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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the University of Chicago Shanty Collection 1899-1950

© 2013 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

University of Chicago. The Shanty. Collection

Dates:

1899-1950

Size:

2 linear feet (2 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

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.

Information on Use

Access

This collection is open to research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: University of Chicago. The Shanty. Collection, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Historical Note

The original "Shanty" was a lunchroom located on the corner of Ellis Avenue and 57th Street. Established in 1893 by "Widow" Ingham, the serving area was formerly a refreshment stand at the World's Columbian Exposition, while the kitchen was a tool shed used by the Cobb Hall contractors. The tiny restaurant became a popular student meeting place, so that its closing in 1907 prompted a eulogy in the Cap and Gown entitled "The Shanty on the Corner" (p. 444). "The Shanty" itself was torn down in 1912 during the construction of Stagg Field.

Members of the classes of 1893-1900 built a replica of the "Shanty" for the 1919 alumni Reunion, and established themselves as the Shanty Organization. During reunions throughout the twenties, the "Shanty" was set up on the main quadrangle and food -- duplicating the original cuisine – was dispensed. The Book of the Shanties was presented to the University at the 1924 reunion and was brought forth annually until 1935 to record new members of the fellowship. The "Shanty" replica fell into disuse in the early '30's, but the Book of the Shanties survived to be used again at the reunions of 1941, 1949, and 1950.

Signatories to the Book of the Shanties and the smaller Shanty Register include such University notables as Amos Alonso Stagg, Marion Talbot, Shailer Mathews, Morris Fishbein, Harold Swift, Harry Pratt Judson, and Edgar J. Goodspeed.

Scope Note

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. Box 1 contains collected ephemera. The revival of the Shanty is documented in typed excerpts and photographs from the University of Chicago Magazine, as well as two menus, one of which includes the music for the song "Shanty Days" and information about the Shantys Organization. There is also a smaller guestbook with signatures from 1919 to 1948.

Inside the Book of the Shanties were looseleaf pages from the Graduate Matutinal Guestbook bearing signatures of guests at the 31st convocation in 1900. They are included in Box 1.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Box 1   Folder 1

Graduate Matutinal Guestbook pages, 1899-1900

Box 1   Folder 2

Shanty Club Program, Menu, 1920-1921

Box 1   Folder 3

Clippings, Typed Excerpts, Reference List – University of Chicago Magazine, 1924-1937, undated

Box 1   Folder 4

Shanty Register, 1919-1948

Box 2

Book of Shanties, 1922-1950