Norman B. Barr Papers

Dates: 1896-1987, Bulk, 1900-1940
Size: 7 linear feet in 12 boxes, plus 5 oversize folders
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: spe.nbb
Immediate Source of Acquisition: Priscilla Whippo, Barr’s granddaughter, donated the collection in 1987 and 1988. Item in Box 9, folder 17, was transferred to the Barr Papers as a duplicate from the Goodman Theatre Archive in October 1988.
Custodial History: After Rev. Barr’s death in 1943, his papers eventually passed into the possession of his daughter Marjorie. Upon her death in 1986, the papers came into ownership of her niece and executrix, Priscilla Whippo of Palatine, Illinois.
Conditions Governing Access: Materials are open without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use: Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.
Preferred Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Norman B. Barr Papers [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library.
Finding Aid Author: Original author unknown. Processed August 1988. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Johanna Russ, 2021.


Norman B. Barr was minister of the Olivet Presbyterian Church in Chicago which undertook local missionary work, eventually operating a settlement house, library, medical dispensary, camp, supervised playground facilities, language classes, and even music lessons. The collection documents the tandem career of Barr and the fortunes of Olivet Institute.


Norman Burton Barr was born in Mount Palatine, IL, on January 27, 1868, the son of Lawrence Clay and Harriet Amanda (Ferry) Barr. He attended local public schools and was awarded a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska in 1893. He then enrolled at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary (now McCormick) in Chicago, from which he graduated in 1897. That same year he was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church, and on May 20 began his duties as pastor of the Olivet Presbyterian Church, then at 665 Vedder Street on Chicago’s near north side.

Under Barr’s forty-year pastorate, Olivet Church undertook mammoth local missionary work, eventually operating a settlement house, library, medical dispensary, camp, supervised playground facilities, language classes and even music lessons. See below, "Olivet Institute," for a more complete sketch of that work. Barr is best described as a pastor of the "social gospel" stripe, and yet theologically his preaching emphasized the church’s responsibility to spiritual salvation as well as to physical need. Barr categorized himself as a "first-century fundamentalist." Politically he referred to himself as "a member of no party, but active in propagating the ideas of ‘The Kingdom of God’ set forth by Jesus Christ."

Norman Barr’s beliefs, and his habit of stating them clearly and concisely, frequently raised the ire of his listeners. Two such episodes are recorded in newspaper clippings in this collection: an anti-Catholic speech in 1917, which was seen as fanning the fires of domestic strife when all America needed to unite in common anti-German sentiment, and a 1920s address to the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union which found greater evil in American clubs trying to "run" America by abrogating freedom of dissent than in the liquor traffic. The newspaper reported, respecting this latter speech, that the "ladies of the audience were gasping. The clergymen glowered at the speaker. But he went on."

Barr authored several pamphlets, including "A Catechism of the Church" (1912), "Plain Talk to Young Folk," and "The Gospel for an Age of Anarchy." Articles by him appeared in The Continent such as "Wanted—A New Respect for the Foreign Born" in 1921.

As the work of Olivet expanded, Barr became not only pastor of the congregation but Superintendent of Olivet Institute and its wide array of social programs. He retired in 1937 but remained active in the Olivet work in an emeritus capacity, performing his last marriage seven weeks before his death and conducting his last funeral only ten days before he died. Barr was twice married, first to Minnie Dearstyne Goodman of Lincoln, Nebraska, on December 20, 1894. To them were born five children: Dorothy (born 1896, later Mrs. Royal Agne and the mother of three daughters); Barbara (1898-1900) Norman B., Jr. (who married but remained childless); Marjorie (1907-1986, unmarried); and Edward Lawrence (born 1909, married with one daughter). Minnie Goodman Barr died April 14, 1909, in complications of childbirth. Her infant son, Edward, was reared by his grandparents and did not live with his father until a teenager.

In 1914, Norman Barr remarried to Sarah Holbrook Humphrey, who took charge of Olivet’s Relief Department. Rev. Barr died April 1, 1943, and was buried in Rosehill Cemetery. Sarah Burr died June 15, 1957, and was buried beside him.

Olivet Institute

The origin of Olivet Institute was as a Sunday School Mission established in 1888 by students at McCormick Theological Seminary. The neighborhood, on the near north side, was comprised of a heavily immigrant population (originally German, Irish and Swedish, but after 1900 increasingly Italian, Hungarian and Romanian). Two years after its founding Olivet was organized as a congregation of the Presbyterian Church and in 1892 united with another local mission work operated by Central Presbyterian Church. In 1893 the ministry was enlarged as the Olivet Social Institute and the following year moved to 665 Vedder Street, the property a gift of the Misses Williams of Fourth Presbyterian Church.

