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Ellison-White Chautauqua Bureau records

 Collection — Multiple Collection Box: [B 075] 1, Volume: 1 (shares a rsb)
Identifier: B 075

Scope and Contents

The collection contains articles of incorporation, bylaws, minutes, articles, and programs, 1912-1928.

There is one volume and one folder of information within a box shared with other collections.

The folder contains loose items including articles of incorporation, minutes of stockholders and directors, and programs.

The volume also contains articles of incorporation, bylaws, and minutes.


  • 1912-1928


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

According to the Canadian Encyclopedia online Chautauqua was "the name given to travelling tent shows which originated in the USA and flourished in Canada 1917-35.

A summer school, established in 1874 on Lake Chautauqua, NY, with an eye to combining adult education and morally uplifting recreation, adopted the name from its location, and gradually the name came to represent the type of recreation offered. In Canada a similar type of organization - a Methodist camp - had been established in 1859 at Grimsby Park in Lincoln County, Ont, but by 1900 interest had declined and by 1909 it had ceased. In the USA, however, 'chautauquas' flourished: by 1900 there were some 200 independent chautauquas serving 31 states, almost all held in permanent pavilions close to lakes and offering lectures, plays, and concerts of religious, classical, and popular music."

The notion of making the chautauquas more accessible by sending them on the road was conceived by the US entrepreneurs Keith Vawter and J.R. Ellison, and in 1904 the first of the 'circuit' chautauquas, housed in portable brown tents, began its tour in the mid-west. The second circuit took place in 1907, and from then until 1932 the tours were annual. Charles F. Thiele and his family performed on the US circuit."

"Ellison left the Vawter-Redpath bureau in 1912 and joined Clarence H. White in establishing the Ellison-White Chautauqua Bureau headquartered in Portland, Oregon" (Tapia, 81).

The Ellison-White Chautauqua Bureau was also known as the Ellison-White Lyceum and Chautauqua Association.

The bureau was known in Canada as Dominion Chautauquas. The firm may have also been incorporated as the Elwyn Concert Bureau, Inc.


[Source: John E. Tapia. Circuit Chautauqua: From Rural Education to Popular Entertainment in early twentieth century America. North Jefferson, Carolina: McFarland and Company, Inc., 1997. Pg 81.]


0.25 linear feet (1 volume and 1 folder)

Language of Materials



Travelling chautauqua shows offered lectures, plays, and concerts of religious, classical, and popular music, and in 1912, J.R. Ellison joined with Clarence H. White in establishing the Ellison-White Chautauqua Bureau, headquartered in Portland, Oregon. The collection contains articles of incorporation, bylaws, minutes, articles, and programs, 1912-1928.


Material within this collection is minimally arranged. Any arrangement is either derived from the records' creators or custodians or from staff at the time of initial processing. It may be necessary to look in multiple places for the same types of materials.

Related Materials

Other collections relating to Ellison-White Chautauqua Bureau, other Chautauqua associations, and/or Clarence H. White at Special Collections and University Archives include:

Ellison-White Chautauqua Bureau scrapbooks, CA El59;

Willamette Valley Chautauqua Association records, B 137;

Clarence H. White papers, Ax 175.

Physical Description

1 folder and 1 volume.

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

This collection received a basic level of processing including minimal to no organization and rehousing.

Description information is drawn in part from information supplied with the collection and initial surveys of the contents

Guide to the Ellison-White Chautauqua Bureau Records
Complete Description
Tanya Parlet and Kira B. Homo
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA