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University of Chicago - Founding and Early History

    American Baptist Education Society. Records

    Founded in 1888 for "the promotion of Christian education, under Baptist auspices, in North America," it was under the Society's supervision that the University of Chicago was founded in 1890. Frederick Taylor Gates served as first corresponding secretary of the Society, 1888-1892. Succeeded by the Board of Education of the Northern Baptist Convention, 1911. Minutes of the "Provisional Committee" (1888); printed proceedings of the National Baptist Educational Convention and organization of the Society (1888); printed annual meeting reports (1889-1902); financial records (1889-1890); clippings concerning the Society (1887-1902).

    American Institute of Sacred Literature. Records

    The American Institute of Sacred Literature, which offered courses in the study of the Bible, was organized in 1889. The Institute grew out of the Correspondence School of Hebrew (established in 1880 by William Rainey Harper) which was renamed the American Institute of Hebrew in 1883. The AISL records contain primarily correspondence. Topics include Chautauqua summer schools, the Institute's relationship with the University of Chicago and William Rainey Harper, and the Modernist-Fundamentalist controversy. Also includes material on the founding of the Institute and courses taught.

    Baptist Ministers' Conference, Chicago. Records

    The Baptist Ministers’ Conference was instrumental in the founding of the University of Chicago in response to John D. Rockefeller's pledge to support the founding of a new of higher education in Chicago. The Records consist of conference minutes from 1889-1909 as well as reports on committee work and social issues.

    Baptist Theological Union and Baptist Union Theological Seminary. Records

    The Baptist Theological Union (1865-1924) and the Baptist Union Theological Seminary (1867-1892) were founded to meet the needs of students of the first University of Chicago who wished to prepare for the ministry. The records contain material documenting the organizations' histories from 1865 to 1924.

    Breckinridge, Sophonisba P. Papers

    Sophonisba P. Breckinridge (1866-1948) was a social scientist and social work educator. The papers include manuscripts of her unfinished autobiography which describes residents at Hull House; correspondence; newspaper clippings; data from a study on Americanization (1918-1919); and sales and royalty records of her books. Correspondents include Jane Addams and Julia Lathrop.

    Burton, Ernest DeWitt. Papers

    The papers of Ernest DeWitt Burton comprise 45 linear feet of personal and professional material. The papers document his career as a New Testament scholar at Newton Theological Institute and the University of Chicago as well as his interest in missionary work and religious education in east Asia. The collection consists primarily of correspondence as well as publications, addresses, and a small amount of course materials from the New Testament Department. From his involvement in missionary organizations and commissions, such as the Oriental Investigation Commission and the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, there are minutes, correspondence, financial records, photographs, and reports. The collection also includes personal materials including family history, a large number of memorials and some journals and notebooks.

    Butler, Demia. Papers

    The Demia Butler Papers consist of a diary written during Butler's first year as a student at the University of Chicago, 1892-1893.

    Chamberlin, Thomas Chrowder. Papers

    Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin (1843-1928) directed the Department of Geology at the University of Chicago from 1892-1919. Though his academic interests were wide-ranging, he is best known for the Chamberlin-Moulton Planetesimal Hypothesis, a theory of solar system formation. Chamberlin's papers include biographies, clippings, personal and professional correspondence, drafts, research notes, reprints, and teaching materials. The collection spans 1878-1932.

    Dixson, Zella Allen. Papers

    Zella Allen Dixson (1858-1924), librarian, served as de facto head of the University of Chicago Library from 1891 until 1910. The papers consist of loose leaves from a scrapbook compiled by Mrs. Dixson from 1876 to 1910. Except for three topical folders, the material is arranged chronologically. Included are letters from Melvil Dewey and Thomas W. Goodspeed; brochures describing her library science courses at the University; offprints of various ephemeral articles; and photographs of her summer home, Wisteria Cottage, in Granville, Ohio.

    Gates, Frederick Taylor. Papers

    Baptist minister, businessman. Corresponding secretary, American Baptist Education Society, 1888-1902. Philanthropic adviser to John D. Rockefeller; president, General Education Board. Trustee, University of Chicago, 1896-1910. Summary: Correspondence to and from Gates relating to the American Baptist Education Society and founding of the University of Chicago (1888-1892). Major correspondents include Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed, William Rainey Harper, Henry L. Morehouse, and Augustus Hopkins Strong. Carbon copies of letters primarily to Gates from William Rainey Harper (1893-1906) concerning affairs relating to the university.