Under the pastorate of Rev. Norman Barr, installed in 1897, the work mushroomed. The Olivet Institute Residence opened in 1902, establishing Olivet as one of the earlier settlement houses in the city (the famed Hull House on South Halsted was then in its fourteenth year). When Olivet incorporated as a non-profit institution under Illinois law in 1909, its declaration of purpose included operation of a gymnasium, athletic fields and playgrounds, together with all departments, parts and apparatus pertaining thereto; to furnish instructions in cooking, sewing, and all other branches of domestic science or training, in music in all its branches, and instruction in the arts and sciences in general, and provide facilities for any educational instruction, training or purpose whatever for the dissemination and diffusion of general or specific knowledge or information; a hospital and medical dispensary to furnish medical and surgical services and attendance; to conduct religious services, Sunday school classes and services, and religious or social functions and entertainments of various kinds; an old people’s home; living quarters for people connected with or employed by said Olivet Institute and general offices for said Olivet Institute; a restaurant or eating house; camping and recreation grounds. . .a general relief department to help needy and distressed persons; and any organizations, departments or activities suitable and proper to minister to the physical, social, mental, moral and spiritual needs of the community in which said Olivet Institute is now or shall be located in Chicago, Illinois. . . .

In 1914, philanthropist Nettie Fowler McCormick, widow of Cyrus, donated $140,000 for the purchase of a new 25-lot site, a mile and a half north-east of the original one, in the 1400 block of North Cleveland Avenue. In 1917, Mrs. McCormick followed up this gift with an additional $100,000 earmarked for costs of erecting a new structure. The prohibitive prices which plagued the domestic front in World-War-I America intervened, and it was a decade before the building project reached fruition. The resultant physical plant, begun in 1925 and dedicated the following year, cost $425,000.

By the time of incorporation, Olivet had outgrown its original governmental status under the home mission committee of the Chicago Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church. Other religious and secular social-service support was sought and with incorporation in 1909, the Institute became controlled by an independent board of directors, although it maintained cordial and financial ties with Presbytery for the next half-century. In 1912, Olivet joined a group of Chicago social agencies undertaking financial planning in tandem.

Property was acquired in 1909 at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, which served as a summer campground for neighborhood children as well as for wealthier, paying guests. Olivet’s statistic sheet for 1924 recorded 201,000 "transactions" including 8,000 garments given out, 1,600 counseling sessions, 5,000 visits to the medical dispensary, 53,000 classes, and 21,000 music lessons. The Depression reduced the annual budget by over half; not until the late 1950s did the budget equal that of thirty years earlier. By 1961—the last information available in the collection—Olivet had altered its name to the Olivet Community Center. Its clientele had again changed with a shifting population and Puerto Ricans, Blacks, and Southern Whites made up the neighborhood. In 1960 two auxiliary service centers—Northside and North Suburban—were opened. One-third of the budget came from the Community Fund. Religious instruction and spiritual guidance had ceased to be part of Olivet’s program. Today (1988) Olivet still operates out of the 1926 building at 1441 North Cleveland, putting its emphasis on adult education, a day-care center, and a legal aid department.

Scope and Contents

These materials document the tandem career of Barr and of Olivet Institute. There is no clear-cut delineation in the collection between Barr’s private life and his work with Olivet, and this is doubtless reflective of how Barr lived his life. Photographs reflect the topics and series of the documents and should be consulted as well.

The collection was supplemented in 1988 by the transfer of a duplicate theater program from the Goodman Theatre Archive. The program is for When Chicago Was Young, produced in November 1932 at the Goodman Theatre. This production was a benefit for Olivet Institute, which received ten percent of the proceeds. The twenty-page program includes a history of the Institute and various advertisements in support of Olivet. It documents an interesting cooperation between church and theatre in an era when many churches held the professional stage in contempt.


This collection is arranged in six series:

  • Series 1: Correspondence, 1902-1944
  • Series 2: Writings, 1896-1943
  • Series 3: Olivet Institute, 1913-1965
  • Series 4: Statistical Records, 1896-1943
  • Series 5: Biographical Files, 1897-1987
  • Series 6: Photographs, 1907-1938


  • Barr, Norman B. (Norman Burton), 1868-1943
  • Olivet Institute (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Social settlements — Illinois — Chicago
  • Near North (Chicago, Ill.)

