The alumni records retained in the Oberlin College Archives represents only the files of deceased graduates and former students. Current files on living alumni are held by the Alumni Information Service and are housed in the basement of Bosworth Hall. Faculty, staff, trustee, and president files mainly are comprised of deceased or retired individuals.
The alumni records in the Oberlin College Archives are arranged in eight series: 1. Non-graduates who died prior to July 1, 1966; 2. Graduates through the class of 1966 and non-graduates (through the class of 1966 who died after July 1, 1966); 3. Faculty, staff, trustees, and presidents; 4. Graduates and non-graduates, class of 1967 to present; 5. Necrology Files; 6. Distinguished Community Service Awards; 7. V-12 Student Files, and, 8. Schauffler College of Religious and Social Work Student Files.
The first two series represent the files of graduates and non-graduates of all divisions and programs through the class of 1966. The individual files contained in records series one document non-graduates who died prior to 1966. The records are organized into two subseries based upon the date received. The second subseries was received after the first one had been assembled and was appended as a second subseries rather than being integrated into the existing series. Series two contains individual files of both graduates and non-graduates. In this series, files of graduates date from the founding through the class of 1966. The non-graduates represented in this series died after July 1, 1966, the cut-off date for series one.
The records in these first two series include questionnaires completed for the catalogues as well as clippings and articles relating to the individual. Address changes, excerpts from class letters, obituaries, occasional photographs, and autobiographical material comprise the files. The first series generally contains less material than series two. Information on non-graduates was not actively sought until preparation was underway for a 75th anniversary catalog to be published in 1908. For this reason, as well as others, less material is available on these students. Often the file merely contains an address or correspondence returned to sender.
The second series is the richest by far in terms of biographical and genealogical information. To be expected, the twentieth-century records are far more complete than the nineteenth-century documentation. Included are excerpts from the Oberlin Alumni Magazine, press releases, and other publicity. In the case of famous alumni such as Robert Maynard Hutchins (1899-1977, Honorary War Member 1919, LL.D. 1929), Charles Martin Hall (1863-1914, A.B. 1885, A.M.1893, honorary degree 1910), and Anna Julia Cooper (1859-1964, A.B. 1884, A.M. 1888), the files contain extensive documentation, including articles written by and about the individual, photographs, and correspondence.
Series three is arranged in two subseries. Subseries one, the faculty, staff, and trustee records, contains records of instructors, professors, staff, and trustees from 1833 to 1991. The bulk of the files consist of records of individuals who retired or died prior to July 1, 1983. The material represents an administrative function and consists of routine carbon correspondence of appointment letters, salary changes, and notices of meetings. Informational forms, resumes and vitas provide biographical information while articles and clippings offer background information. Under the classification system, files for Conservatory of Music faculty members, from 1940 to 1987, exist in a separate series in the record group assigned to the Conservatory of Music (10).
Subseries two contains files on the presidents of Oberlin College from Asa Mahan through Marvin Krislov. The records of the early administrations primarily contain secondary articles and clippings. The twentieth-century administrations include correspondence, both incoming and outgoing, as well as speeches, memoranda, articles and other miscellaneous documentation. More extensive documentation on the presidents can be found in their individual collections in record group (2).
Owing to the fact that many Oberlin College students went on to serve the college as faculty, staff, and trustees, separate files on these individuals can be found in series one through three as well as in series four.
Series 1. Non-graduates who died prior to July 1, 1966, 1833-1966 (139 linear feet)
Subseries 1. Non-graduates who died prior to July 1, 1966, 1833-1966 (115
Contains records of students who attended Oberlin between 1833 and 1960 who did not graduate. The files are arranged alphabetically, with married women filed by married name. Records include biographical forms, correspondence, articles and clippings.
Subseries 2. Non-graduates who died prior to July 1, 1966 (series B), 1833-
1966 (24 l.f.)
Consists of records arriving too late to be integrated into subseries 1. The content is the same as subseries 1 and is arranged alphabetically with married women filed under their married name.
Series 2. Graduates through the class of 1966 and non-graduates (through the
class of 1966 who died after July 1, 1966), 1833-- (432 linear feet)
Includes biographical documentation on graduates of all years and non-graduates who died after July 1, 1966. Provides a more complete record than is found in Series 1. Contains biographical forms, correspondence, news releases, articles and writings, and photographs. Arranged alphabetically, with married women filed under their married name.
Series 3. Faculty, staff, trustees, and presidents, 1833-- (49 l.f.)
Subseries 1. Faculty, staff, and trustees (47 l.f.)
Files of employees, faculty, and trustees, arranged in one alphabetical sequence. Includes, correspondence, vitas, articles, and some photographs.
Subseries 2. Presidents (2.0 l.f.)
Consists of files compiled on Oberlin College presidents. Records of the early presidents contain secondary articles and clippings. Later presidents include correspondence, articles, and speeches. Arranged by order of presidency.
Series 4. Graduates and non-graduates, class of 1967 to present (12.5 l.f.)
Contains files of graduates and former students of the Class of 1967 to the present. This series was created as a result of new accretions received by the College Archives.
Series 5. Necrology Files (listed on 28/2), 1836-1936 (1.6 l.f.)
The necrology series consists of material used to generate the printed record of deceased alumni, as well as the printed copy of the document. The necrology records are arranged by year and alphabetically within the year.
Series 6. Distinguished Community Service Awards, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1994-95, 2001, 2004, 2009 (0.2 l.f.)
Contains files on thirteen individuals that were awarded the Distinguished Community Service Award between 1971 and 2009. For a list of all community Service Award recipients, see the Archives website page at http://www.oberlin.edu/archive/oresources/dcsa/index.html.
Series 7. V-12 Student Files, 1943-46 (2.8 l.f.)
Contains files on students in the U.S. Navy’s V-12 College Training Program at Oberlin College. The program was designed to supplement the force of commissioned officers in the Navy during World War II.
Series 8. Schauffler College of Religious and Social Work Student Files, 1906-59 (1.6 l.f.)
Contains student files for those who attended the Schauffler Missionary Training School and its successor, the Schauffler College of Religious and Social Work. The College transferred in 1954 to the Oberlin Graduate School of Theology, where it became known as the Schauffler Division of Christian Education. See also the records of the Schauffler College of Religious and Social Work, RG 34.