University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Annette Medow Barrash Collection 1945-1992

© 2021 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Barrash, Annette Medow. Collection




.75 linear feet (2 boxes)


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


Annette Medow Barrash (b. December 21, 1923, d. July 26, 2019) was a teacher and community activist with a focus on public education and school desegregation in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and mathematics and became involved with the Citizens Schools Committee. As Vice President of the Committee, Medow Barrash participated in efforts to strengthen public schools in Chicago in coordination with the City’s Board of Education and contributed to numerous initiatives and programs. The collection documents Annette Medow Barrash’s contributions to education in Chicago, the history and organization of the Citizens Schools Committee, and the history of public education in Chicago, including the process of desegregation and efforts for decentralization.

Information on Use


A grant application and an annual budget that contains personnel information are restricted until 2024. The remainder of the collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Barrash, Annette Medow. Collection, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Biographical Note

Annette Medow Barrash (b. December 21, 1923, d. July 26, 2019) was a teacher and community activist with a focus on education and school desegregation in Chicago. Daughter of William and Emma Medow, she was born in the west side of Chicago and attended Austin High School. In 1945 she graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and mathematics and started to work as a counselor at the Orthogenic School (which was renamed in 1949 as “The Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School”). The same year she married Meyer Barrash. Later, Annette Medow Barrash began her community activism and got involved, among other projects, with the Citizens Schools Committee.

The Citizens Schools Committee was founded in 1933, under the name “The Citizens Save Our Schools Committee,” for the purpose of increasing the quality of education in Chicago through promoting citizens’ understanding of and involvement in public school issues and providing solutions for the problems. Among the Committee’s priorities were the elimination of racial discrimination in the schools and the manipulations of partisan political influences. The Committee’s accomplishments, among others, included the establishment of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on School Board Nominations, the initiation of the use of school buildings for after-school activities, the passage of three $50 billion bond issues for the construction of new school buildings, the organization or sponsorship of numerous conferences on educational matters, the administration of an annual award to teachers for outstanding professional and community leadership, co-sponsorship of a seminar on reading, and an active role in the process of desegregation. In 1971, the Committee was designated one of five permanent members of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on School Board Nominations.

Annette Medow Barrash served the Committee in various capacities, finally as Vice President, a position she held as of 1974. After her retirement, she moved to Hanover, IL and later to Dubuque, IA. She died on July 26, 2019 at the age of 95.

Scope Note

The collection is organized into four series. Series I: Citizens Schools Committee (CSC); Series II: Subject Files; Series III: Photographs, Series IV: Restricted Material.

Series I, Citizens Schools Committee, contains outgoing and incoming correspondence of Barrash as member and Vice President of CSC; CSC’s records, reports, statements, and press releases; meeting records and correspondence regarding CSC’s project on reading; meeting records and programs of CSC’s annual civic assemblies; documents on the Mayor’s Advisory Committee in School Board Nominations and CSC’s nominating committee minutes; CSC’s executive committee minutes; material published about or by CSC; and documents about District 22 and decentralization. The contents of each folder are arranged chronologically.

Series II, Subject Files, consists of journal issues and article copies on education and public schools, published by various educational associations and institutions other than CSC.

Series III, Photographs, consists of two photographs, the first one of Annette Medow Barrash as a counselor at the Orthogenic School with a small group of students, and the other of Bruno Bettelheim, the director of the Orthogenic School with a small group of students.

Series IV, Restricted Material, consists of a grant application with financial details and an annual budget containing personnel information. They are restricted until 2024.

Related Resources

Browse finding aids by topic.http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. Records Chicago History Museum holds records and member photographs of the Citizens Schools Committee.

Subject Headings


Series I: Citizens Schools Committee

Box 1   Folder 1

Annette Medow Barrash’s correspondence, 1970-1974

Box 1   Folder 2

CSC records and correspondence, 1950-1974

Box 1   Folder 3

CSC history-activity reports and press releases, 1964-1972

Box 1   Folder 4

CSC project and seminars on reading, 1970-1971

Box 1   Folder 5

CSC Annual Civic Assembly, 1971-1972

Box 1   Folder 6

Mayor’s Advisory Committee on School Board Nominations, 1971-1974

Box 1   Folder 7

CSC Nominating Committee minutes, 1973-1974

Box 1   Folder 8

CSC Executive Committee minutes, 1973

Box 1   Folder 9

CSC in the media: Newspaper clippings, 1970-1971

Box 1   Folder 10

CSC publication “Better Schools for all Chicago: School Accountability Study,” 1982

Box 1   Folder 11

District 22 and Decentralization, 1969-1972

Series II: Subject Files

Box 1   Folder 12

Chicago-specific journals and pamphlets on integrating schools and classrooms, 1964-1976

Box 1   Folder 13

“Integrated Education” Journal, issues 27 (1967), 35 (1968), 37(1969), 39(1969)

Box 1   Folder 14

“Law and Society Review” Journal, November 1967

Box 1   Folder 15

Copies of journal articles, 1969-1992

Box 1   Folder 16

“Desegregation and Chicago Public Schools: Issues and Options,” conference proceedings, published by American Issues Forum Chicago, 1976

Series III: Photographs

Box 1   Folder 17

Two photographs at the Orthogenic School, 1945

Series IV: Restricted

Box 2   Folder 1

Grant application and annual budget of CSC, 1974