Related Materials

Collection Inventory

Series 1: Correspondence, 1902-1944

Scope and Contents

The correspondence largely concerns matters such as fund-raising, Olivet success stories, Olivet relations with its neighborhood and general business. Correspondence with certain famed individuals is here in photocopy, the originals having been retained by the donor: Jane Addams (Nov. 1931), William Jennings Bryan (January 2, 1920), Westbrook Pegler (October 8, 1936), and Franklin D. Roosevelt (September 24, 1935). Other correspondence of note includes that from a prison inmate describing prison life (June 7, 1908), and a man threatening suicide in the face of financial ruin (August 25, 1935). Three folders of correspondence have been separated topically to highlight the subject matter and better serve access to the material. These are correspondence with the McCormick family (1:9), re Palestine (1:10), and re the Roman Catholic Church’s relations to the Spanish government at the time Franco was coming into power (1:11).


The bulk of the correspondence is filed chronologically: 1924-1925, 1935-1937.

Box 1 Folder 1 Correspondence 1902-1919
Box 1 Folder 2 Correspondence 1920-1921
Box 1 Folder 3 Correspondence 1922
Box 1 Folder 4 Correspondence 1924-1925
Box 1 Folder 5 Correspondence 1927-1934
Box 1 Folder 6 Correspondence 1935-1936
Box 1 Folder 7 Correspondence 1937-1944
Box 1 Folder 8 Correspondence undated
Box 1 Folder 9 McCormick family 1904-1937
Box 1 Folder 10 Palestine 1937
Box 1 Folder 11 Roman Catholic Church & Spanish Government 1937

Series 2: Writings, 1896-1943

Scope and Contents

The bulk of this lengthy series is concerned with three complete manuscripts of never-published books: All Things New, Autobiography, and The Government of God. All Things New occupies twelve folders and includes Barr’s original text and a carbon of a 1943 typescript prepared by a professional secretary after Barr’s death. This work examines seventy-two areas of Christian theology in more-or-less independent essays, and is perhaps the fullest statement of Barr’s personal theological stance.

The articles, sermons and speeches are rich resources in not only Barr’s opinions but in the social ferment of the era in both domestic and international affairs. The folders on other authors is a potpourri of quotes—often lengthy—and notes typed by Barr from books and articles, probably as background material for his own writings and quotes for sermons and speeches. Included also are full-text copies of articles which appear to have been typed by Barr from unknown sources.


Organized roughly alphabetically by title (All Things New, Autobiography, The Government of God) or format (articles, authors [works by other], prayers, sermons, speeches). The chapters of All Things New are arranged in the order in which they were received, although it is unclear whether this is the order Barr intended.

