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Leon E. Aylsworth, Political Science Papers

Title: Leon E. Aylsworth, Political Science Papers

Collector: Aylsworth, Leon E. (Leon Emmons), b. 1869

Dates: 1899-1940

Quantity: 5 boxes (2.5 linear ft.)

Collection Number: RG 12-19-10

Language: English, French

Restrictions: Selected student assignments in Box 5 are restricted.

Access and Use: For information on access or copyright, please see our guidelines or email archives@unl.edu.

Historical Records Statement: Please see our statement on historical records and materials.

Preferred Citation: Leon E. Aylsworth, Political Science Papers (RG 12-19-10). Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries.

Alternative Format: None


Leon E. Aylsworth served as professor of political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He received his bachelors degree at the University of Nebraska in 1900 and a masters degree at the University of Wisconsin in 1908. Aylsworth became an instructor of American history at the University of Nebraska in 1904 and in 1906 was one of the founding faculty members of the University of Nebraska's department of political science. Aylsworth assisted in drafting several laws considered in the Nebraska legislature and in creating municipal laws in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska. He contributed several articles to American Political Review and to The National Municipal Review. Aylsworth was a member of the American Political Science Association, National Municipal League, Nebraska State Historical Society, American Association of University Professors, Phi Beta Kappa, the American Historical Association, Social Service, and Open Forum.

Scope and Content:

The collection includes documents relating to Aylsworth's teaching career and to his research on state and city legislations and congressional redistricting. His teaching materials include lecture notes, test questions, and lantern slides used in the classroom. There are some materials that were produced by students and these items are restricted. The final series of materials are photographs.


Aylsworth, Leon E. (Leon Emmons), b. 1869

Apportionment (Election law)

Constitutional conventions



Series Description: Series 1: Research Materials and Publications, Box 1-Box 2

The first series includes materials related to redistricting, 1931; the Constitutional Convention, 1933; primary elections, 1909-1910; Nebraska government, 1914-1934; and governors' addresses, 1905-1907 and 1935.

Included are materials related to Aylsworth's study of legislative and congressional redistricting in states following the 1930 census. Aylsworth wrote to states asking whether they had created new congressional districts and/or new districts for state legislators. He requested copies of any such bills. He also wanted to know whether states had passed laws for removing the names of candidates for presidential electors from ballots in presidential election years. Included are correspondence and copies of legislation in response to Aylsworth's requests. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by state. In addition, there are court cases from Minnesota and Illinois related to the passage of redistricting legislation. These cases and the related legislation are housed in separate folders.

Material related to the 1933 Constitutional Convention consists primarily of correspondence Aylsworth received from states providing information about the vote on the 21st Amendment. Aylsworth was interested in states' procedures for electing delegates, the format of state ballots for delegates, and estimated costs for the special election. Among the materials are sample ballots, state laws regarding the special election, voting counts, and a few cost estimates. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by state. Miscellaneous constitutional convention materials include a report on enforcement of the 18th Amendment and a portion of the United States' congressional record from December 7, 1932, discussing the use of constitutional conventions.

This series also contains reports from studies of primary elections conducted in Connecticut and New York, 1909-1910. The reports examine the use of direct primaries in various states, including information on how the primaries operate, their results, and their efficiency.

Items related to Nebraska government, 1914-1934, consist of published materials regarding amendments to the state's constitution and the passage of legislation. Among the topics covered are the use of a state constitutional convention for amending the state constitution, the adoption of a unicameral, and referendums on picketing, primary election laws, and banking charters. Also included is a published version of William Jennings Bryan's speech "A People's Constitution," which was presented before the 1920 Nebraska constitutional convention. These materials are arranged chronologically.

Governors' addresses, 1905-1907 and 1935, consist of the published speeches of governors from various states. The speeches are arranged in alphabetical order by state, and most are from 1935. They contain information on topics such as economic conditions, government policies and programs, taxation, spending, and social problems.

Articles written by Aylsworth consist of reprints and original manuscripts from 1908-1938. The majority are reprints from the American Political Science Review, 1908-1912. Among the topics discussed in the articles are: primary elections, presidential ballots, campaign literature, corrupt practices, and Nebraska's unicameral. The original manuscripts and reprints have been kept together to facilitate comparison of drafts and published articles.

Series 2: Teaching Materials, Box 3-4

This series includes lecture notes, test questions, newspaper clippings, and lantern slides.

The lecture notes consist of collections of notes, arranged primarily by topic. Many of the notes are bound together, while a few consist of loose notes on a particular subject. When a clear sequence of loose notes was obvious, the notes were arranged accordingly. Otherwise, loose notes were kept in their original order. The lecture notes are arranged in chronological order, with undated groups of notes preceding those with known dates.

