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Eliot Family Collection



Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description




Phonograph records

Oversized Materials

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Eliot Family Collection, 1837-1990 | WUA University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Eliot Family Collection, 1837-1990Add to your cart.

ID: WUA/04/wua00123

Primary Creator: Eliot family

Extent: 2.5 Linear Feet


This collection is arranged into four series.

Series 01 – Files

Series 02 – Scrapbook

Series 03 – Books

Series 04 – Phonograph records

Series 05 - Oversized Materials

Series 01, 03 and 04 are arranged alphabetically by name, either person or organization.  The arrangement scheme was imposed during processing in the absence of a usable original order.

Series 02 is arranged in the order in which the items were placed by the creator.

Date Acquired: 05/03/2010. More info below under Accruals.

Languages: English


This collection contains items by and about the family of William Greenleaf Eliot (1811-1887) and his ancestors, notably, T.S. Eliot.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Eliot family collection contains published sermons and talks by William Greenleaf Eliot (1811-1887); published books and articles about the Church of the Messiah and the Mission Free School; articles about William Greenleaf Eliot; correspondence between family members; photos, books, phonograph records, and newspaper clippings of articles written by or about Thomas Stearns Eliot (T.S. Eliot); programs of plays written by T.S. Eliot; articles regarding the history of Washington University (originally Eliot Seminary, then Washington Institute, and ultimately Washington University); and other materials.

Collection Historical Note

William Greenleaf Eliot (1811-1887), was born in Bedford, Massachusetts, attended Harvard Divinity School, and became a Unitarian minister before arriving in St. Louis in 1834.  That same year, he founded the Church of the Messiah in St. Louis at Locust and Garrison Streets. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (1980). In 1840, he and his congregation began a school for the poor and homeless called the Mission Free School.  In 1837, Eliot married Abby Adams Cranch.  Of their 14 children, only five lived to adulthood:  Thomas Lamb, Henry Ware, Christopher Rhodes, Edward Cranch, and Rose Greenleaf.  William Greenleaf Eliot, along with Wayman Crow (a merchant), co-founded Washington University (originally Eliot Seminary) in 1853.

T.S. Eliot (Thomas Stearns Eliot) (1888-1965), the youngest son of Henry Ware Eliot and Charlotte Stearns Eliot, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1927, Eliot became a British citizen.  He was a Nobel Prize-winning poet (Literature, 1948) and playwright.  Also in 1948, King George VI bestowed the Order of Merit upon him.  Eliot’s book, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats inspired Cats, one of the longest-running musicals in history.  T.S. Eliot died on January 4, 1965 (in London) at age 76.

Administrative Information

Repository: WUA University Archives

Accruals: There are no accruals.

Access Restrictions: Open

Use Restrictions:

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)

Acquisition Method: This material was donated to the University Archives.

Related Materials:

William Greenleaf Eliot Personal Papers

William Greenleaf Eliot, Jr. Papers

Letter from Wayman Crow to William Greenleaf Eliot speaking of the incorporation of Washington University, then named  "Eliot Seminary"

Scott, Henry Eliot. The family of William Greenleaf Eliot, 1811-1887, and Abby Adams Eliot, 1817-1908. 5th ed. Wasilla, Alaska: H.E. Scott, 1988.   Available in Olin Library.

Preferred Citation: [Item description]. From the [collection title, series, box, folder]. University Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.

Processing Information: Processed by Louise Cheli in July 2012.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 01: Files, 1837-1990; undated],
[Series 02: Scrapbook, 1879-1953; undated],
[Series 03: Books, 1931-1988; undated],
[Series 04: Phonograph records, 1949-1960; undated],
[Series 05: Oversized Materials],

Series 04: Phonograph records, 1949-1960; undatedAdd to your cart.
This series contains phonograph records of Thomas Stearns Eliot (T.S. Eliot) and others reading his works.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Item 1: Eliot, T.S. “Murder in the Cathedral with the Old Vic Company and Robert Donat production by Robert Helpmann”.  Angel Records, album 3505, 2 phonograph records, 1953.Add to your cart.
Item 2: Eliot, T.S. “T.S. Eliot reading Poems and Choruses”. Caedmon Records TC 1045, phonograph record, 1960.Add to your cart.
Item 3: Eliot, T.S. “T.S. Eliot reads Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”.  Spoken Arts, Inc., 758, phonograph record, undated.Add to your cart.
Box 5Add to your cart.
Item 1: Library of Congress Reference Department.  “Twentieth Century Poetry in English Contemporary Recordings of the Poets Reading Their Own Poems:  T.S. Eliot”, 5 phonograph records, 1949.Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 01: Files, 1837-1990; undated],
[Series 02: Scrapbook, 1879-1953; undated],
[Series 03: Books, 1931-1988; undated],
[Series 04: Phonograph records, 1949-1960; undated],
[Series 05: Oversized Materials],

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