    Goodman, Edward. Papers

    Edward Goodman was a Baptist minister and an early University of Chicago trustee. The Edward Goodman papers consist of notebooks of newspaper clippings and handwritten notes, as well as loose notes for The History of the First Baptist Church of Chicago, 1833-1910, which was published in 1910 by the United Religious Press. The clippings contain accounts of church business, poetry, minutes, and speeches. The papers also include material such as scrapbooks, programs, and memorabilia from Baptist Anniversaries and events, and from the early history of the University of Chicago.

    Goodspeed, Thomas W. Papers

    Baptist educator. Secretary, Board of Trustees, University of Chicago, 1890-1913. Registrar, University of Chicago, 1897-1913. University historian, 1916-1927. Contains personal and professional correspondence; manuscripts, including drafts of History of the University of Chicago, 1891-1916, and Goodspeed's autobiography; articles and speeches; and fragments of a diary. Correspondents include Frederick T. Gates, John D. Rockefeller, William Rainey Harper, Augustus Strong, and others. Topics relate to the founding and early years of the University of Chicago.

    Hale, William Gardner. Papers

    William Gardner Hale (1849-1928) was a noted classics scholar and professor of Latin at the University of Chicago, best known for his work on the poet Catullus and Latin grammar. He taught Latin first at Cornell 1880-1892 before coming to the University of Chicago, where he held the Chair in Latin 1894-1899. The collection is primarily composed of personal and professional correspondence between William Gardner Hale and his family and colleagues, as well as reprints of his articles published in scholarly journals. The collection also notably contains Hale family memorabilia and other ephemera, mostly photographs, and Hale’s writings and correspondence on the First World War. It spans the years 1880-1928, from his time at Cornell through his professorship at the University of Chicago to his death in 1928.

    Harper, William Rainey. Papers

    William Rainey Harper (1856 -1906) was the first president of the University of Chicago, from 1891 to 1906. The collection is comprised primarily of correspondence, and papers not included in the Harper-Judson-Burton section of the Presidents Papers, and is of a somewhat more personal nature that the Presidents Papers. The collection also contains speeches and manuscripts, including Harper's first convocation address; personal correspondence concerning his illness, funeral and memorial services; and clippings, memorials, reprints of articles by Harper and bibliography of his works. It also contains books from the library of William Rainey Harper, including Prophetae Posteriores; notebooks of both Harper and his secretary; and scrapbooks.

    Heckman, Wallace. Papers

    Wallace Heckman served as business manager and counsel of the University of Chicago from 1903-1924. These papers include correspondence and writings by Heckman. All correspondence is dated 1923-1926, regarding the end of Heckman’s tenure at the University, as well as his involvement in several Chicago social, philanthropic, and arts organizations. Much of the correspondence from 1924 concerns the maintenance of his Ganymede Farm in Oregon, Illinois, home of the Eagle’s Nest Artists’ Colony. The writings include text of speeches and essays written by Heckman as a student at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, as well as toasts, speeches, and eulogies presented by him between 1871 and 1926.

    Henderson, Charles Richmond. Papers

    Charles Richmond Henderson (1848-1915), Baptist Minister, sociologist. The Charles Richmond Henderson Papers contain correspondence, lectures notes, student term papers, and research materials relating to prisons in Europe and Mexico, including International Prison Commission Congress (1910) and prison reform.

    Herrick, Robert. Papers

    Robert Herrick, novelist, professor. The Robert Herrick Papers contain correspondence; manuscripts of novels, plays, short stories, and literary criticism. The collection also includes essays and lectures on political, educational, and literary subjects. Herrick's correspondents include Robert Morss Lovett, Jane Addams, William Dean Howells, Harriet Monroe, William Rainey Harper, Norman Hapgood, and Bernard Berenson.

    Hutchins, Robert Maynard. Papers

    Robert Maynard Hutchins (1899-1977) was a leader in education reform, dean of the Yale Law School, president and chancellor of the University of Chicago (1929-1951), and an executive at the Commission on Freedom of the Press, the Committee to Frame a World Constitution, Encyclopædia Britannica, the Ford Foundation, the Fund for the Republic, and the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions. The collection includes material pertaining to Hutchins' research, writing, and speaking; material relevant to his professional activities; correspondence; subject files; personal ephemera; honors and awards; annotated books; and photographs and audio recordings. Materials date between 1884 and 2000, with the bulk of the material dating between 1921 and 1977.

