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Icarian Collection

Identifier: MSS-0026

The Icarian Collection contains books formerly owned by a nineteenth century utopian socialist community as well research materials about the history of that community. The largest portion of this collection comprises several hundred books which belonged to the Icarian community near Corning, Iowa, which existed from 1852 until 1898. The vast majority of these books are in French, and most were published from the early 1700s to the late 1800s. The collection also includes a research section containing resources about the Icarian community near Corning, Iowa. Most of these books were published after the community ceased to exist and the majority are in English with a small number in French or German. The rest of the research collection consists of court documents, sketchbooks, photographs, personal papers, microfilm, slides, audio cassettes, and a poster relating to the Icarian community and its history. The collection includes material that has not yet been arranged or described. The original and research books in the Icarian Collection have been cataloged and can be searched in the Criss Library catalog under the subject or keyword "Icarian Collection." Those which were originally owned by the Icarian community have the subject heading "Icarian Collection - Original," while later books about the Icarian community have the subject heading "Icarian Collection - Research." Non-book research materials have not yet been arranged or described.


  • 1683-2005


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the Nebraska Public Records Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 84-712 through 84-712.09), and other relevant regulations. Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Nebraska Omaha assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, Archives & Special Collections will provide information about copyright owners and related information. Securing permission to publish or use material is the responsibility of the researcher. Note that unless specifically transferred to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, any applicable copyrights may be held by another individual or entity. Further information about copyright policy is available at


62.65 Cubic Feet (844 volumes, 4 boxes, 10 slide carousels, 2 albums, loose items.)


Arranged into loose series: Series: Icarian Community Books; Series: Icarian Research Books; Series: Miscellaneous Icarian Research Materials (Non-Book).

Custodial History

The largest portion of this collection comprises the original books which belonged to the Icarian community near Corning, Iowa, which existed from 1852 until 1898. After the Icarian community disbanded, Tabor College in Tabor, Iowa, acquired its entire collection of books. Tabor College closed in 1927, and in 1933, the Municipal University of Omaha purchased Tabor's entire library collection, including the Icarian books. The small collection of research books about the Icarians has been acquired over the years through purchase, donation, or transfer from the Criss Library's general collection. The unprocessed boxes of materials, including slides, were received as donations from two former UNO professors in the Sociology Department, Wayne Wheeler and Mark Rousseau, who researched the Icarian movement. Ms. Kathryn Davis donated 10 items on October 13, 1978. Dr. Wilfred Payne, a former Philosophy professor at the Municipal University of Omaha, donated 53 items in November 1970, which included 41 items earlier donated to him by Francis H. Chambers, possibly in May 1939. Chambers' grandfather Francis Davis was the lawyer for the "rebel Icarian faction" in Corning, Iowa.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Tabor College, Tabor, Iowa.

Processing Information

Icarian books and research books are cataloged. Non-book materials have not been arranged and described.


Icarian Collection
Description rules
Description based on DACS

Repository Details

Part of the UNO Libraries' Archives & Special Collections Repository

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library
6001 Dodge St.
Omaha Nebraska 68182-0237 United States