Materials housed as "test questions" consist primarily of tests and quizzes, but also include a limited number of instructions for class assignments. Because the majority of lecture notes were classified by topic rather than a specific class, it was not possible to group tests with corresponding lecture notes. The questions are grouped by associated class and ordered chronologically.

With the newspaper clippings it is possible, although not certain, that the clippings were used in conjunction with lectures to apply class topics to current events. The date is noted on the clippings, but the newspaper is not noted. The articles date from 1906-1917. Among the topics covered in the clippings are political figures, civil servants, European governments, legislation, and the income tax.

Series 3: Photographs and Lantern Slides, Box 4-Box 5

Photographs consists of multiple copies of a portrait of Leon E. Aylsworth taken in 1930. There are approximately 52 lantern slides, which were probably used as a supplement to Aylsworth's lectures. The images include: public buildings in the United States and Europe; American and European political figures; political events; and the conditions, problems, layout, and design solutions for urban areas.

Container List: Series 1: Research Materials and PublicationsBox 1. Folder 1. Redistricting, Arizona-Louisiana, 1931 Box 1. Folder 2. Redistricting, Maine-Ohio, 1931 Box 1. Folder 3. Redistricting, Oklahoma-South Dakota, 1931 Box 1. Folder 4. Redistricting, Tennessee-Wyoming, 1931 Box 1. Folder 5. Legislation, Minnesota redistricting, Smiley v. Holm Box 1. Folder 6. Legislation, Illinois redistricting, Moran et al v. Bowley et al, 1931 Box 1. Folder 7. Constitutional convention, Alabama-Florida, 1933 Box 1. Folder 8. Constitutional convention, Idaho-Missouri, 1933 Box 2. Folder 1. Constitutional convention, New Hampshire-Pennsylvania, 1933 Box 2. Folder 2. Constitutional convention, Rhode Island-Wisconsin, 1933 Box 2. Folder 3. Constitutional convention, ballots, 1933 (please see oversize box 25) Box 2. Folder 4. Constitutional convention, related miscellany, 1933 Box 2. Folder 5. Primary elections, 1909-1910 Box 2. Folder 6. Nebraska government, 1914-1934 Box 2. Folder 7. Governor addresses, Illinois, Michigan, 1905-1907 Box 2. Folder 8. Governor addresses, Arkansas-Illinois, 1935 Box 2. Folder 9. Governor addresses, Indiana-Nebraska, 1935 Box 2. Folder 10. Governor addresses, Nevada-Rhode Island, 1935 Box 2. Folder 11. Governor addresses, South Dakota-Wyoming, 1935 Box 3. Folder 1. Manuscripts, reprints, 1908-1938, undated Series 2: Teaching MaterialsBox 3. Folder 2. Lecture notes, Political Science I Box 3. Folder 3. Lecture notes, Making of the Constitution Box 3. Folder 4. Lecture notes, Power of Congress in Territories Box 3. Folder 5. Lecture notes, Direct Primaries Box 3. Folder 6. Lecture notes, Nebraska History and Government Box 3. Folder 7. Lecture notes, Political Philosophy of Aristotle Box 3. Folder 8. Lecture notes, Political Philosophy of Madison Box 3. Folder 9. Lecture notes, Political Philosophy of Statesman of the Revolution, 1899 Box 3. Folder 10. Lecture notes, American History, 1899 Box 3. Folder 11. Lecture notes, Theory of the State, 1900 Box 3. Folder 12. Lecture notes, Jurisprudence, 1900 Box 4. Folder 1. Lecture notes, Seminar on Bad Government, 1908-1909 Box 4. Folder 2. Lecture notes, Seminar on Colonies and Colonization, 1908-1909, 1911 Box 4. Folder 3. Lecture notes, Intercollegiate Debate Seminar on Interstate Commerce, 1912 Box 5. Folder 4. Lecture notes, Political Science II, Comparative European Government, 1931-1932 Box 5. Folder 5. Test questions, American History and Politics, 1903-1906 Box 5. Folder 6. Test questions, Political Science and Sociology, 1906-1910 Box 5. Folder 7. Test questions, Political Science and Sociology, 1910-1920, 1930-1931 Box 5. Folder 8. Newspaper clippings, 1906-1917 Box 5. Folder 9. Assignments, outline maps RESTRICTED Box 5. Folder 10. Assignments, outline maps RESTRICTED Series 3: PhotographsBox 4. Folder 11. Portraits, Leon E. Aylsworth, 1930 Box 5. Lantern slides (52)

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