    Laughlin, James Laurence. Papers

    J. Laurence Laughlin (1850-933), Professor of Political Economy, editor of the Journal of Political Economy. The J. Laurence Laughlin Papers consist of a small collection of writings, correspondence, lectures notes and miscellany. The primary focus of the collection centers on two economic controversies in which Laughlin was involved concerning U. S. silver monetary policy and the legality and benefits of labor unions.

    Lee, Elon N. and Edson S. Bastin. Papers

    Elon N. Lee and Edson S. Bastin, early students. The Elon N. Lee and Edson S. Bastin Papers consist of Edson S. Bastin's correspondence (1866-1919), Elon Lee's diary (1864-1865), drafts of essays, and miscellaneous ephemera concerning the Old University of Chicago (1867-1881).

    Lewis, Edwin Herbert. Papers

    Edwin Herbert Lewis, writer and rhetorician. The Edwin Herbert Lewis Papers contain correspondence, diaries, notebooks, manuscripts, teaching materials, offprints, photographs, and memorabilia. Correspondents include Rabindranath Tagore and George Carman. The collection also includes the words to the University of Chicago "Alma Mater" which Lewis wrote in 1894.

    Lillie, Frank R. Papers

    The papers of zoologist Frank R. Lillie cover the period 1899-1941 and include correspondence and research files. The correspondence concerns colleagues and students as well as administrative correspondence from his time as chairman of the Zoology Department. The correspondence also includes material from his responsibilities at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, which he helped to establish. The collection also contains Lillie’s extensive research in the form of loose notes, drawings and 30 laboratory notebooks. These notebooks span the period from 1901-1929 and include Lillie’s detailed observations on his scientific work, most of it conducted at Woods Hole. The collection also includes drafts of Lillie’s articles, lectures and demonstrations as well as a few of his published articles.

    Lunde Family. Papers

    This collection contains three scrapbooks compiled by Erling and Bjarne Lunde, brothers who attended the University of Chicago between 1908 and 1914. The scrapbooks contain personal ephemera, photographs, and correspondence. The material dates from 1902-1964; bulk dates are 1908-1914.

    Mathews, Shailer. Papers

    Shailer Mathews (1863-1941) Professor, 1894-1933, Dean of the Divinity School, 1908-1933. Contains correspondence, minutes, articles, reports, and teaching materials. Subjects relate to the history of the University of Chicago and the Divinity School, the development of the religious and social ideas known as Modernism, and the Chautauqua Institute.

    Michelson, Albert A. Papers

    Albert A. Michelson, physicist, professor. The Albert A. Michelson Papers consist of Michelson’s correspondence (1906-1935), correspondence regarding the curation of Michelson’s medals (1930-1940), cancelled checks, Michelson’s notebook on the Velocity of Light Determination (1925), an inventory Michelson’s materials held at Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories, reprints of articles (1891-1925), biographical materials on Michelson, drafts of speech about Michelson, press releases from the University of Chicago (1924-1927), two copies of Michelson’s notebook titled “Velocity of Light,” and a typescript of a work about Michelson’s interferometer.

    Music Relating to the University of Chicago. Records

    This collection consists of sheet music and band scores for several songs featured at band events, mainly, at the University of Chicago.

    Nef, John Ulric, Sr. Papers

    John Ulric Nef (1862-1915) Professor of chemistry, University of Chicago, 1893-1915; Chairman of the Chemistry Department, 1896-1915. Contains correspondence, memoranda, reports, legal documents, notes on experiments, and biographical material.

    Northrup, George W. Papers

    George W. Northup, educator, preacher and theologian, 1826-1900. Primarily outlines and notes for lectures on theology.

    Old University of Chicago. Records

    The first University of Chicago, a Baptist school, was incorporated in 1857 on land donated by Senator Stephen A. Douglas. The University closed in 1886 due to financial difficulties. The records contain records of the Board of Trustees, and faculty, matriculation records, catalogs, student publications, and other historical materials, including two scrapbooks.

    Quadrangle Club. Records

    The Quadrangle Club was organized in 1893 for the association of members of the faculties of the University of Chicago and other persons interested in literature, science, or art. The first meeting was held in the Hotel Barry, later known as the Hotel Del Prado. The Club was incorporated in 1895 and proceeded to build a three-story clubhouse on the corner of 58th Street and University Avenue, which opened in 1896. Membership grew with the University and a new building, designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw, was constructed in 1922 at the corner of 57th and University. The Club continues to be a convenient meeting place for faculty and visitors to the University. The Club has sponsored banquets, dances, lectures, musical programs, and the annual "Revels," which began in 1904 as a Christmas pageant, evolving by the 19050s into a full-scale song-and-dance revue which poked fun at University life. Contains minutes, reports, guest registers, building specifications, programs and notices of special events, and programs and scripts of the annual "Revels."

