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Elva Lyon's student papers collection

Identifier: 1973_023-UA

35 volumes of 15 groups of papers prepared in Freshman Composition classes taught by the editor Elva Lyon during 1937-1942. Editing took place from 1946-1952. They are divided into 24 series. The objective of the assignments was to record facts not recorded previously concerning historical Louisville with an emphasis on specific neighborhoods or institutions. Picture postcards, newspaper photographs and home-made snapshots of the localities are included in the books. Each has a map and each is carefully indexed.


  • 1937-1952


Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been assigned to the University of Louisville; please consult a reference archivist for more information.


6 linear feet (35 volumes)

Biographical / Historical

Elva Lyon (born 1894 in North Baltimore, Ohio; died 1966) came to University of Louisville in 1933 as director of composition and professor of English. In 1938, she started her students on the project of writing local history; students wrote one chapter a week over the course of a semester. She retired in 1946 and began the project of editing the 10,000 pages of papers by 477 freshman students into a history collection. She indexed and arranged all the material, making subject cards and cross-referencing them. The collection was completed and donated in 1952, with then-Mayor Charles P. Farnsley calling it a “major contribution to our city.”



Elva Lyon's student papers
Lauren Bickel
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752