Box 1 Folder 12 All Things New (manuscript), 1 of 12 [1943]
Box 1 Folder 13 All Things New (manuscript), 2 of 12 [1943]
Box 1 Folder 14 All Things New (manuscript), 3 of 12 [1943]
Box 2 Folder 1 All Things New (manuscript), 4 of 12 [1943]
Box 2 Folder 2 All Things New (manuscript), 5 of 12 [1943]
Box 2 Folder 3 All Things New (manuscript), 6 of 12 [1943]
Box 2 Folder 4 All Things New (manuscript), 7 of 12 [1943]
Box 2 Folder 5 All Things New (manuscript), 8 of 12 [1943]
Box 2 Folder 6 All Things New (manuscript), 9 of 12 [1943]
Box 3 Folder 1 All Things New (manuscript), 10 of 12 [1943]
Box 3 Folder 2 All Things New (manuscript), 11of 12 [1943]
Box 3 Folder 3 All Things New (manuscript), 12 of 12 [1943]
Box 3 Folder 4 Articles, "As One Person Sees our National Crisis" 1937
Box 3 Folder 5 Articles, "Be Not Anxious for your Life" undated
Box 3 Folder 6 Articles, "The Changing Church in a Changing World" 1927
Box 3 Folder 7 Articles, "The Church in Civic Affairs" [3 copies] 1932
Box 3 Folder 8 Articles, "Community Conditions Better Now than in the Days of Open Saloons" undated
Box 3 Folder 9 Articles, "Crime and Causes" undated
Box 3 Folder 10 Articles, "The Destiny of Democracy" 1929
Box 3 Folder 11 Articles, "Dr. W.S. Plummer Bryan" [2 copies] 1936
Box 3 Folder 12 Articles, "The Evangelism of Jesus" [2 copies] undated
Box 3 Folder 13 Articles, "Had He Been Born Dumb" undated
Box 3 Folder 14 Articles, "He Got a Job" & "Two Conferences with an Unemployed Man" undated
Box 3 Folder 15 Articles, "Incidents from the Life of Mrs. McCormick" [1930]
Box 3 Folder 16 Articles, "The Lengthened Shadow of a Man" undated
Box 3 Folder 17 Articles, "Medical Service through Community Center" undated
Box 3 Folder 18 Articles, "A New Respect for the Foreign Born" 1921
Box 3 Folder 19 Articles, "Norman B. Barr, President of ‘Little Hell’" by John T. Faris 1937
Box 3 Folder 20 Articles, "The Prospect for Protestantism" 1934
Box 3 Folder 21 Articles, "Should Modern Apostles Discard the Ancient Creed?" 1932
Box 3 Folder 22 Articles, "Thankful for Little; but Thankful Much" 1924
Box 3 Folder 23 Articles, "What a Community Service Church is Doing These Days" undated
Box 3 Folder 24 Articles, "What Should … Religious Education Include?" 1933
Box 3 Folder 25 Articles, "When a Church is Ready to Serve" undated
Box 3 Folder 26 Autobiography, pp. 1-50 undated
Box 3 Folder 27 Autobiography, pp. 51-100 undated
Box 4 Folder 1 Autobiography, pp. 101-150 undated
Box 4 Folder 2 Autobiography, pp. 151-200 undated
Box 4 Folder 3 Autobiography, pp. 201-250 undated
Box 4 Folder 4 Autobiography, pp. 251-300 undated
Box 4 Folder 5 Autobiography, pp. 301-350 undated
Box 4 Folder 6 Autobiography, pp. 351-400 undated
Box 4 Folder 7 Autobiography, pp. 401-450 undated
Box 4 Folder 8 Autobiography, pp. 451-498 undated
Box 4 Folder 9 A Catechism of the Church, 3d edition 1918
Box 4 Folder 10 The Government of God (manuscript), 1 of 4 undated
Box 4 Folder 11 The Government of God (manuscript), 2 of 4 undated
Box 4 Folder 12 The Government of God (manuscript), 3 of 4 undated
Box 5 Folder 1 The Government of God (manuscript), 4 of 4 undated
Box 5 Folder 2 "Kingdom of God" references in the New Testament undated
Box 5 Folder 3 Notes on "Government" undated
Box 5 Folder 4 Works by Other Authors: 1 of 6 undated
Box 5 Folder 5 Works by Other Authors: 2 of 6 undated
Box 5 Folder 6 Works by Other Authors: 3 of 6 undated
Box 5 Folder 7 Works by Other Authors: 4 of 6 undated
Box 6 Folder 1 Works by Other Authors: 5 of 6 undated
Box 6 Folder 2 Works by Other Authors: 6 of 6 undated
Box 6 Folder 3 Poetry (by Barr) undated
Box 6 Folder 4 Prayers—Cornerstone laying, Presbyterian Home, 1921
Box 6 Folder 5 Prayers—Invocation at Church of the Covenant, 1901
Box 6 Folder 6 Roman Catholic Church—Notes on undated
Box 6 Folder 7 Sermons 1896-1898
Box 6 Folder 8 Sermons 1900-1901
Box 6 Folder 9 Sermons (for Gipsy Smith revival meeting) 1909
Box 6 Folder 10 Sermons 1920-1921
Box 6 Folder 11 Sermons 1922
Box 6 Folder 12 Sermons 1923-1925
Box 6 Folder 13 Sermons 1926-1929
Box 6 Folder 14 Sermons 1930-1934
Box 7 Folder 1 Sermons 1935-1939
Box 7 Folder 2 Sermons 1940
Box 7 Folder 3 Sermons 1941
Box 7 Folder 4 Sermons 1942
Box 7 Folder 5 Speeches, American Politicians" 1893
Box 7 Folder 6 Speeches, "Aspects of Abortion" 1912
Box 7 Folder 7 Speeches, "The Capitalistic Way out of our Economic Debacle" [2 copies] 1936
Box 7 Folder 8 Speeches, "Changes I have Seen in our Camp" 1940
Box 7 Folder 9 Speeches, "The Child and the Church" (radio) 1935
Box 7 Folder 10 Speeches, "The Christmas Tree" 1925
Box 7 Folder 11 Speeches, "A Church in the Slums of Chicago" [1920]
Box 7 Folder 12 Speeches, "The Gospel of Sin" 1941
Box 7 Folder 13 Speeches, "The Greatest in the Government of God" undated
Box 7 Folder 14 Speeches, "A Guess about God" 1917
Box 7 Folder 15 Speeches, "The Home and its Relationship to Life" (radio) 1935
Box 7 Folder 16 Speeches, "In What Sort of World do we Live?" (radio) 1936
Box 7 Folder 17 Speeches, "Lincoln Birth Day Address" 1928
Box 7 Folder 18 Speeches, Miscellaneous outlines undated
Box 7 Folder 19 Speeches, "A Morning at Olivet Institute" (radio script) undated
Box 7 Folder 20 Speeches, "The New Deal in International Affairs" 1937
Box 7 Folder 21 Speeches, "Oxford & Edinburgh—Summer, 1937" 1937
Box 7 Folder 22 Speeches, "Peace Paths vs. War Paths" 1934
Box 7 Folder 23 Speeches, "The Politico-Social Ministry of Olivet Institute" (radio) 1935
Box 7 Folder 24 Speeches, "The Pope’s Toe" 1936
Box 7 Folder 25 Speeches, "Remarks on Chicago Housing" (notes only) undated
Box 7 Folder 26 Speeches, "The Responsibility of the Pulpit for Public Opinion" undated
Box 7 Folder 27 Speeches, "Sharing God’s Out-of-Doors" undated
Box 7 Folder 28 Speeches, "The Signs of the Times" 1942
Box 7 Folder 29 Speeches, "Social Movements of 1914—Influence on Church" undated
Box 7 Folder 30 Speeches, "Stopping Crime at its Source" 1929
Box 7 Folder 31 Speeches, "The Trend of Industry" undated
Box 7 Folder 32 Speeches, "A United Protestantism" 1937
Box 7 Folder 33 Speeches, "Whither from Whence?" 1932
Box 7 Folder 34 Speeches, "The Word of the Kingdom" undated

