The R.R. Donnelley Community

For many RR Donnelley employees, the company was not only a place to work but the center of a lively and supportive community. The company sponsored a wide range of employee groups and activities devoted to recreation, social events, and development of stronger relationships across departments and work units. Employees were also able to take advantage of a Lakeside Press Mutual Savings Association as early as 1908.

Annual company picnics were held in parks in the Chicago area, and on one occasion at the Midway Gardens at 61st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue.  Male employees played on RR Donnelley baseball teams and competed against teams sponsored by other companies.  The Chicago and Crawfordsville plants organized basketball leagues for both men and women.  Other recreational interests were reflected in company clubs devoted to chess, checkers, pool, bowling, table tennis, and photography. Employees also planned and produced amateur theatricals.

These and other events received full coverage in the RR Donnelley company magazine that was published from 1916 to 1995. First called The Lakeside Press (1916-1934), the magazine was later known successively as The Lakeside News (1935-1958), The Lakeside Review (1959-1964), The Donnelley Printer (1965-1986), and The Printer (1987-1995). In its early decades, the publication carried news of employee anniversaries, marriages, the birth of children, deaths, and the latest activities of the employee association.

As RR Donnelley grew, the content of the magazine shifted away from personal updates to stories about new printing contracts, client milestones, manufacturing feats, and technological advances, while the mailing list was extended beyond employees to include some clients. RR Donnelley's magazine remained, however, an important way to encourage interaction between employees in different departments and a forum for emphasizing a common commitment to the traditions and craft of printing.

Company picnic near Kankakee

[ca. 1902].
Digital Reproduction.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Archive.

Torkel Korling

Cafeteria at Calumet Avenue plant
[1940s].
Digital Reproduction.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Archive.

Softball game on Calumet Avenue plant grounds

[1944].
Digital Reproduction.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Archive.

Women's basketball team

[ca. 1930-1931].
Digital Reproduction.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Archive.