Skip to main content

Augustana College Conservatory of Music records

Identifier: MSS 230

Scope and Contents

The materials in this collection reflect the education and performance of instrumental and vocal music at the Conservatory of Music and subsequently the Augustana College Music Department. Collection materials include programs, posters and brochures for events held both on and off campus. Other items related to performances include announcements, invitations, tickets, and bulletins, as well as newsletters such as Augustana Music Notes and Augustana Music News. This collection also includes administrative materials such as correspondence, registration cards, faculty minutes and board minutes.


  • Creation: 1886-2023 and Undated


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from Augustana College Special Collections and the copyright holder.

Historical Note

The Augustana College Conservatory of Music was established on January 18, 1886 as a separate school within Augustana College and Theological Seminary. Professors Olof Olsson, C. W. Foss, J. Lindahl, C. L. E. Esbjorn and Rev. G. W. Sandt acted as the first board of trustees of the conservatory.1 The conservatory, later known as the School of Music, continued to maintain its own administration over the years and saw a steady rise in enrollment. Many college faculty participated in music events and ensembles both on campus and in the Quad Cities community.

At times the terms “Conservatory” and “School” are used interchangeably within the content of this collection. President Conrad Bergendoff was a strong proponent of the value of music both in a person's life as well as a part of a liberal arts education. In 1958, however, it had become evident with the changes in departmental curriculum on campus that the School of Music would be more beneficial to its students if it was integrated as its own department within the college.2 The School of Music became the Department of Music within the Division of Fine Arts in 1958.3

Within the Conservatory and Music Department at Augustana, there are different classes and ensembles for the education of students, as well as a fraternity and sorority (Delta Tau chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota and Zeta Beta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinphonia respectively).

1. Augustana Conservatory Board Minutes, 5 October, 1885, in MSS 230 Conservatory of Music Records, Special Collections, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois.

2. Thomas Tredway, Coming of Age, Rock Island, IL: Augustana College, 2010, p. 53.

3. "Bulletin of Augustana College Catalog Announcements for 1958-1959, Catalog Record for 1957-1958," Rock Island, IL: Augustana College, April 1958, p. 4.


7.5 Cubic Feet (/ 24 boxes and 1 Oversize Folder)

Language of Materials



The Conservatory of Music was established in 1886 as a part of Augustana College and Theological Seminary with its own board of trustees. The conservatory instructed students in the areas of voice, piano, stringed instruments, and brass instruments. The collection includes programs, posters, brochures, announcements, invitations, tickets, bulletins, correspondence, and faculty minutes.


Materials were received topically and not organized chronologically. The new order organizes materials chronologically and then topically at the series level. This collection consists of three series, The Conservatory of Music series 1885-1928, the School of Music series 1928-1958, and the Department of Music series 1958-2022. These series levels reflect the shifts of this administrative unit from an independent part of Augustana College and Theological Seminary to an academic department of Augustana College.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from the Department of Music, 24 July 1979. Further material received from The Office of Cultural Events, 20 May 1993. Materials regularly received from the Department of Music.

Composities of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia recevived from Luca Barba, 2022.

Related Materials

MSS 266 Office of Cultural Events Records

Augustana College - Department of Music (Vertical File)

Processing Information

Processed by Harrison Phillis, July 2019.Updated by Micaela Terronez, 2022.

Augustana College Conservatory of Music Records, 1886-2023 and Undated
In Progress
Harrison Phillis
July 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Augustana College Special Collections Repository

639 38th Street
Thomas Tredway Library
Rock Island Illinois 61201 United States