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Evelyn Steidtmann Collection - MS 350

Introduction | Biographical Sketch | Scope and Content | Series DescriptionInventory

Introduction

The Evelyn Steidtmann Collection is essentially a 1.5 cubic foot archives (1944-1994) documenting over fifty years of contract bridge playing in Bowling Green, Ohio. Known to many by the nickname "Mrs. Bridge", Evelyn Steidtmann was a tireless player and proponent of the game. Beginning in the early 1940's she taught bridge classes at the Bowling Green Women's Club. She then began teaching bridge at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). With her guidance the BGSU Campus Bridge Club (called the Campus Bridge Club in this collection) was formed in 1950 and remained active until 1984. The Bowling Green Bridge Club began in 1967 and continues to the present, as a result of Mrs. Steidtmann's involvement. Correspondence, class and membership rosters, programs, bridge instructional materials, newsclipping and photographs may be found in this collection. Also included are documents relating to Evelyn Steidtmann's participation in the BGSU World Student Association which she and her husband helped establish in 1949 to provide social activities and programs for foreign students visiting or attending BGSU.

The collection was donated to the Center for Archival Collections by Mrs. Steidtmann in the late 1980's. No restrictions have been placed on its use for research purposes. The finding aid was prepared by Eric Honneffer in March 2005.

Biographical Sketch

Evelyn Steidtmann was born November 24, 1901 near South Haven, Michigan. At the age of seventeen she was named as an assistant in Chemistry at Kalamazoo College and supervised a lab with thirty-two men in the Army Training Corps. She taught science not only at Kalamazoo College but also in Harrisburg, Illinois and Elkhart, Indiana. She was an assistant in the Botany Department at the University of Michigan where she received her master's degree and completed her course work for a Ph.D. in Botany.

Evelyn Steidtmann married fellow University of Michigan science graduate Waldo E. Steidtmann in 1930. The Steidtmann's moved to Bowling Green in 1936 for him to assume a professorship in the Biology Department at BGSU. He died in 1955.

In the early 1940's Evelyn Steidtmann offered bridge classes at the Bowling Green Women's Club. (She began playing bridge during her undergraduate studies at Kalamazoo College. While at the University of Michigan she taught bridge - six classes a week on campus and at her home - mostly to faculty and graduate student couples.)

Evelyn Steidtmann instructed BGSU faculty, staff and students in contact bridge for over fifty years. Under her direction, the Campus Bridge Club was active from 1950-1984. With her assistance the Bowling Green Bridge Club was established in 1967. Nationally known bridge player, Ely Culbertson, referred to her as 'one of my very best bridge teachers'.

In the mid-1940's she and Dr. Steidtmann helped establish the BGSU World Student Association which included gatherings at their home for international students. Mrs. Steidtmann was a charter member of Beta Phi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority. She was office manager of Founders Quadrangle from the mid-1950's-1972. Students were always a significant part of the Steidtmann's life. For many years they even rented two rooms in their home to male college students.

Evelyn Steidtmann died in Bowling Green on August 4, 2004 at the age of 102.

Scope and Content

The Evelyn Steidtmann Collection (1944-1994) documents one woman's passion for bridge and for making BGSU students, in particular foreign students, feel welcome in Bowling Green.

The bulk of this collection is devoted to bridge instruction at BGSU. Class rosters and Campus Bridge Club membership rosters predominate. A small amount of correspondence and Evelyn Steidtmann's own notes and reminiscences about instructing bridge at BGSU are very insightful. The Bowling Green Bridge Club Commemorative booklet from 1991 drew from the collection for most of its content and provides a comprehensive overview of Mrs. Steidtmann's accomplishments and a history of bridge playing in Bowling Green. A few photographs and newsclippings help illustrate further Evelyn Steidtmann's important role in the social life of Bowling Green.

A smaller segment of the collection documents Evelyn Steidtmann's student involvement, in particular organizing social gatherings for BGSU foreign students. The collection contains a few foreign student files pertaining to visiting high school exchange students, the Association for World Travel and the BGSU World Student Association (which the Steidtmann's were instrumental in establishing).

Correspondence from these students after leaving BGSU conveys to the researcher what high regard they held for Evelyn Steidtmann both as an instructor and as a gracious hostess. Receipt books and a listing of roomers at the Steidtmann home are included to provide insights into what rent cost in private homes in Bowling Green from 1967-1992. An account of Mrs. Steidtmann's participation in establishing the Beta Phi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega at BGSU in 1944 is included in a November 1944 issue of The Lyre.

