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Augustana College Special Collections realia collection

Identifier: MSS 298

Scope and Contents

The Augustana College Special Collections realia collection, 1856-2013 and undated (bulk 1900-2006), contains ephemera, artifacts, and documentation primarily related to Augustana College and the Quad Cities. Augustana College artifacts include souvenirs from Homecoming, anniversaries, campus buildings, and events on campus, in addition to other commemorative items, clothing, and ceramics. Quad City Area realia includes materials and artifacts regarding events in the Quad Citie and the history of the Quad Cities as well as several locally signifigant flags. Also included are a number of items not ostensibly connected to Augustana College and the Quad Cities, including three Ojibway stone hide scrapers, a sterescope, and 38 bronze medals depicting kings, authors, and other important figures in British history.


  • Creation: 1856-2013 and undated
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1900-2006

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Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.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 materials in this collection represent a variety of important moments in Augustana College history and the history of the Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa.

Historical Note on Illinois State Flag: The Illinois State flag in oversize box 1 of this collection is one of twenty-five hand sewn flags that were commissioned by Governor Louis Emmerson, elected in 1929. He commissioned a woman from Petersburg, Illinois, to sew them. Unfortunately, the flags cost $75 each to produce, which was more than the members of the Illinois State Senate were willing to pay, so the project was cancelled. After Emmerson left office, this flag was sent to the supply department in 1933, where it was displayed on important occasions. It was later gifted to Morris E. Muhleman (1915-1998), former Illinois State Senator, Mayor of Rock Island, Illinois, and Northern Zone Supervisor of State Parks and Memorials, by one of the employees of the supply department. The flag hung in Rock Island City Hall from 1961 to 1965. In 1965, the flag moved to the office of the Centennial Bridge, where it was stored until 1980 when it was given to Augustana College Special Collections.

Historical Note on paperweights: The paperweight with the deer engraving was a gift from John Deere Inc. to Dr. Conrad Bergendoff, sixth President of Augustana College, for his aid during the Mississippi River flood of 1965. The paperweight with the three crown design was a gift from the King of Sweden to Dr. Conrad Bergendoff. Dr. Bergendoff gave these paperweights to Dr. Dorothy Parkander, former English professor at Augustana College.


5.9 Cubic Feet (/ 12 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Augustana College Special Collections realia collection, 1856-2013 and undated (bulk 1900-2005), contains artifacts (also known as realia) related to Augustana College, the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois, and other subjects. Materials include souvenirs, keepsakes, memorabilia, and other objects, including buttons and pins, trophies, stickers, clothing, coins, banners and signage, stamps, medals, drinkware, and flags.


The Realia collection has been organized chronologically within each series.

Custodial History

John O. Viking sent former Augustana College librarian, Ira O. Nothstein, the three Ojibway stone hide scrapers in 1949. The plaque of Old Main in the reading room was a gift of Mrs. Lael Erickson in 1975. The Illinois State Flag was given to Augustana College ca. 1980 from the office of the Rock Island Centennial Bridge, where it had been stored since 1965. Prior to this location, the flag was owned by Morris E. Muhleman. The National Congress of American Indians Convention poster was a gift from Gertrude Eichstaedt in 1985. Dorothy Parkander, former Augustana English professor, donated President Conrad Bergendoff’s paperweights in 2005. The nail from the Augustana Book Concern building was found in Glen Brolander's desk at an unknown date. The World War I band uniform was acquired in December 2012. The Augustana College medal showing Old Main was donated to the college in 1972. The Center for Student Life banner was donated in fall 2013 by the Office of Communication and Marketing. The football figurine was donated by Earl Sundin in 2013. Addition of 2014 (patches and window decal) received from Loran Bohman in March 2014. Addition of 2015 (pennants) received from Dianne Pegram in January 2015. All other materials in this collection have been acquired by library staff over time.

Prior to the compilation of this collection, many materials were housed in a filing cabinet in Special Collections. In 2010, they were processed and organized into a collective manuscript collection.

In July 2017, in light of growing space concerns an difficulty providing physical access to materials, approximately 60 items were weeded from the collection (primarily those not directly connected to Augustana College). Items of enduring research value were transferred to more appropriate collections; items of purely commemorative or sentimental value were either discarded or given to members of the Augustana community. The collection was then reprocessed using a new arrangement scheme.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from multiple sources in various accessions, 1942-2023. See custodial history note for more details.

Processing Information

Processed by Kelsey O'Connell, 2011. Updated by Julia G. Westblade, 2012 and 2013, Samantha Crisp, June 2015, Atticus Garrison, November 2015, Samantha Crisp, July 2017, and Micaela Terronez, 2021.

Augustana College Special Collections realia collection, 1856-2013 and undated (bulk 1900-2006).
Atticus Garrison
November 2015
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Repository Details

Part of the Augustana College Special Collections Repository

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