Series 3: Olivet Institute, 1913-1965

Scope and Contents

The story of Olivet Institute, while the topic of many folders throughout the entire collection, is particularly documented in this series. Included here are publications and a sampling of the paperwork by which any organization operates. This collection does not contain the archives of Olivet Institute, but only those records which presumably passed into Rev. Barr’s personal office files. Of special note is a copy (8:10) of the sheet music for "Oh, Olivet, Dear Olivet." Words by Norman Barr and music by Ernest F. Jones, published by the Institute in 1910. The work of Olivet is further documented in over 100 photographs. See Photograph listing at the end of the Collection Inventory.

One file in this series, correspondence with the Chicago Presbytery (8:1), is not technically a part of the Barr Papers. It contains photocopies of original material in the Presbytery’s possession which concerns the relationship of Presbytery to Olivet. This file extends almost two decades beyond any other records in the collection.


The files are arranged alphabetically by format or title.

Box 7 Folder 35 Anniversary booklet (25th) 1913
Box 7 Folder 36 Anniversary celebrations 1930-1963
Box 7 Folder 37 Biographical sketches 1936, undated
Box 7 Folder 38 Branch Library undated
Box 7 Folder 39 Brochures 1919-1926, undated
Box 7 Folder 40 Camp—Funding bonds 1938-1941
Box 7 Folder 41 Camp/Norman B. Barr Camp—Misc., (photocopies) 1926-1965
Oversize Folder 3   The Case for Olivet--brochure 1928
Box 7 Folder 43 Color postcard circa 1927
Box 7 Folder 44 Cornerstone laying 1925
Box 8 Folder 1 Correspondence—Presbytery of Chicago (photocopies) 1926-1961
Box 8 Folder 2 Dedications 1926, 1930
Box 8 Folder 3 Directory 1941
Box 8 Folder 4 Emily Yale Schools—Brochures 1907, undated
Box 8 Folder 5 Finance and statistics 1920-1929
Box 9 Folder 17 Goodman Theatre—When Chicago Was Young (Olivet Institute Benefit) 1932
Box 8 Folder 6 Handbook [2 copies] 1929
Box 8 Folder 7 The Items (odd issues) 1910-1941
Box 8 Folder 8 "Little Hell": Report of Investigation 1932
Box 8 Folder 9 Miscellaneous 1932-1936, undated
Box 8 Folder 10 Music 1910
Box 8 Folder 11 Photos (cut from 25th anniversary brochure) 1913
Box 9 Folder 18 Olivet Institute Church—article in Chicago Community Bulletin 1940 October
Box 8 Folder 12 Prospectus of Memorial Rooms and Windows 1926
Box 8 Folder 13 Radio advertisement scripts 1936
Box 8 Folder 14 Studies by Institute of Social and Religious Research 1926, undated

