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Willamette University Business records

Identifier: WUA098

Scope and Contents

The Willamette University Business records consist of correspondence, receipts, ledgers, reports, deeds, and mortgages related to the University and its operations.

Among the correspondence of this collection are requests for donations, and letters of remittance that help document the University's financial difficulties throughout the early decades and at the turn of the 20th century. Additional topics of interest include annual reports, faculty appointments, and admission inquiry. Reports and correspondence include materials from James T. Matthews (1864-1942), John W. Reynolds (1875-1942), as well as Presidents Willis Chatman Hawley (1864-1941) and John Hamline Coleman (1847-1914).


  • 1855-1962


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Historical materials in this collection are open to researchers. Records created after 1960 are closed pending processing and in accordance with University policy.

Conditions Governing Use

Library acts as “fair use” reproduction agent.

For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.

Copyright Information: Before material from collections at Willamette University Archives and Special Collections may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permission. Persons wishing to quote from materials in any collections held by University Archives and Special Collections should consult the University Archivist. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Biographical / Historical

The business records of Willamette University have been managed by a number of different individuals, groups, and offices under different designations over the course the institution's history. For much of the University's first hundred years, management of the University's finances fell directly to the officers of the Board of Trustees, particularly the president and secretary. With the establishment of a Registrar for the University in the early 20th century, the person in that position also handled much of the day-to-day operational business on behalf of the University's president and the board.

The Willamette University Board of Trustees (the "Board") was formed by an act of the Council of the Territorial Legislature on January 1, 1853. In its early days, the Board was held responsible for augmenting the University endowment, disciplining the student body, conferring degrees, and generating collegiate courses of study. Over time the Board's duties have become less intimately related to student activity and academics, and can now be more accurately described as pertaining to general oversight of University affairs including, but not limited to, policy creation and development of University resources.


12 Linear Feet (32 boxes)


The Willamette University Business records contain documents pertaining to the financial operations and real estate of the university since 1855, including correspondence, receipts, ledgers, reports, financial statements, deeds, and mortgages.


Materials are arranged into two groups. Historical materials are considered to be documents and records created prior to 1960 and not governed by a retention schedule. These materials are arranged into three series: Correspondence, Financial Records, and Property Records. Where possible, original order was maintained but in the majority of cases the documents and records had not been retained in original order and have been grouped by type and arranged chronologically within the series.

Boxes 18 and 30 originally comprised the Willamette University Board of Trustees records but were re-processed as part of this collection when the similarity of the records was recognized.

Records created after 1960 are retained and arranged according to the retention schedule for Accounting and Financial Affairs and retain original order where possible.

Physical Location

Mark O. Hatfield Library


Willamette University Business records, 1855-1962
Finding aid processed by Amber J. D'Ambrosio.
© 2018
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections Collection Descriptions

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 United States