Sabin and Van Arsdale Collection (Aurora), 1856-1960
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Brief Description:

The Sabin-Van Arsdale Collection consists of 845 photographs, a small amount of correspondence, diaries and school work, surveyor’s notebooks, tour books, and other printed material. The photographs depict western mining and manufacturing operations, landscape and scenery from Europe and the United States dating from the early twentieth century, and portraits and candid shots of relatives and friends of the Sabin and Van Arsdale families. Also found in the collection are souvenir and costume books from several European counties collected by Van Arsdale during his extensive travels.

Among the printed materials are books on surveying, merit rolls and other publications from the New York Free Academy, and by-laws and catalogs from the Columbia College School of Mines. Smaller portions of the collection include Aurora YMCA posters and information and the Circus Fans of America.

Of special interest in the collection is the folder containing wanted notices for criminals in the Ogle and Lee County area.

Held at:
Northern Illinois University
Founders Memorial Library
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: 815-753-1779
Email: rhcua [at]
Record Series Number: RHC/RC/032
Volume: 4.75 Linear Feet
Acquired: 00/00/1966.
Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.Items relating to the Columbian Exposition have been restricted for preservation purposes.  Copies are available for research.
Subject Index
Aurora (Ill.)
Aurora Daily Beacon News
Chicago (Ill.)
Circus Fans Association of America
Lee County (Ill)
Mineral industries
Ogle County (Ill)
Sabin, Jay H.
Van Arsdale, Henry
Winnebago County (Ill)
World's Columbian Exposition (1893 : Chicago, Ill.)
Young Men's Christian Associations
Genres/Forms of Material
Photograph albums
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.  Items relating to the Columbian Exposition have been restricted for preservation purposes.  Copies are available for research.
Acquisition Notes: Charles F. Andrews,  Geneve Harris  Charles F. Andrews donated the records of Jay Horace Sabin and William Henry Van Arsdale to the Northern Illinois University Archives in 1966. J. Joseph Bauxar, University Archivist, transferred the records to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center in May 1978.  An addendum was added to the collection on April 25, 2008 by Geneve Harris.
Related Materials: Approximately 250 postcards from Europe and the Middle East were transferred to the Postcard Collection (RC 199).