Series 4: Statistical Records, 1896-1943

Scope and Contents

The Barr Collection includes two sets of statistical material. The volumes of baptism, marriage, and funeral lists provide excellent demographic resources, containing a complete record of the several thousand of these ceremonies and services conducted by Rev. Barr over nearly half a century. Age, and often cause of death, make the funeral records particularly useful. The lists of Barr’s sermons preached (9:1, 9:2) show a varied preaching schedule in many other pulpits as well as that of Olivet Presbyterian Church.


The folders are arranged alphabetically by title, and chronologically within.

Box 8 Folder 15 Baptisms, marriages, funerals 1897-1934
Box 8 Folder 16 Baptisms, marriages, funerals 1931-1943
Box 8 Folder 17 Baptisms, marriages, funerals, loose sheets 1906-1942
Box 9 Folder 1 Sermon lists—loose sheets 1917, undated
Box 9 Folder 2 Sermon log 1896-1937

Series 5: Biographical Files, 1897-1987

Scope and Contents

In general, these records document highlights in Barr’s personal and professional life. The newspaper clippings are a particularly rich resource for details about Barr’s notice from the world and its reaction to him. Also included is a photograph album, the contents of which are listed with the Photograph listing at the end of the Collection Inventory.

This photo album in Box 9, Folder 16 contains many duplicates of the loose photos filed separately and listed below. Where possible, duplicate number is noted. The album is unpaginated, and the page numbers given below are supplied.


Files are arranged alphabetically by title or format.

Box 9 Folder 3 Awards and appreciations 1917-1940
Oversize Folder 4   Article about Barr on page of Chicago Sunday Tribune 1929 December 1
Box 9 Folder 4 Biographical sketches undated
Box 9 Folder 5 Birthday celebration—Letter from Rev. Wiegand 1937
Oversize Folder 1   Board of National Missions, Presbyterian Church U. S. A.—Certificate to Norman B. Barr 1936 April 24
Box 9 Folder 6 Christian Voters Conference 1936
Box 9 Folder 7 Commission on World Friendship undated
Box 9 Folder 8 The Community News (photocopy) 1917 March 1
Box 9 Folder 9 Debate with David Tullman, "Has Man an Immortal Soul?" 1934
Box 9 Folder 10 Funeral service [1943]
Oversize Folder 2   Guest book, "To Our Beloved Pastor and friend The Rev. Norman B. Barr of Olivet Church. . .on the occasion of his 69th birthday January 26th 1937" 1937
Box 9 Folder 11 Miscellaneous 1935, undated
Box 9 Folder 12 Newspaper clippings 1917-1937, undated
Oversize Folder 4   Newspaper sheet—Chicago Sunday Tribune 1929 December 1
Oversize Folder 5   "Papers and photos tell long tale of devotion," Palatine Countryside 1987 August 13
Box 9 Folder 13 Presbyterian Church—Barr’s relation to 1897-1916
Box 9 Folder 14 Retirement 1937
Box 9 Folder 15 Social Service in St. Louis 1936
Box 9 Folder 16 Photo album (See contents list below) circa 1900-1915
  Page 1 Olivet Athletic Association (see also p. 34 in 25th Anniversary booklet, Box 7, Folder 35) circa 1900-1915
  Page 2 Interior view of a study circa 1900-1915
  Page 3 Olivet Memorial Church building circa 1900-1915
  Page 4 Olivet House (see also photo #10) circa 1900-1915
  Page 5 Gymnasium, Olivet Institute circa 1900-1915
  Page 6 Showers circa 1900-1915
  Page 7 Unidentified child picking nose circa 1900-1915
  Page 8 Four unidentified children circa 1900-1915
  Page 9 Group of unidentified children, winter circa 1900-1915
  Page 10 Group of unidentified children circa 1900-1915
  Page 11 Playground circa 1900-1915
  Page 12 Brochure clipping, "The Map of Our District," mutilated circa 1900-1915
  Page 13 Unidentified group of children circa 1900-1915
  Page 14 Lumber yard/junk yard (see also photo #17) circa 1900-1915
  Page 15 View from study window (see also photo #2) circa 1900-1915
  Page 16 Children in Chicago street (see also photo #30) circa 1900-1915
  Page 17 Olivet shop class [?] (see also photo #20) circa 1900-1915
  Page 18 Tents at Olivet Camp circa 1900-1915
  Page 19 Swimming pier at lake, Olivet Camp circa 1900-1915
  Page 20 Group of children, posed on Olivet playground (see also photo #6) circa 1900-1915
  Page 21 Playground scene (p. 47 in anniversary booklet, Box 7, Folder 35) circa 1900-1915
  Page 22 Playground scene (different from above item) circa 1900-1915
  Page 23 Two photos: Street scene; Row of houses photographed from vacant lot circa 1900-1915
  Page 24 Two photos: Backyards of slums, photographed from upper window; Storefronts and houses photographed from vacant lot circa 1900-1915

