Materials pertaining to Philander Chase (1775-1852), first Episcopal bishop of Illinois and founder of both Kenyon and Jubilee colleges. The heart of the collection is a group of 2,600 manuscript letters from and to the Bishop and his family. Also included are several hundred books, pamphlets, and images. Among these secondary materials are a first edition of Chase’s Reminiscences first published serially in Peoria in 1841; the 1835 Journal of the Primary Convention of the Diocese of Illinois, the earliest recorded Peoria imprint; the first (1839) published map of Peoria County; copies of the Motto, a magazine printed at Jubilee; and a series of pamphlets occasioned by the ecclesiastical trial, presided over by Chase, of the Bishop of New York.
The collection also documents the formation of the Citizens Committee, organized in 1971 to raise funds and lobby the state to restore the building. These efforts were ultimately successful and Jubilee College was opened in 1986 as a state historic site.