Series Description

CORRESPONDENCE

CAMPUS BRIDGE CLUB
1945-1962
Arranged chronologically
Includes Evelyn Steidtmann's correspondence with various bridge instructors - Charles H. Goren, The Culbertson National Studies and others. These few pieces of correspondence focus upon certain specifics of playing and instructing bridge.

APPRECIATION LETTERS
1945, 1951, 1960's-1983
Arranged chronologically
These letters were sent to Evelyn Steidtmann from former BGSU students and renters at the Steidtmann home to show their appreciation for her support, including foreign students who attended BGSU. The bulk of the correspondence was sent in 1983 when the Steidtmann Biology Scholarship was announced.

EVELYN STEIDTMANN LETTERS ABOUT BRIDGE
January 1981, July 19, 1994
These letters provide information about how Mrs. Steidtmann taught and played bridge.

BRIDGE CLASS ROSTERS

HOME BRIDGE CLASS ROSTERS
1945-1973
Arranged chronologically
These rosters are comprised of lists of bridge players for classes held at the Bowling Green Women's Club and at the Steidtmann home.

BGSU STUDENT BRIDGE CLASS ROSTERS
1960-1976
Arranged chronologically
These rosters are comprised of lists of student bridge players for classes held by the UAO at the BGSU Student Union.

NON-STUDENT BRIDGE CLASS ROSTERS
July 1970, 1973-1976 (includes attendance lists from 1950-1983)
Arranged chronologically
These rosters are comprised of lists of non-student bridge players for classes held by the UAO at the BGSU Student Union.

UAO BRIDGE CLASS ROSTERS
1977-1981
Arranged chronologically
Theses rosters are comprised of lists of combined (student and non-student) bridge players for classes held by the UAO at the BGSU Student Union.

CAMPUS BRIDGE CLUB MEMBERSHIP ROSTERS
1950-1983
Arranged chronologically
These rosters list bridge club members and a percentage register for each member.

FOREIGN STUDENT FILES

SWEDISH HIGH SCHOOL EXCHANGE STUDENT FILE
1968-1969
Arranged chronologically
This file includes applications for Swedish students who are visiting Bowling Green, planning notes, lists of contacts, lists of host families, newsclippings, etc.

BGSU WORLD STUDENT ASSOCIATION FILE
1948-1983 (scattered)
Arranged chronologically
This file includes lists of foreign students at BGSU, programs presented, written history of the organization and newsclippings.

ASSOCIATION FOR WORLD TRAVEL EXCHANGE - FOREIGN STUDENT VISITORS' FILE
1955-1974
Arranged chronologically
This file includes correspondence, itineraries, lists of visiting students, lists of host families and newsclippings.

GUESTBOOK
1948-1972
Arranged chronologically
This volume documents visitors attending parties held at the Steidtmann home for the foreign students at BGSU and visitors.

LITERARY PRODUCTIONS

EVELYN STEIDTMANN'S BRIDGE INSTRUCTION FILE
n.d.
This file contains notes and instruction materials used by Evelyn Steidtmann when she was teaching bridge classes.

CAMPUS BRIDGE CLUB HISTORY, 1950-1984
n.d.
A brief history of the Campus Bridge Club probably written by Evelyn Steidtmann.

CLASS PAPER ABOUT EVELYN STEIDTMANN AND THE CAMPUS BRIDGE CLUB
February 5, 1968
This paper was written by Bill Hale for a Journalism class.

FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS

RECEIPT BOOKS
1967-1992
Arranged chronologically
A record of student renters who roomed at the Steidtmann home. These records includes a list of all the renters and the amount of rent paid.

NEWSCLIPPINGS

BRIDGE NEWSCLIPPINGS
1945-2004 (scattered)
Newsclippings that focus on the Campus Bridge Club, Evelyn Steidtmann's bridge wins, articles and obituaries. Also included is an account of the murder of celebrity bridge player Barry Crane.

BGSU FOREIGN STUDENT ALUMNI NEWSCLIPPINGS/PHOTOGRAPHS
1953-1984
Newsclippings and a few photographs of former BGSU foreign student alumni who became friends of Evelyn Steidtmann.

