14

1. Articles by Friends of A. H. Swan 1908, 1910
2. Plays of interest to A. H. Swan 1903, 1914-1915
3. Stories of interest to A. H. Swan 1893
4. Essays of interest to A. H. Swan 1892, 1894, 1898, 1900, 1905, 1907-1912, n.d.
5. Poetry of interest to A. H. Swan 1899, n.d.
6. Misc. Programs including A. H. Swan’s 1904-1907, 1908?, 1912-1914
7. Theatre Programs, Berlin 1910
8. Theatre Programs, Boston 1916
9. Theatre Programs, Chicago 1903, 1906, 1908-1910, 1912
10. Theatre Programs, Cleveland 1907-1908
11. Theatre Programs, England 1906
12. Theatre Programs, London, Beginning with A-K 1906, 1909-1910, 1912
13. Theatre Programs, London, Beginning with L-Z 1909-1910, 1912? n.d.
14. Theatre Programs, Minneapolis 1906, 1907?

Box 2; folders 1-6

1. Theatre Programs, New York, Beginning with A-B 1907-1909, 1912
2. Theatre Programs, New York, Beginning with C-D 1908-1909, 1911-1912
3. Theatre Programs, New York, Beginning with E-G 1907-1913
4. Theatre Programs, New York, Beginning with H 1907-1909, 1911-1912
5. Theatre Programs, New York, Beginning with I-L 1907-1909, 1911-1912, 1914-1915
6. Theatre Programs, New York, Beginning with M-S 1907-1909, 1911-1914

Box 3; folders 1-14

1. Theatre Programs, New York, Beginning with T-Z 1907-1909, 1912
2. Theatre Programs, Paris 1906, 1910
3. Theatre Programs, Sioux City, 1905-1907, 1909, 1911, n.d.
4. Programs from Dramatic Schools and Societies 1912, 1915-1916
5. Programs from Plays Sponsored by Schools and Organizations 1906, 1908-1909
6. Theatre Handbills, Boston 1916
7. Theatre Handbills, Chicago 1906, 1908, n.d.
8. Theatre Handbills, England 1910
9. Theatre Handbills, London 1906, 1909-1910
10. Theatre Handbills, Montgomery, Alabama 1913
11. Theatre Handbills, New York, Beginning with A-G 1906-1915, n.d.
12. Theatre Handbills, New York, Beginning with H-K 1907-1909, 1912? 1913, 1914?, n.d.
13. Theatre Handbills, New York, Beginning with L-S 1907-1909, 1911-1913, 1914? 1916, n.d.
14. Theatre Handbills, New York, Beginning with T-Z 1907-1909, 1911-1915, n.d.

Box 4; folders 1-14

1. Theatre Handbills, Paris 1910, n.d
2. Theatre Handbills, Philadelphia 1906
3. Theatre Handbills, Sioux City 1903-1904
4. Movie Handbills, Scandinavia n.d., 1906?
5. Theatre Related Booklets about Plays, Actors, and Actresses 1899, 1902-1903
6. Theatre Related Material, Chicago 1909
7. Theatre Related Material, Germany 1906
8. Theatre Related Material, London 1899, 1913, n.d.
9. Theatre Related Material, New York 1903, 1907-1913, 1914, 1915, n.d.
10. Theatre Related Material, Paris 1910
11. Theatre Related Material, Sioux City 1903, 1911
12. Opera Programs, New York, 1908, 1911-1912, 1913, 1916
13. Opera Programs, Omaha, Nebraska 1905
14. Opera Programs, Paris 1906, 1909-1910

Box 5; folders 1-20

1. Music Programs, Boston 1916
2. Music Programs, California 1910
3. Music Programs, Chicago (Evanston) 1906
4. Music Programs, Lincoln, Nebraska n.d
5. Music Programs, London 1906, 1910
6. Music Programs, New York 1907-1908
7. Music Programs, New York 1911-1913, 1915-1916
8. Music Programs, Paris 1910
9. Music Programs, Sioux City 1911, 1913-1914, 1916
10. Misc. Programs, U.S.A 1905-1909, 1912-1916, n.d.
11. Lecture Programs, London 1910
12. Lecture Programs, New York 1908-1909, 1911-1913, n.d.
13. Lecture Programs, Sioux City 1911
14. Church Programs/Bulletins, Germany 1906, 1910
15. Church Programs/Bulletins, London 1906, 1909-1910
16. Church Programs/Bulletins, New York 1907-1909, 1911-1913
17. Church Programs/Bulletins, Paris 1906, 1910
18. Religious Material 1907-1908, 1910, n.d
19. Foreign Travel Material 1906
20. Foreign Travel Material 1909-1910

Series VI - Printed material - misc.

Box 1

1. Copies of clippings pertaining to Swan's family 1906-1915
2. Clippings - A.H.S. own interests
3. Tickets to various theatrical performances
4. Business & calling cards
5. Membership cards misc.
6. Brochures - books and plays 1902-1912
7. Misc. pamphlets and flyers
8. "The pocket Manual"
9. Misc.

Box 2

Printed books

Series VII - Postcards, Printed pictures and Photographs

Box 1

1. Postcards A-M
2. Postcards N-Z
3. Printed Pictures, Artwork 1892-1910, and n.d.
4. Buildings 1899-1910, & n.d.
5. Cartoons/drawings
6. Head of States and celebrities
7. Authors
8. Musicians
9. Religious
10. Shakespeare
11. Swedish folk costumes
12. Theatre
13. Theatre
14. Theatre
15. Printed Pictures - Battles
16. Printed Pictures - stereopticon 

Series VIII - Photographs & Memorabilia

Box 1

1. Anna Lovisa Swan 1903-1915
2. Arthur Helge Swan 1885-1915
3. Caroline Samuelson Swan 1875-1881
4. Family pictures 1886-1914
5. Photos from home in Sioux City, Iowa, 1900-1914
6. Family photos 1900-1914
7. A.H.S. and friends 1909-1912
8. A.H.S. and friends 1913-1916, n.d.
9. Portraits of father G.N. Swan 1872-1912
10. Various photos incl. portrait taken spring of 1910 on board a steamer
11. Group pictures 1905, "Science Club" and "Zion's Hill" at Augustana College.
12. Unidentified

Series IV - Oversized material

Box 1

Cut clippings pasted in an album - A.H.S. essays, writings, drama criticism and honors published in the Swedish-American press. Misc. Newspaper clippings and other clippings.

Box 2

Theatre Programs, posters, newspaper clippings, oversized handbills and other memorabilia.