    Roser, John H. Papers

    This collection contains a scrapbook compiled by University of Chicago alumnus John Henry Roser during his undergraduate years. The material dates from 1911 to 1916, and includes programs, dance cards, tickets, and other ephemera.

    Salisbury, Rollin D. Papers

    Rollin D. Salisbury, Professor at the University of Chicago, Dean of the Ogden School of Social Science, and Head of the Department of Geography was one of the scholars on the Peary Relief Expedition. Salisbury's papers consist of fifteen boxes containing personal correspondence, legal and financial records, professional correspondence, notebooks, lecture outlines, manuscripts, speeches, clippings, photographs, and postcards.

    Schevill, Ferdinand. Papers

    Ferdinand Schevill (1868-1954) Professor of History at the University of Chicago from 1892 to 1937. The collection consists of material related to two of Schevill's books: The History of Florence from the Founding of the City through the Renaissance, and Six Historians.

    Shorey, Paul. Papers

    Paul Shorey, Professor of Greek Language and Literature (1857-1934). The Shorey Papers comprise manuscript and printed materials on literature, the classics, education, and cultural history. Included are typescripts of popular lectures Shorey delivered as the Roosevelt Visiting Professor in Berlin in 1913-1914, lectures and correspondence relating to the "Assault on Humanism," and notes for the volumes which resulted from his "Platonic Studies" project which was funded by the General Education Board.

    Stagg, Amos Alonzo. Papers

    Amos Alonzo Stagg was first Athletic Director and football coach for the University of Chicago from 1892-1933 and football coach for the College of the Pacific from 1933-1946. He was a national figure, leader and innovator in the development of intercollegiate sports, football, the Olympics and amateur athletics. The Amos Alonzo Stagg Papers consists of correspondence, personal papers, scrapbooks, notebooks, reports, newspaper clippings, photo albums, books and professional and scholastic ephemera that span Stagg

    Starr, Frederick. Papers

    Frederick Starr (1858-1933) Assistant professor of anthropology, University of Chicago, 1892-95; associate professor, 1895-1923. Curator of the anthropological section, Walker Museum, University of Chicago, 1895-1923 Contains professional and personal correspondence; research material; field notebooks; diaries; class lecture notes; memorabilia; photographs; bibliographies; and scrapbooks. Correspondents include Frank Boas, W.E.B. Du Bois, Federico Gamboa, William Rainey Harper, John Haynes Holmes, Jenkin Lloyd Jones, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Julius Rosenwald, and Albion Small. Topics relate to Starr's interests and involvement in the former Belgian Congo, Liberia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Mexico, Central America, and the World's Columbian Exposition.

    Talbot, Marion. Papers

    Contains the correspondence and papers of Marion Talbot, Assistant Professor of Sanitary Science, Associate professor of Household Administration, and Dean of Women at the University of Chicago from its inception in 1892 until her retirement in 1925.

    Tufts, James Hayden. Papers

    James Hayden Tufts (1862-1942) was on the faculty of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago from 1892-1930. He was Dean of the Senior Colleges (1898-1904), Dean of Faculties and Vice-President of the University (1924-26), Acting President of the University (1925-26), and editor of the International Journal of Ethics (1914-1930). The Tufts Papers include professional correspondence (1909-1942); philosophy outlines, notes and lectures; drafts of Tufts' memoirs; papers concerning the City Club of Chicago Committee on Housing Conditions (1908-13); and documents related to the Illinois Committee on Social Legislation (1912-17).

    University of Chicago Scrapbooks. Collection

    Contains scrapbooks compiled by various individuals and university entities. The scrapbooks contain news clippings, university mailings, and other ephemera from 1885 to 1990. The bulk of the material dates from 1891 to 1930.

    University of Chicago. Board of Trustees. Minutes

    Minutes from meetings of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees. Minutes of the regular meetings of the full Board of Trustees document the founding and development of the University, including the selection of the first president and adoption of statutes and by-laws. Also included are reports of standing and special committees, reports of gifts, grants, fellowships, and bequests, and designs for the University coat of arms and seal.