PRINTED MATERIALS

EVELYN STEIDTMANN CERTIFICATES
1928, 1930, 1972, 1994
Four certificates which include Phi Sigma Biological Society (12/4/1928); Society of the Sigma Xi (5/6/1930); BGSU Certificate of Retirement (6/30/1972); Beta Phi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority (1994)

EVELYN STEIDTMANN AMERICAN CONTRACT BRIDGE LEAGUE MASTERPOINT CERTIFICATE
1993

CAMPUS BRIDGE CLUB PROGRAMS
1967-1980 (scattered)

BOWLING GREEN BRIDGE CLUB COMMEMORATIVE BOOKLET
November 3, 1991
This small book was compiled for the unveiling of the Evelyn Steidtmann Trophy. Included in this work is a summarized history of Evelyn Steidtmann's "bridge career" and the history of bridge in Bowling Green.

CONTRACT BRIDGE RULES AND PLAYING GUIDES
1937, 1957, 1963
Various reference guides pertaining to playing bridge.

THE LYRE
May 26-28, 1944
Mrs. Steidtmann is included in an account of the installation of the Beta Phi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority of BGSU, pp. 10-15.

PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL

CAMPUS BRIDGE CLUB PHOTOGRAPHS
1954-1974
Photographs that document various notable local players, trophies and Evelyn Steidtmann instructing. Most photographs have detailed indentification written on them by Evelyn Steidtmann.

BGSU WORLD STUDENT ASSOCIATION PHOTOGRAPHS
1949-1954, 1974
These images document (mostly on slides) foreign student parties held at the Steidtmann home. Also included is a 1974 photograph of Evelyn Steidtmann in Hong Kong visiting former BGSU foreign students. Detailed identification list of slides is included.

ARTIFACTS

PLAYING CARDS
Pre-1935, n.d.
One deck of bridge playing cards used before 1935 when scoring was changed entirely; 3 decks of marked cards and instructions

BRIDGE BOARDS
n.d. Sixteen bridge boards and instructions

Inventory

Box 1

Folder
  1. Correspondence - Campus Bridge Club, 1945-1991
  2. Correspondence - appreciation letters, 1945, 1951, 1960-1983
  3. Correspondence - Evelyn Steidtmann reminiscence letters about teaching bridge and Beta Phi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega, July 19, 1994
  4. Home bridge class rosters, 1945-1973
  5. BGSU student bridge class rosters, 1960-1976
  6. Non-student bridge class rosters, attendance list, 1950-1983, 7/1970, 1973-1976
  7. UAO bridge class rosters (student and non-student combined), 1977-1981
  8. Campus Bridge Club membership roster (includes percentage register for each member), 1950-1972
  9. Campus Bridge Club membership roster (includes percentage register for each member), 1973-1983
  10. Swedish high school exchange student file, 1968-1969
  11. BGSU World Student Association file, 1948-1983

Box 2

Folder
  1. Association for World Travel Exchange - foreign student visitors file, 1955-1974
  2. Guestbook: foreign student parties at Steidtmann home, 1948-1972
  3. Evelyn Steidtmann's notes for contract bridge instruction, n.d.
  4. Campus Bridge Club History 1950-1984 (probably by Evelyn Steidtmann), n.d.
  5. Student paper about Evelyn Steidtmann and the Campus Bridge Club by Bill Hale, February 5, 1968
  6. Receipt books and lists of student renters at the Steidtmann home, 1967-1992
  7. Campus Bridge Club newsclippings, 1945-1991
  8. Evelyn Steidtmann bridge wins, newsclippings and other personal newsclippings, 1970-1994, 2004
  9. Former BGSU foreign student's newsclippings (some photographs), 1953-1984
  10. Account of the murder of notable bridge player Barry Crane (newsclippings), ca. 1990

Box 3

Folder
  1. Evelyn Steidtmann Certificates: Phi Sigma Biological Society;
    Society of the Sigma Xi;
    BGSU Certificate of Retirement;
    Beta Phi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega, 1928, 1930, 1972, 1994
  2. Evelyn Steidtmann American Contract Bridge League Masterpoint certificates, 1993
  3. Campus Bridge Club programs, 1967-1980 (scattered)
  4. Bowling Green Bridge Club Commemorative booklet, November 3, 1991
  5. Contract bridge rules and playing guides, 1934-1963 (scattered)
  6. The Lyre of Beta Phi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega Alpha Chi Omega, November 1944
  7. Campus Bridge Club photographs, 1954-1974
  8. BGSU World Student Association party slides and photograph with negative, 1949-1954, 1974
  9. Three decks of cards, with instructions, pre-1935, n.d.

Box 4

  1. 16 Bridge Boards and instructions

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