Series 6: Photographs, 1907-1938

Scope and Contents

Photographs 1 to 55 are vintage circa 1910-1915. Photographs 56 to 73 are from the 1920s and 1930s. These all concern the work of Olivet Institute. Photographs 74 to 82 are Norman Barr’s personal life, and photos of his work with Olivet. Many descriptions cross-reference photos to the 25th Anniversary Booklet of Olivet found in Box 7, Folder 35. As most of the photos were unidentified, many identifications have been taken from the captions in this booklet.


Photographs are arranged roughly chronologically.

Box 10 Photograph 1 The Annex (p. 85 in anniversary booklet) Before 1913
Box 10 Photograph 2 View from Study Window (p. 25 in anniversary booklet) Before 1913
Box 10 Photograph 3 Larrabee Street Mission (p. 31 in anniversary booklet) Before 1913
Box 10 Photograph 4 Holmes Hall, or Central Church Mission (p. 40 in anniversary booklet) Before 1913
Box 10 Photograph 5 Triangle Hotel, or Olivet Social Institute (p.43 in anniversary booklet) Before 1913
Box 10 Photograph 6 Olivet playground (see also p. 47 in anniversary booklet) Before 1913
Box 10 Photograph 7 Summer Street Meeting (p. 48 in anniversary booklet) Before 1913
Box 10 Photograph 8 Peter Hand Fine Beers; Hall for Rent [photo of building] undated
Box 10 Photograph 9 Unidentified Church building undated
Box 10 Photograph 10 Olivet House—Main Building (see also p. 62 in anniversary booklet) Before 1913
Box 10 Photograph 11 For Governor, John E. W. Wayman, HQ 1414 Clybourn Ave. undated
Box 10 Photograph 12 Monarch Ventilating Company undated
Box 10 Photograph 13 Eli Bates House undated
Box 10 Photograph 14 Unidentified park undated
Box 10 Photograph 15 Phillip Rinn Company Millworks undated
Box 10 Photograph 16 Unidentified building undated
Box 10 Photograph 17 Lumberyard/trash heap undated
Box 10 Photograph 18 Unidentified group of adults with American flags undated
Box 10 Photograph 19 Unidentified group of adults with garden produce undated
Box 10 Photograph 20 Olivet shop class (?) undated
Box 10 Photograph 21 Playground group undated
Box 10 Photograph 22 Olivet boys’ class undated
Box 10 Photograph 23 Interior shots at Olivet (?), 2 views undated
Box 10 Photograph 24 Children’s class (?) undated
Box 10 Photograph 25 Olivet baseball team (p. 57 in anniversary booklet) 1907
Box 10 Photograph 26 Olivet baseball teams, 5 views undated
Box 10 Photograph 27 Unidentified woman and child undated
Box 10 Photograph 28 Unidentified child undated
Box 10 Photograph 29 Unidentified group of children undated
Box 10 Photograph 30 Unidentified group of children and Chicago street (2 copies) undated
Box 10 Photograph 31 Four men, unidentified undated
Box 10 Photograph 32 Congregation at 20th anniversary (p. 81 in anniversary booklet) 1910
Box 10 Photograph 33 Dressmaking class (p. 93 in anniversary booklet) Schoolchildrens’ morning devotions (p. 94) These two pasted back-to –back Before 1913
Box 10 Photograph 34 Thanksgiving baskets (p. 92 in anniversary booklet) Before 1913
Box 10 Photograph 35 Noon-hour factory meeting (p. 91 in anniversary booklet) Before 1913
Box 10 Photograph 36 Confirmation class (p. 73 in anniversary booklet) The story hour (p. 19) These two pasted back-to-back Before 1913
Box 10 Photograph 37 Women’s Missionary Society (p. 60 in anniversary booklet) Before 1913
Box 10 Photograph 38 Neighborhood House Meeting (p. 59 in anniversary booklet) Before 1913
Box 10 Photograph 39 Phi Alpha Pi Fraternity (p. 56 in anniversary booklet) Before 1913
