Elijah Jordan (1875-1953) was raised in Elberfield, Indiana, and served as a professor of philosophy at Butler University from 1913 to 1944. Jordan published eight books and numerous articles in which he developed a philosophical system that set him apart from contemporary philosophical trends. This collection contains biographical material, draft revisions for each of Jordan's books, and personal correspondence from 1905 to 1953. Many letters refer to Jordan's graduate school experiences (at Cornell, Wisconsin and Chicago) and his difficulties in obtaining a teaching position. Other letters discuss the preparation and publication of his books and scholars' reactions to them. Frequent correspondents include J. E. Creighton, Max H. Fisch, Warner Fite, D. W. Gotshalk, Thomas Haynes, Robert D. Mack, Glenn Negley, M. C. Otto and Forrest O. Wiggins.
The collection also contains Jordan's university transcripts and class notes, photographs of Jordan and his wife Linny, and papers relating to Fisch's Jordan bibliography, compiled for Jordan's Metaphysics: An Unfinished Essay (published posthumously, 1956). Additional materials document Fisch's efforts to organize the Elijah Jordan Conferences, 1956-57, a joint initiative of the American Philosophical Association's Committee to Advance Original Work in Philosophy and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Max Fisch, University of Illinois professor of philosophy, donated the collection to the Library in 1971. Louise Dauner, of Indianapolis, donated additional correspondence from Jordan, as did Negley and Wiggins. The collection also includes copies of Jordan's letters to Otto in the Wisconsin Historical Society.