    University of Chicago. Delta Sigma Women's Club. Records

    This collection contains a scrapbook of clippings, photographs, member lists, and other ephemera compiled by members of Delta Sigma Women's Club at the University of Chicago. Materials date from 1918-1949.

    University of Chicago. Founders' Correspondence

    Consists of typewritten transcripts of correspondence between John D. Rockefeller, founding donor of the University of Chicago, and others involved in the establishment of the University. Correspondents include William Rainey Harper, Thomas W. Goodspeed, Frederick T. Gates, and others.

    University of Chicago. Office of the President. Harper, Judson and Burton Administrations. Records

    This collection contains records of the University of Chicago Office of the President, covering the administrations of the first three presidents of the University: William Rainey Harper (1891-1906), Harry Pratt Judson (1906-1923), and Ernest DeWitt Burton (1923-1925). Included are administrative records such as correspondence, memoranda, and reports.

    University of Chicago. Office of the President. Scrapbooks

    This collection contains scrapbooks compiled by the University of Chicago Office of the President. They contain news clippings related to the University, its founding, and its staff and leadership, and collections of official communications issued by the President's office. The collection spans the years 1889-1943, with the bulk of the material dating from 1908 to 1910.

    University of Chicago. School Color History. Collection

    This collection contains the maroon ribbon used by administrative and student committees when voting for the new university color and a memorandum connected to the maroon ribbon. It also contains documents relating to the selection of the maroon as the school color.

    University of Chicago. Student Papers and Ephemera. Collection

    The Student Papers and Ephemera Collection consists of correspondence, class notes, football ticket books, dance cards, freshman orientation programs, diplomas, convocations programs, invitations, brochures from various convocation activities, reunion materials and reminiscences, and other materials related to student life at the University of Chicago.

    University of Chicago. The Shanty. Collection

    This artificial collection includes the Book of the Shanties and other ephemera related to the structure and its revival as a restaurant at the 1919 reunion and following. The Book of the Shanties is a leather-bound, illuminated folio bearing the names of members of this early alumni fellowship. Originally limited to pre-1900 classes, membership was later extended to alumni of 20 years standing. Clippings, menus, and contemporary accounts document the Shanty Club and the restaurant for which the club and book were named.

    Von Holst, Hermann Eduard. Collection

    Hermann Eduard Von Holst (1841-1904), Professor of History, University of Chicago. Von Holst was a German national who taught at the Universities of Freiburg and Strasbourg prior to his immigration to the United States in 1892. Upon his arrival he became Chair of the History Department at Chicago, a position he held until ill health mandated his retirement in 1900. Von Holst's master work, The Constitutional and Political History of the United States (1876), examined the development and operation of American democracy from a critical stance. The Von Holst collection includes his correspondence, biographical material, writings, and journals. There is also a notebook of letters pertaining to the German Patriotic Aid society, an organization of German aliens who followed the political events of their homeland.

    Walker, George C. Scrapbook

    George C. Walker, member, Board of Trustees, University of Chicago, 1890-1905. Real estate developer and donor of Walker Museum, University of Chicago. Contains correspondence and clippings related to the Old University of Chicago, the establishment and early years of the University of Chicago, fund raising, Morgan Park Academy, University buildings, and the dedication and operation of Walker Museum. Correspondents include Thomas W. Goodspeed, George C. Lorimer, John D. Rockefeller, Frederick T. Gates, William Rainery Harper, Henry Ives Cobb, Ira Price, Martin A. Ryerson, and Thomas C. Chamberlain.

    Wallace, Elizabeth. Papers

    Elizabeth Wallace, professor, author. The Elizabeth Wallace Papers consist of biographical clippings about Wallace, correspondence and clippings related to books authored by Wallace, diplomas, a tribute for Elizabeth Kenny written by Wallace, as well correspondence relating to Wallace's ninetieth birthday celebration.

    Wallin, Madeline. Papers

    Madeline Wallin was one of the first female graduate students at the University of Chicago. A student of political science, she received her Ph.M. in 1893. Contains personal correspondence, graduate school papers, articles, and photographs. Includes accounts of student life at the new University of Chicago and material relating to the University of Chicago Settlement League.

    Whitman, Charles Otis. Collection

    Professor and Head of Department of Zoology, University of Chicago, 1892-1910. Correspondence, reminiscences, and biographical sketches of Charles O. Whitman collected by Frank Lillie while preparing a biography of Whitman.