Box 10 Photograph 40 Olivet House table (Barr at far left, p. 90 in anniversary booklet) Before 1913
Box 11 Photograph 41 Knitting class undated
Box 11 Photograph 42 Unidentified adult groups, 4 different photos undated
Box 11 Photograph 43 Unidentified children groups in Olivet sanctuary, 2 different photos undated
Box 11 Photograph 44 Cooking class undated
Box 11 Photograph 45 Neighborhood of Olivet Institute (?) undated
Box 11 Photograph 46 Photos of Olivet publicity/instructional posters:
  1. "Churches"
  2. "Where Are the Young Men?"
  3. "Churches and Theatres"
  4. "Day Schools and Sunday Schools"
  5. "The Church and the Saloon"
  6. "Education"
  7. "Neighborhood map”
Box 11 Photograph 47 Chicago street scene: boys fighting, theatre marquee advertising "Ten Nights in a Barroom"’ undated
Box 12 Photograph 48 Lieberman Family Liquor Store, and an Unidentified boys group (pasted on same sheet) undated
Box 11 Photograph 49 Olivet Residents’ Party, 5 snapshots on one sheet 1914
Box 11 Photograph 50 Rev. and Mrs. Barr; Residents; Camp; Sunday School Parade (Rev. & Mrs. Barr). Pasted on same sheet 1914
Box 12 Photograph 51 Olivet Medical Association Dispensary (p. 45 in anniversary booklet) Before 1913
Box 12 Photograph 52 Olivet Camp—Lake Geneva undated
Box 11 Photograph 53 Unidentified group of children and adult women undated
Box 11 Photograph 54 Shore Path through Olivet Camp (postcard) undated
Box 11 Photograph 55 Olivet Camp—Lake Geneva (5 different views) undated
Box 11 Photograph 56 Olivet Camp—Lake Geneva 1925
Box 11 Photograph 57 Olivet Camp—Lake Geneva 1928
Box 11 Photograph 58 Olivet Camp—Lake Geneva 1934
Box 11 Photograph 59 Olivet Camp—Lake Geneva (4 different views) undated
Box 11 Photograph 60 Unidentified groups of children (4 different photos) undated
Box 11 Photograph 61 Vedder Street classes (2 different photos) 1925
Box 11 Photograph 62 Olivet Institute (frontispiece from "The Case for Olivet," Oversize Folder 3) 1928
Box 11 Photograph 63 Olivet Day Care children (p. [8] from "The Case for Olivet," Oversize Folder 3) 1928
Box 11 Photograph 64 Branch Public Library at Olivet (p. [10] from "The Case for Olivet," Oversize Folder 3) 1928
Box 11 Photograph 65 Violin lessons at Olivet (p. [16] in "The Case for Olivet," Oversize Folder 3) 1928
Box 11 Photograph 66 Afternoon art class (p. [24] in "The Case for Olivet," Oversize Folder 3) 1928
Box 11 Photograph 67 The Doll Club, or supervised play group (p. [26] in "The Case for Olivet," Oversize Folder 3) 1928
Box 11 Photograph 68 Woman’s Bible Class 1936
Box 11 Photograph 69 Confirmation class (2 copies) circa 1923
Box 11 Photograph 70 Confirmation class circa 1927
Box 11 Photograph 71 Confirmation class circa 1930
Box 11 Photograph 72 Norman Barr with four children (2 poses) undated
Box 11 Photograph 73 Sanctuary of Olivet Church 1927
Box 11 Photograph 74 Laughlin family home, Palatine, IL (2 copies) 1933
Box 11 Photograph 75 Laughlin family home, Palatine, IL (2 copies) 1933
Box 11 Photograph 76 Norman Barr boyhood home, Palatine, IL (2 copies) 1933
Box 11 Photograph 77 Norman Barr boyhood school, Palatine, IL (2copies) 1933
Box 11 Photograph 78 Grandfather Barr’s barn, Palatine, IL (2 copies) 1933
Box 11 Photograph 79 Norman and Sarah Holbrook Humphrey Barry circa 1938
Box 11 Photograph 80 Robert D. Scott (born 1846) 1933
Box 11 Photograph 81 Walter H. Moore, signed photograph circa 1926
Box 11 Photograph 82 Norman Burton Barr undated
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